|Evening Standard Theatre Awards|
|Awarded for||Outstanding achievements in London theatre|
|Presented by||Evening Standard|
The Evening Standard Theatre Awards, established in 1955, are the oldest theatrical awards ceremony in the United Kingdom. They are presented annually for outstanding achievements in London Theatre, and are organised by the Evening Standard newspaper. They are the West End's equivalent to Broadway's Drama Desk Awards.
Hosted by The Evening Standard proprietor Evgeny Lebedev and co-hosted by Anna Wintour, the much celebrated theatre awards remain The Evening Standard's signature event. It is the first major awards ceremony within the events calendar every year and attracts A-list celebrities along with the movers and shakers from the theatre world.
The trophies take the form of a modelled statuette, a figure representing Drama, designed by Frank Dobson RA, a former Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art.
Three of the awards are given in the names of former Evening Standard notables:
In 2009 The Special Award was given in the name of Evgeny Lebedev, executive director of the Evening Standard.
In 1980, noting the first use of the Special Award category, Shulman observed that "In 1968 the judges felt that Alan Bennett's work Forty Years On did not fit either the category of a Play or a Musical. But since they liked it so much they gave him the coveted Dobson statuette as a Special Award. In a quarter of a century, only in 1968 had no-one been designated as 'Promising' although it could conceivably be argued that Alan Bennett's Special Award was a reasonable substitute for this category."
The Special Awards process came to a climax in 2004 when, in the 50th anniversary year, the category was used to signal peaks of accomplishment by the National Theatre (an institution), Harold Pinter (a playwright) and Dame Judi Dench (a performer).
The Patricia Rothermere Award, presented biennially from 1999 to 2005 recognised those who had given outstanding support to young actors. There was also a three-year scholarship award for a drama student. Lady Rothermere is the wife of Lord Rothermere, chairman of the Daily Mail and General Trust, former owners of the Evening Standard.
Commencing in 2007, the award for Best Musical was renamed The Ned Sherrin Award, in memory of the entertainer and raconteur, for many years the witty compere of the Evening Standard Awards ceremony.
The Best Actress award is now named in tribute to Natasha Richardson, who died after a skiing accident in Quebec in March 2009.
The 2007 Awards lunchtime ceremony took place at the Savoy Hotel in London on 27 November 2007. The judges' assessments of the winners are online.
The 2008 winners were announced in a ceremony at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, on 24 November 2008. The judges' assessments are online.
The 2009 winners were announced in a ceremony, again at the Royal Opera House, on Monday, 23 November 2009. The judges' assessments are online.
The 2010 winners were announced at a celebratory evening ceremony on Thursday 28 November 2010 in the newly refurbished Savoy Hotel.
The 2011 winners were announced in a ceremony at the Savoy Hotel on 20 November 2011.
The 2012 winners were announced in a ceremony again at the Savoy Hotel on 25 November 2012.
The 2013 winners were announced in a ceremony again at the Savoy Hotel on 17 November 2013.
The 2014 winners were announced in a ceremony at the London Palladium on 30 November 2014.
The 2015 winners were announced in a ceremony at the Old Vic Theatre on 22 November 2015.
The 2016 winners were announced in a ceremony again at the Old Vic Theatre on 13 November 2016.
The 2017 winners were announced in a ceremony at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 3 December 2017.
The 2018 winners were announced in a ceremony again at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 18 November 2018.
The 2019 winners were announced in a ceremony at the London Coliseum on 24 November 2019.
Main article: Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play
Also known as The Sydney Edwards Award for Best Director from 1979. Renamed the Milton Shulman Award for Best Director from 2014.
Also known as The Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress from 2009
Renamed the Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical in 2007
Also known as the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright
Also known as the Milton Shulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer