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Danny Boyle's Olympics spectacular wins special recognition at theatre awards


Danny Boyle's spectacular Olympic opening ceremony has received special recognition at the 58th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards.

The Oscar-winning director and his team were presented with the Beyond Theatre award by TeamGB's cycling champion Victoria Pendleton.

Judges praised the London 2012 curtain-raiser for its "outstanding work" in taking theatre outside of the traditional stage.

In a star-studded event at the Savoy Hotel in central London, National Theatre director Sir Nicholas Hytner walked away with two awards, while playwright Nick Payne became the youngest ever winner in the Best Play category.

The 29-year-old was presented with the prestigious prize for his metaphysical love story Constellations, starring Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall.

Sir Nicholas won Best Director for the play Timon of Athens as well as picking up the Lebedev Special Award to mark his decade at the helm of the National Theatre.

The 56-year-old's stage successes have included worldwide hits War Horse, One Man, Two Guvnors and The History Boys.

Dame Judi Dench was honoured for her contribution to world theatre with the Moscow Art Theatre's Golden Seagull award.

Meanwhile, Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett lost out in the Best Actress category to Hattie Morahan who won for her moving interpretation of trapped housewife, Nora, in A Doll's House at the Young Vic theatre.

Simon Russell Beale won Best Actor for his portrayal of Stalin in Collaborators, the black comic drama at the National's Cottesloe.

Best Musical went to Sweeney Todd, directed by Jonathan Kent and starring Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton.

The awards ceremony was presented by James Corden and attracted a host of stars from theatre, film and music.

London Evening Standard editor Sarah Sands said: "The Evening Standard winners show the extraordinary creative talent in London theatre. Big moral questions are being tackled with imagination and wit.

"The success of the Evening Standard depends on the greatness of this city and it was on glorious display at the Savoy last night."

The theatre awards, in association with Burberry, were hosted by Evgeny Lebedev, owner of the Standard, Christopher Bailey, chief creative officer of Burberry, and Anna Wintour, American Vogue editor-in-chief and daughter of the late Standard editor, Charles Wintour.

The full list of winners were:

  • Best play - Constellations by Nick Payne
  • Best director - Sir Nicholas Hytner for Timon of Athens
  • Best actor - Simon Russell Beale for Collaborators
  • Natasha Richardson award for best actress - Hattie Morahan for A Doll's House
  • Ned Sherrin award for best musical - Sweeney Todd
  • Best design - Soutra Gilmour for Inadmissible Evidence and Antigone
  • Charles Wintour award for most promising playwright - Lolita Chakrabarti for Red Velvet
  • Milton Shulman award for outstanding newcomer - Matthew Tennyson for Making Noise Quietly
  • Lebedev special award - Sir Nicholas Hytner for his dynamic directorship of the National Theatre
  • Editor's award - David Hare for his contribution to theatre
  • Beyond theatre - Danny Boyle and his team for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics
  • Burberry award for emerging director - Simon Godwin
  • Moscow Art Theatre's Golden Seagull - Dame Judi Dench