Jerusalem Named Best Play in London Evening Standard Theatre Awards; Special Award to Ian McKellen

By Mark Shenton
23 Nov 2009

Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem scored a double victory in the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards, presented in a lunchtime ceremony at the Royal Opera House's Floral Hall Nov. 23. The title earned the award for Best Play and Best Actor (Mark Rylance).

The production, which was originally premiered at the Royal Court, transfers to the West End's Apollo Theatre in the New Year, beginning performances Jan. 28.

Rupert Goold's production of Lucy Prebble's Enron, also seen at the Royal Court in a co-production with Headlong and Chichester Festival Theatre and also transferring to the West End, where it begins performances at the Noel Coward Theatre Jan. 16, saw its director take the Best Director Award.

Rachel Weisz, who played Blanche du Bois in the Donmar Warehouse's production of A Streetcar Named Desire, took the newly-renamed Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress.

Ian McKellen was given the Lebedev Special Award for his outstanding contribution to British theatre.

The awards were chosen by a panel of London theatre critics comprising the Standard's chief theatre critic Henry Hitchings, The Observer's Susannah Clapp, the Mail on Sunday's Georgina Brown, the Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer and the International Herald Tribune's Matt Wolf.

The full list of winners (picked out in bold) and nominees is as follows:

Best Play
Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth (Royal Court)
August: Osage County by Tracy Letts (Steppenwolf at the National's Lyttelton)
Enron by Lucy Prebble (Royal Court)
Punk Rock by Simon Stephens (Lyric Hammersmith

Best Actor
Mark Rylance for Jerusalem (Royal Court)
Simon Russell Beale for The Winter's Tale (Old Vic)
Ken Stott for A View from the Bridge (Duke of York's)
Samuel West for Enron (Royal Court)

The Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress
Rachel Weisz for A Streetcar Named Desire (Donmar Warehouse)

Deanna Dunegan for August: Osage County (Steppenwolf at the National's Lyttelton)
Penny Downie for Helen (Shakespeare's Globe)
Juliet Stevenson for Duet for One (Almeida/Vaudeville)

Best Director
Rupert Goold for Enron (Royal Court)

Jeremy Herrin for Tusk Tusk (Royal Court)
Ian Rickson for Jerusalem (Royal Court)
Anna D Shapiro for August: Osage County (Steppenwolf at the National's Lytttelton)

The Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical
Hello, Dolly! (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park)

A Little Night Music (Menier Chocolate Factory/Garrick)
Been So Long (Young Vic)
Spring Awakening (Lyric Hammersmith/Novello)

Best Design
Mamoru Iriguchi for Mincemeat (Cardboard Citizens at Cordy House, Shoreditch)

Jon Bausor for Kursk (Young Vic)
Miriam Buether for Judgement Day (Almeida)
Ultz for Jerusalem (Royal Court)

The Charles Wintour Award for most promising playwright
Alia Bano for Shades (Royal Court)

Katori Hall for Mountaintop (Theatre 503 & Trafalgar Studios)
Alexi Kaye Campbell for The Pride (Royal Court) and Apologia (Bush Theatre)

The Milton Shulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer
Lenny Henry for Othello (Northern Broadsides at Trafalgar Studios)

Naana Agyei-Ampadu for Been So Long (Young Vic)
Bel Powley for Tusk Tusk (Royal Court)
Tom Sturridge for Punk Rock (Lyric Hammersmith)