Hamilton, Bryan Cranston, and Andrew Scott among Critics’ Circle Theatre Award winners

Andrew Scott, Bryan Cranston, John McCrea, Sheila Atim

The winners of the 2017 Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards have been announced at a ceremony at London’s Prince of Wales Theatre.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton, which recently opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre in the West End, has won the award for Best Musical, while Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman took the award for Best Play following runs at the Royal Court and its subsequent transfer to the Gielgud Theatre. Butterworth has previously won the award twice before for his plays Mojo (1995) and Jerusalem (2009).

In the acting categories, Bryan Cranston won the award for Best Actor after his performance as newscaster Howard Beale in the National Theatre production of Network. Before collecting his award, Cranston spoke to LondonTheatre.co.uk about performing in London, and said: "The British theatre audience is very protective and honest in the way they respond. What I don’t like about [performing in] the US is that a standing ovation is part of what is expected of an audience. You want to earn that, and I really appreciated that about the London audience.”

Victoria Hamilton won her third Critics’ Circle Award for Best Actress, this time for starring as Audrey Walters in Albion at the Almeida Theatre. The award for Best Shakespearean Performance went to actor Andrew Scott for his portrayal of Hamlet in Robert Icke’s Almeida Theatre production. Prior to accepting the award, Scott said: "It feels terrific. These guys know what they’re talking about, and it’s my first big Shakespearean character, so it’s amazing."

The Best Newcomer award was shared by two musical theatre performers this year: Sheila Atim for her role in Girl from the North Country, and John McCrea for his performance as the title character in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

The National Theatre production of Follies was awarded two honours at the ceremony. Dominic Cooke won the prize for Best Director, and Vicki Mortimer won Best Designer.

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins was named Most Promising Playwright for his works An Octoroon (Orange Tree Theatre) and Gloria (Hampstead Theatre).

David Lan was given a Special Award at the ceremony for services to theatre. Lan has been the artistic director at the Young Vic for 18 years, and announced last year he would be stepping down, with Kwame Kwei-Amah taking over the role. Asked about how the London theatre scene has changed since he first took over at the space, Lan said: “I think there’s a lot more of it. The commercial world is pretty much the same, but there are so many small places run independently by brilliant, inventive people doing their own particular thing, and that’s great.”

 

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