The London Theatre Awards were announced Feb. 20 at the Theatre Museum in Covent Garden. Winners of the Critics' Circle Drama Section included Stephen Poliakoff's Blinded By The Sun as best new play, and Richard Eyre's staging of Guys And Dolls as best musical. Eyre, outgoing director of the Royal National Theatre, nabbed best director for both John Gabriel Borkman and Guys And Dolls.
Janet McTeer, however, was seeing double, as she won both the Olivier and Critics Circle award for best actress for A Doll's House, which, like Stanley, is also Broadway-bound. Old Wicked Songs, a play that came to NY before London, gave the awards ceremony its "most promising newcomer," James Callis. He played the neurotic pianist opposite Bob Hoskins in the critically acclaimed drama. Previous newcomer award recipients include Sam Mendes and Julia Ormond.
Martin McDonagh was named most promising playwright for The Beauty Queen Of Leenane, and Robert Innes Hopkins was rewarded for his Comedy Of Errors set design.
The 8th annual London Theatre Critics' Awards honored plays presented in London during 1996. Allen Robertson serves as president of the entire Critics' Circle for drama, music, film and ballet, which was founded in 1913. Jane Edwardes is president of the Circle's drama section. --By David Lefkowitz