The awards, presented Nov. 17 in a ceremony at London's Savoy Hotel that was hosted by Damian Lewis, also saw Lucy Kirkwood's Chimerica named Best Play, and special awards presented to Kevin Spacey, Maggie Smith and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Lester and Kinnear, who were both nominated for the National's Othello in which they respectively played the title role and Iago, shared the award for Best Actor, while Mirren took the award for Best Actress for her performance in The Audience.
Broadway actor Seth Numrich was named Outstanding Newcomer for his London debut in Sweet Bird of Youth at the Old Vic, opposite Kim Cattrall.
Merrily We Roll Along won the Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical, from a shortlist that also included The Light Princess (which took the inaugural Best Musical Performance for its star Rosalie Craig in the title role) and The Book of Mormon (which, as previously announced, has already won the reader-voted ''London's best night out" Award).
In addition to the nine award categories listed below, for which nominations were announced – and are decided by a panel of theatre critics and London Evening Standard's editor, Sarah Sands – six other special Awards were presented without shortlists. These are the Emerging Talent Award in Partnership with Burberry, the Award for Comedy (new this year), the Lebedev Special Award, the Editor's Award, Beyond Theatre and the London Evening Standard Theatre Icon Award. Cush Jumbo won the Emerging Talent Award in partnership with Burberry for her playwrighting debut Josephine and I, in which she also starred at the Bush Theatre. The new Award for Comedy went to David Walliams for his performance as Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream, seen as part of the Michael Grandage Company season at the Novello Theatre. The Lebedev Special Award was presented to Andrew Lloyd Webber for his contribution to musical theatre. The Editor's Award was given to Kevin Spacey for his contribution to British theatre at the helm of the Old Vic, a role he is stepping down from next year. The Beyond Theatre award was given to the BBC Proms 2013. The London Evening Standard Theatre Icon Aawrd was presented to Maggie Smith for her contribution ot the world stage.
In a press statement, Sarah Sands, editor of the Evening Standard and one of the judges, has commented, "The high level of theatrical daring and creativity seen on the London stage this year made our choices tougher than ever to make. We, like the rest of the world, have been dazzled by the talent on show. It feels important for London’s paper to celebrate this significant sector that spills over into other areas of cultural life."
The full list of nominees and winners is as follows, with winners shown in bold preceded by an asterisk:
*Rory Kinnear for Othello at National's Olivier
*Adrian Lester for Othello at National's Olivier
Chiwetel Ejiofor for A Season in the Congo at Young Vic
Nastasha Richardson Award for Best Actress
*Helen Mirren for The Audience at Gielgud
Linda Bassett for Roots at Donmar Warehouse
Lesley Manville for Ghosts at Almeida
Billie Piper for The Effect at National's Cottesloe
Kristin Scott Thomas for Old Times at Harold Pinter
*Chimerica by Lucy Kirkwood at Almeida and Harold Pinter
The Dark Earth and the Light Sky by Nick Dear at Almeida
The Effect by Lucy Prebble at National's Cottesloe
Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical
*Merrily We Roll Along at Menier Chocolate Factory and Harold Pinter
The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales
The Light Princess at the National (Lyttelton)
*Richard Eyre for Ghosts at Almeida
Nicholas Hytner for Othello at National's Olivier
Rufus Norris for The Amen Corner at National's Olivier
Lyndsey Turner for Chimerica at Almeida and Harold Pinter
*Bob Crowley for People at National's Lyttelton and The Audience at Gielgud and Once at Phoenix
Es Devlin for Chimerica at Almeida and Pinter
Tim Hatley (design) & Peter Mumford (lighting) for Ghosts at Almeida
Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright
*Rachel De-lahay for Routes at Royal Court
Rory Kinnear for The Herd at Bush
Phoebe Waller-Bridge for Fleabag at Soho
Milton Shulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer
*Seth Numrich for Sweet Bird of Youth at Old Vic
Daniel Boyd for 4000 Miles at Print Room
Luke Thompson for A Midsummer Night's Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe
Olivia Vinall for Othello at National's Olivier
Best Musical Performance
*Rosalie Craig for The Light Princess at National's Lyttelton
Cynthia Erivo for The Color Purple at Menier Chocolate Factory
Charlotte Wakefield for The Sound of Music at Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park