So last night the twittersphere was alive with news from the Evening Standard Theatre Awards at the Savoy. No TV coverage (although there is a short video I've pasted at the bottom of the post) but there were plenty giving blow by blow accounts via social media as the gongs were announced.
I made some predictions a few weeks back and I'm pleased to say that I got 4 out of 5 correct: Best actor(s) for Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller jointly, Best Actress for Sheridan Smith, Best play, another joint award owing to the fact that Richard Bean had two in the category so won for One Man Two Guvnors and The Heretic and Best Newcomer for Kyle Soller (although he's the only one in the category I'd actually seen.)
The one I didn't get right and is naturally a travesty is Mike Leigh winning over Ed Hall for best director. Mike Leigh does what you expect Mike Leigh to do. OK so no one else is putting plays together in quite the same way but it's gone past being exciting and new whereas Ed Hall is producing, fresh, in your face theatre in which you never know quite what he is going to do next. Certainly I'll be rushing out to buy tickets for Propellers 2011 season at the Hampstead Theatre next year but I can't say the announcement of another Mike Leigh play would have the same affect.
Must also mention the BC/JLM joint gong which I cynically predicted would be a headline grab. Ahem and which is the headline virtually all the papers and principle news websites have gone with? Call me a cynic...but I'm still glad they won it as my first choice, Richard Clothier didn't make it onto the shortlist, not quite such a headline grabbing name perhaps?
Next awards are What's On Stage but as these are voted for by the audience it is anyone's guess who'll walk away with the prizes. (You can nominate here). It's guaranteed to be a predictable and mainstream shortlist. The only play I really want to see get some recognition is the Tennant/Tate Much Ado About Nothing because it was shamefully overlooked by the Evening Standard, not making an appearance on any of the long lists let alone short lists.