The National Theatre claimed a near full-sweep of the 42nd annual Evening Standard Drama Awards held Nov. 28 in London. Sir Richard Eyre took two personal awards - best director for Tom Stoppard's newest play The Invention of Love which has just extended its run and the highly acclaimed production of King Lear - and a Special Award in recognition of his 10 years leadership of the National which ended in September.
Broadcast on the UK's ITV, the Evening Standard Awards were staged at the Savoy.
The National's diverse repertory also scooped Best Play for The Invention of Love; Best Actor for Ian Holm in King Lear; Best Comedy for Patrick Marber's Closer, his second play which has recently transferred to the Lyttelton Theatre from the National's smaller Cottesloe venue, and Best Musical for Lady in the Dark which finished its run this summer.It played at the RNT's Lyttleton space, where the Stoppard drama is scheduled to transfer 20 Dec..
Other awards included: Best Actress for Eileen Atkins in the revival of Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance currently playing at the Theatre Royal with Maggie Smith; most Promising Playwright for Conor McPherson and his play The Weir, which will soon return to the Royal Court Theatre where it received its world premiere earlier this year. The Patricia Rothermere Award was given to Dame Judi Dench and March Rice-Oxley. -- By David Lefkowitz and Terri Paddock, What's On Stage, London