Sunday, 20 November 2016

Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2016 | LittleEllieMae

On Sunday evening I was lucky enough to attend The Evening Standard Theatre Awards at The Old Vic theatre in London. 

It was an incredibly spectacular night full of glitz and glamour and of course some wonderful theatre.

One of my favourite comedians and actors, Rob Brydon, hosted the night. He kept the award show afloat with his hilarious gags and impressions. 
He was joined by a star- studded cast of co-hosts who presented awards on the night, including HRH Prince William, Sir Elton John, Dame Maggie Smith, Orlando Bloom, Tom Hiddleston and many many more. 

Amber Riley gave a stunning performance of 'And I Am Telling You' from her new Dreamgirls venture. She blew the roof off the Old Vic... she gave the most incredible performance ever. She most definitely deserved the standing ovation that she received. Her vocals on that night has prompted me to buy tickets for Dreamgirls at The Savoy theatre ASAP!

The room was filled to the brim with celebrity names who whooped and cheered the winners all night long. I was mesmerised as I looked around the room and continued to notice more and more show-stopping names. It was the first real awards ceremony I've ever attended so it was all very exciting for me!

There was a great variety of awards on the night, showcasing the very best of British theatre and entertainment. 

The nominees and winners are listed below:

Best Actor
Winner: Ralph Fiennes - The Master Builder (Old Vic)/Richard III (Almeida)
Kenneth Branagh - The Entertainer(Garrick)
O-T Fagbenle - Ma Rainey's Black Bottom(National Theatre's, Lyttelton)
James McArdle - Platonov (Chichester Festival Theatre/National Theatre, Olivier)
Ian McKellan - No Man's Land(Wyndham's Theatre)

Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress

Winner: Billie Piper - Yerma (Young Vic)

Noma Dumezweni- Linda (Royal Court, Jerwood Downstairs)
Helen McCrory - The Deep Blue Sea(National Theatre, Lyttelton)
Sophie Melville - Iphigenia in Splott(Sherman Cymru/National Theatre/Temporary Theatre)

Best Musical Performance

Winner: Glenn Close - Sunset Boulevard (Coliseum)

Andy Karl - Groundhog Day (The Old Vic)
Sheridan Smith - Funny Girl (Savoy) 

Best Play

Winner: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne, J K Rowling & John Tiffany (Palace Theatre) 

Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1,2 & 3) , by Suzan-Lori Parks (Royal Court, Jerwood Downstairs)
The Flick, by Annie Baker (National Theatre, Dorfman) 

Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical

Winner: Jesus Christ Superstar - Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Funny Girl - Menier Chocolate Factory/Savoy

Groundhog Day - Old Vic
Guys and Dolls - Savoy/Phoenix
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour - National Theatre, Dorfman
Sunset Boulevard - Coliseum

Milton Shulman Award for Best Director

Winner: John Malkovich - Good Canary (Rose Kingston)

Dominic Cooke - Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (National Theatre, Lyttelton)  
John Tiffany - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Palace) 

Best Revival

Winner: No Man's Land - Wyndham's (dir Sean Mathias)

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom - National Theatre, Lyttelton (dir Dominic Cooke)

Young Chekhov: Platonov, Ivanov and The Seagull - Chichester Festival Theatre/National Theatre, Olivier

Les Blancs - National Theatre, Olivier (dir Yael Farber)

Best Design

Winner: Gareth Fry with Peter Malkin (sound design) - The Encounter (Edinburgh International Festival/Barbican)

Jon Bausor - You For Me For You (Royal Court, Jerwood Upstairs)
Rob Howell - The Master Builder (Old Vic)/Groundhog Day (Old Vic) 

Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright

Winner: Charlene James - Cuttin' It(Young Vic/Royal Court/Yard)

Jon Brittain - Rotterdam(Theatre503/Trafalgar Studios)
David Ireland - Cyprus Avenue (Royal Court, Jerwood Upstairs) 

Emerging Talent Award in partnership with Burberry

Winner: Tyrone Huntley - Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre)

Jaygann Ayeh - The Flick (National Theatre, Dorfman)
Anthony Boyle - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Palace)
Aoife Duffin - A Girl is a Half-formed Thing (Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin & Young Vic) and The Taming of the Shrew(Shakespeare's Globe) 

Beyond Theatre Award

David Attenborough, for his contribution to broadcasting

Editor's Award

Good Chance Theatre

Lebedev Award

Kenneth Branagh, for his plays at the Garrick

There were some fantastic and very well deserving winners this year. Some of which I predicted, and others that were a great surprise!

A few of my favourite winners include Tyrone Huntley of the Emerging Talent Award in partnership with Burberry for his role as Judas in Regent Park Open Air Theatre's production of Jesus Christ Superstar. I've been following his career for a little while now and I'm thrilled at his success. I can't wait to see him smash the role of C.C. White, opposite Amber Riley in Dreamgirls next.

The Editor's Award went to Good Chance Theatre who made a real impact on the whole night. Good Chance Theatre is a theatre company, operating in the Calais Jungle migrant camp. In a place of such despair and fear, Good Chance set up a theatre of hope. During the day they scheduled writing workshops, music lessons, dance, acting and performances. In the evenings they held communal events to bring the communities together with poetry slams, stand up comedy, acoustic sets, theatre performances, rap battles, film nights and mass chill outs. Founded by British playwrights Joe and Joe, the theatre scheme has been such a massive success in providing entertainment and most importantly a glimmer of hope to these people's lives. I found their speech incredibly inspiring and it goes to show why theatre is so so important and relevant in today's world. Very deserving winners indeed.

A theme of the evening seemed to emphasise the importance of art and theatre. In many speeches, the winners and presenters spoke out about wider issues and especially made a point to encourage the younger generation in which a handful of students cheered about in the upper circle.
 Kenneth Branagh said that there has "never been a greater need for entertain, to divert and also to know that we and they are not alone. It matters.”. Andrew Lloyd Webber spoke up whilst receiving his award for Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical for Jesus Christ Superstar by directing the Government, “Can I passionately beg you to believe you must stop cutting the arts in schools.” Sir Patrick Stewart raised the issue of elitism in the industry, directing his speech towards Theresa May, he says “Some of us will have the impertinence to have ambition. Working-class scum will have ambition.”. All of which, as you can imagine, received loud roaring applause. Its nice that things aren't being swept under the carpet and during this awards ceremony, it really showed the political and social importance of the art.

The evening was surreal and wonderful. It has inspired me beyond words to be surrounded by such creative, successful, motivated people. It has proved once again that theatre is most definitely not a dying art form. Its prevalent and powerful than ever before and London is still its home. How lucky we are. 

Thanks to the Evening Standard for inviting me along to the awards. I had such a fantastic time!

Ellie Mae x

Disclaimer: I was kindly invited to this event by Evening Standard/ The Communications Store but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Photos credited David M Benett for The Evening Standard. 

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