Many of the West End's great and good were present at the elegant Saloon at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, this afternoon to celebrate the winners of this year's Critics Circle Awards, presented by Theatregoer magazine.
As well as editor Ruth Leon (the editor-in-chief being Madeleine Lloyd Webber), who gave a customarily pithy and well-observed speech, numerous West End theatre critics were on hand to announce the winners in the various categories. The recipients made brief acceptance speeches as the wine flowed and canapés were passed round, and for a moment it seemed more like a Summer party than the depths of winter - even the afternoon's thunderstorm waited until just after the last award had been presented.
And the winners were:
Best New Play:
Charlotte Jones, for Humble Boy
Kiss Me Kate
Ian McDiarmid in Faith Healer
Lindsay Duncan, for Mouth to Mouth and Private Lives
John and Wendy Trewin Award for Best Shakespeare Performance:
Samuel West for Hamlet. This award was presented by last year's inaugural winner, Simon Russell Beale, who also won the award for his performance in Hamlet.
Robert Lepage for The Far Side of the Moon
Paul Brown for Platanov
Most Promising Playwright:
Gregory Burke for Gagarin Way
Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer:
Lyndsey Marshal for performances in Redundant and The Boston Marriage.
—by Paul Webb Theatrenow