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Evening Standard Theatre Awards

Spotlight61
Broadway Star
joined:8/28/06
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Evening Standard Theatre Awards#1
Posted: 11/23/09 at 11:36am
These awards are given by an evening newspaper in London (which is now free) they are very much London centric but I believe a number of these productions will be crossing the pond.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23773738-its-a-royal-flush-for-cutting-edge-theatre-at-standard-awards.do
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Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
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joined:
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re: Evening Standard Theatre Awards#2
Posted: 11/23/09 at 1:20pm
Only one award of importance, that is the 'Ned Sherrin' Best Musical.

It is utter risible that Hello Dolly won the best musical, over the superb Spring Awakening and A Little Night Music, the fantastic Sister Act didn't manage a nomination.
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Weez
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/05
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re: Evening Standard Theatre Awards#2
Posted: 11/23/09 at 1:40pm
Occasionally, just occasionally, I have to wonder - in that semi-affectionate way we have on the West End board, not the über-bitchy way we have on the Broadway board - what on earth is wrong with you. As far as I can tell, without having seen it or even having paid that much attention to it, Hello, Dolly! was INCREDIBLY well-received, and - according to most - deservedly so.

I did a blog entry back when the shortlist was announced. Lemme copy-paste my opening paragraph, then comment on the winners:

"First up, the Evening Standard Theatre Awards are completely bogus. They pitch new shows against revivals, plays against musicals, and completely ignore the wonder that is performers in supporting roles. In fact, if it weren't for the Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical, musicals would almost certainly be dissed all together. I complain about the Olivier awards not differentiating between male and female supporting performers, but at least they acknowledge there's more to a play than the stars, and at least they have one category for plays and one for musicals! So I really don't think much of the Evening Standard Theatre Awards AT ALL."

TOTALLY called Jerusalem getting Best Play, Rylance getting Best Actor (although I hoped Stott would triumph), Weisz getting Best Actress, Goold getting Best Director, Hello, Dolly! getting Best Musical, and Lenny Henry getting Best Newcomer (I couldn't say if he legitimately *was* the best, but he's an awesome dude and his enthusiasm for the production, particularly after being so well-publicised a newcomer to Shakespeare, was freakin' adorable). I didn't really call Best Design or Most Promising Playwright, but if I had, I'd've got 'em wrong.

So are the Evening Standard Theatre Awards an easily predictable joke, or are they rewarding the right people despite being a joke? Answers on a postcard, and roll on the WOS Theatre-goers' Choice shortlists!
DeNada
Broadway Star
joined:7/7/07
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re: Evening Standard Theatre Awards#3
Posted: 11/23/09 at 2:00pm
YES! RACHEL WEISZ! I LOVE YOU!

Ahem.

The thing is, no matter where your bread is buttered on this lot, none of them were undeserving. It's not like the Tonys where you get the occasional bonkers nominee who doesn't compare to the rest of them; all the winners were great, end of story.

Even if I still don't like Rupert Goold.

Did they even announce the shortlist? I know we all saw the longlist but it would be interesting to know what made it to the final stages.
DeNada
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re: Evening Standard Theatre Awards#5
Posted: 11/23/09 at 6:00pm
Thanks Weez!

I think the nominees are pretty interesting, only out of my own ignorance I'll admit. The actors/actresses are fairly illustrious, but I'm a little ashamed to say I had no idea most of the set design nominees even existed re: Evening Standard Theatre Awards

As you say, roll on the Whatsonstage popularity contest shortlists! If Paule Constable doesn't win Best Lighting this year there will be blood, I'm telling you...

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Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
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re: Evening Standard Theatre Awards#6
Posted: 11/24/09 at 2:32pm
Only 5 post on The Evening Standard Awards, really shows how much these awards matter!
DeNada
Broadway Star
joined:7/7/07
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re: Evening Standard Theatre Awards#7
Posted: 11/24/09 at 3:15pm
There's no-one talking about them because they're all about plays, and virtually no-one on the West End board goes to SEE plays. If they had more musical categories then regardless of their importance there'd be more traffic.

Sure, they're hardly very important in the grand scheme of things (the Whatsonstage thread isn't exactly bursting, either). But lack of traffic on a musicals-centric board is no indication of how important these awards may be.

Lyn Gardner wrote an interesting piece on the Standard Awards that's on the Grauniad website. I think she's right that it would be nice to have a Best Ensemble-style award (like they do at the Drama Desks? I think?) and that there's a difficult gap to breach between the bigger, more commercial shows and London's fringe when it comes to awards like this.
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Weez
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joined:9/16/05
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re: Evening Standard Theatre Awards#8
Posted: 11/24/09 at 3:40pm
Oh, now I'm torn! Do I agree that the Evening Standard awards are pointless and unimportant? Or do I point out that *any* play-heavy awards aren't going to interest the musical-lovers that hang out here? It's six of one and half a dozen of the other, really...
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Phantom of London
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joined:3/26/08
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re: Evening Standard Theatre Awards#9
Posted: 11/24/09 at 4:08pm
Weez, you love your plays, so understandable these awards would be more meaningful to you, must be one of the highlights of the year, for play fanatics.

As DeNada correctly pointed out these awards do not encompass musical theatre enough, which most people are fans of on here including myself.

The Evening Standard awards come across as very highbrow, you know, smoking jacket, bow tie and swirling brandy, that is one of the reasons why Hello Dolly won the musical category.
exedore
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joined:4/20/05
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re: Evening Standard Theatre Awards#10
Posted: 11/24/09 at 4:23pm
I see my fair share of plays.

I didn't see Enron or Jerusalem.

My loss. And Dolly was great but I would have liked to see something for Spring.
DeNada
Broadway Star
joined:7/7/07
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re: Evening Standard Theatre Awards#11
Posted: 11/24/09 at 4:50pm
At least both Enron and Jerusalem have West End transfers so you get another chance (even if the tickets are more expensive.) At least, that's where I'm planning on seeing Enron.
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Weez
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joined:9/16/05
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re: Evening Standard Theatre Awards#12
Posted: 11/24/09 at 6:24pm
Enron was a headf**k and possibly a little more well-received than conceived. It's at least 60% responsible for my current avatar, and if I don't go as an Enron-style velociraptor for Hallowe'en next year, then I'll be very surprised (or just not very good at making dinosaur heads). If you can only afford Enron *or* Jerusalem in the West End, then go for the latter.

I really can't stop laughing at the idea that *anyone* considers the Evening Standard awards high-brow, let alone people who've already said how unimportant they are. XD

Anyway. Musicals will undoubtedly get more love from other awards, which is why we shall undoubtedly be collectively looking forward to them, but play-centric =/= unimportant, and Evening Standard DEFINITELY =/= high-brow. XD
Spotlight61
Broadway Star
joined:8/28/06
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re: Evening Standard Theatre Awards#13
Posted: 11/25/09 at 7:05am
The Evening Standard Awards have been in existence for 55 years (I think!). To understand their origins you need to understand the history of newspaper readership in London. My understanding of this is that there were two principal evening newspapers in London, The Standard and The Evening News. The Standard was the more high brow of the two aiming its market share at the City bankers and captain of industry, etc.. and The News more populist, more 'working class'.

Given this socio-economic divide then it is easy to understand why the awards are more elitist and play centric, as going to plays and opera were the things to be seen at in the mid-50's.

Clearly these awards have not necessarily moved with the times and reflect a more bygone age. The fact that they give a nod to a musical is a major landmark!!

I don't however feel that these awards are any less merited to the winners. However, they do appear to be arts political concentrating upon the subsidised sector (The Royal Court, The Donmar) and not commercial success. Although many of these plays will grace the West End in a commercial capacity.

For the record, the judges of these awards are theatre critics Henry Hitchings (Evening Standard), Georgia Brown (Mail on Sunday), Susannah Clapp (Observer), Charles Spencer (Telegraph), Matt Wolf (International Herald Tribune) and the Russian owner of The Standard, Eugeny Lebedev. None of these critics review for the populist red top newspapers. So the elistism is continued through the process chosen to select the nominees.