A winning perfromance from James Corden?
The Critics' Circle Theatre Awards - the biggest event in the Drama Section's year - will take place at 1pm on Tuesday 24 January at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Section chairman, Mark Shenton, will host the awards after a warm-up by Arthur Smith, a man guaranteed to start the party off with some ancient jokes and more than a few digs at the critical fraternity.
Given that the Evening Standard Awards close their year at the end of October, there are plenty of new shows to consider including 'Noises Off' at the Old Vic, Lindsay Posner's production of 'Hamlet' with Michael Sheen, and the final production by Michael Grandage (a frequent winner at these awards) at the Donmar of 'Richard ll' with Eddie Redmayne.
Will Kristin Scott Thomas win the Best Actress award for 'Betrayal' this time rather than Evening Standard award winner Sheridan Smith for 'Flare Path'? Will Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller once again share the honours for 'Frankenstein'? Or will James Corden trump them both for his performance as the multi-tasking servant in 'One Man, Two Guvnors', another National Theatre show which has set a fashion for farces.
Shakeapearean revivals always seem to come in clutches and this year there were two highly regarded productions of 'Much Ado about Nothing'. How will Charles Edwards and Eve Best at Shakespeare's Globe fare against David Tennant and Catherine Tate in the West End? Will the critics continue to champion 'Betty Blue Eyes' despite its short run at the Novello, or favour the experimental 'London Road' at the National Cottesloe or Jonathan Kent's brilliant revival of 'Sweeney Todd' at Chichester? The runaway success 'Matilda' was, of course, a winner last year when it opened at the RSC's new theatre in Stratford.
Presenters may lack the glamour of the more famous names at the Standard and Olivier Awards (although Georgina Brown can be relied upon to set the bar high), but each presenter not only saw the person or show they are honouring but actually voted for it and they sometimes even have interesting things to say about it. How often do you get that at an awards ceremony?
The event is is presented in association with Nyman Libson Paul Chartered Accountants (http://www.nlpca.co.uk/), leading entertainment specialists; and supported by Delfont Mackintosh Theatres. It is by invitation only.
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