Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2018: Hamilton wins top prizes

Historical hip hop West End hit triumphs in best musical and emerging talent categories

Monday 19 November 2018 00:11
The cast of Hamilton attend the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2018 at the Theatre Royal in London.
The cast of Hamilton attend the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2018 at the Theatre Royal in London.

Hamilton won the coveted prize for best musical at the Evening Standard’s Theatre Awards on Sunday.

Lin-Manuel Miranda's historical show also triumphed in the emerging talent category through Jamael Westman, who plays the lead role of Alexander Hamilton.

The West End transfer of the hip hop musical about the founding fathers of America has been a sell-out success after taking Broadway by storm in 2015.

It opened in London in December 2017 and a recent gala performance was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who called the production “absolutely incredible” and “so engaging, every moment of it”.

The National Theatre’s production of Antony and Cleopatra also won two awards, taking home both the best actor and best actress gongs.

Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo were recognised for their portrayal of the titular characters in Shakespeare’s historical drama.

The best play award was claimed by The Inheritance. The two-part production inspired by EM Forster’s classic novel Howard’s End examines what life is like as a gay man living in New York, a generation after the Aids crisis.

Veteran West End producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh was given the Lebedev award in recognition of his contribution to musical theatre.

Sir Cameron is the brains behind many of London’s longest-running and most successful shows, including Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, and he also took charge of Hamilton’s arrival in the capital.

The new musical Company also took home two awards, with Marianne Elliott scooping best director and Rosalie Craig winning recognition for the best musical performance.

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The best design award went to Miriam Buether for her work on The Jungle, a play set in the Calais migrant camp.

Natasha Gordon was recognised as the most promising playwright for the National Theatre production of Nine Night.

Writer and comedian Phoebe Waller-Bridge hosted this year’s ceremony and made reference to the sexual assault allegations which have rocked the film and theatre industries over the past year.

Speaking to the audience at the Theatre Royal, Ms Waller-Bridge said: “The industry took a great big slap in the cock last year.”

And referencing her second hosting of the annual awards, she said: “Like many sexual predators of the last year, I’ve been given a wary second chance.”

She said London theatre “has had a banger of a year for diversity,” paying tribute to the fact that 60 per cent of the best play nominees were women.

Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2018: The winners in full...

Best actor, in partnership with Ambassador Theatre Group: Ralph Fiennes, Antony and Cleopatra (National Theatre)

Natasha Richardson award for best actress, in partnership with Christian Louboutin: Sophie Okonedo, Antony and Cleopatra (National Theatre)

Best play, in partnership with Chanel: The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez (Young Vic & Noël Coward Theatre)

Milton Shulman Award for Best Director: Marianne Elliott Company (Gielgud Theatre)

Best musical: Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre)

Best musical performance: Rosalie Craig Company (Gielgud Theatre)

Best design: Miriam Buether The Jungle (Young Vic & Playhouse Theatre)

Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright: Natasha Gordon, Nine Night (National Theatre)

Emerging Talent Award, in partnership with Access Entertainment: Jamael Westman, Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre)

Lebedev Award: Sir Cameron Mackintosh, for his contribution to musical theatre

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