U.K. Critics' Circle Theatre Awards Honor One Man Two, Guvnors, London Road, Benedict Cumberbatch and More

By Andrew Gans
January 24, 2012

The U.K. Critics' Circle Theatre Awards, presented in a lunchtime ceremony at London's Prince of Wales Theatre Jan. 24, saw productions at the National Theatre take five of the nine awards, including those for Best New Play, Musical (New or Revival), Actor, Director and Designer.



Richard Bean's Broadway-bound One Man, Two Guvnors, first seen at the National's Lyttelton Theatre and now at the West End's Adelphi before transferring to the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, was named Best New Play, and London Road by Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork, which was developed entirely at the National and premiered at its Cottesloe Theatre, took the The Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical (new or revival).

Benedict Cumberbatch was named Best Actor for his performances in Frankenstein, in which he alternated as the Doctor and Creature with Jonny Lee Miller, and Mark Tildesley was named Best Designer for his work on the same production. Cumberbatch was not available to collect his award as he is away filming, but it was collected on his behalf by Danny Boyle, who directed Frankenstein.

Another film and theatre director, Mike Leigh, was named Best Director for his production of his own play Grief, also at the National.

Also honored for work elsewhere were Sheridan Smith, named Best Actress for her performance in Flare Path at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, and Eddie Redmayne, who won the John and Wendy Trewin Award for Best Shakespearean Performance for his performance in the title role of the current Donmar Warehouse production of Richard II.

Tom Wells was named Most Promising Playwright for his play The Kitchen Sink, seen at the Bush Theatre, and director Blanche McIntyre won The Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer (other than a playwright).

The Awards were hosted by Mark Shenton, chairman of the drama section of the Critics' Circle and Playbill.com's London correspondent. They were presented in association with Nyman Libson Paul Chartered Accountants, leading entertainment industry specialists; and supported by Delfont Mackintosh Theatres.