Clybourne Park, Matilda and Suchet Honored in London's Critics' Circle Theatre Awards
25 Jan 2011
Bruce Norris' Clybourne Park was named Best New Play in the 2010 Critics' Circle Theatre Awards, the ceremony of which was held Jan. 25 at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London. The award follows the play's U.K. premiere at the Royal Court in 2010; it's about to resume performances at the West End's Wyndham's Theatre Jan. 28.
Other big wins were taken by the RSC's production of Matilda, named Best Musical (new or revival), for its run at Stratford-upon-Avon's Courtyard Theatre (ending Jan. 30) and David Suchet, named Best Actor for his performance in Arthur Miller's All My Sons at the West End's Apollo Theatre.
In addition, the award for Best Director was given jointly to Michael Grandage (for his current production of King Lear at the Donmar Warehouse, running there through Feb. 5, then touring) and Thea Sharrock (for her National Theatre production of After the Dance, marking the first time a woman has won in this category). Derek Jacobi took the John and Wendy Trewin Award for Best Shakespearean Performance for playing the title role in Grandage's production of King Lear.
Jenny Jules won the award for Best Actress for performance in the Almeida's production of Ruined, and Bunny Christie was named Best Designer for her work on The White Guard, seen at the National Theatre.
Anya Reiss was named Most Promising Playwright, for Spur of the Moment, written when she was just 17. It premiered at the Royal Court's Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, and Daniel Kaluuya was named Most Promising Newcomer (other than a playwright) for his performance in Sucker Punch, also seen at the Royal Court.
The ceremony was hosted by the Critics' Circle drama section chairman (and Playbill.com London correspondent) Mark Shenton. The awards represent the critics' personal choice of the best in theatre, from throughout the U.K., during the last calendar year. In contrast with other theatre awards, the Critics' Circle Theatre Award winners are always decided by the independent votes of Drama Section members, with no panel discussions or public/industry influence exerted.
Lucian Msamati, Lorna Brown and Martin Freeman in Clybourne Park
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.