Visit London Blog » nicholas hytner Enjoy the very best of London Mon, 13 Apr 2015 14:17:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Evening Standard Theatre Awards: The Winners Tue, 27 Nov 2012 10:54:50 +0000

The famous faces in The Savoy ballroom on Sunday night were enough to make anyone a bit giddy. I was lucky to join stars Judi Dench, Anna Wintour, Bill Nighy, Damian Lewis, Ian McKellen, Colin Firth and Danny Boyle to celebrate the capital’s best theatre, at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2012.

Compere James Corden opened the ceremony with a cheeky song called “For the love of awards”, reminding us that he has a tip-top singing voice as well as plenty of wit. The night had some serious moments too: double award-winner Nicholas Hytner spoke passionately in support of public funding for the arts, and Judi Dench was moved by a special award.


Judi Dench

Everyone’s favourite Bond matriarch was awarded the Moscow Art Theatre Golden Seagull Award, a golden bird-shaped broach that signifies her achievements in bringing London theatre to the world’s attention. “I’ll never take it off,” she declared.

Danny Boyle

After he got the Queen to jump out of a helicopter (or so it seemed) in the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, it’s fitting that Danny Boyle’s extraordinary £27 million production should get special recognition. He and his team scooped up the Beyond Theatre Award for pushing the boundaries of theatre with the ceremony, which was arguably the best – and certainly the biggest – performance of the year.

Nicholas Hytner

The director of the National Theatre picked up the Best Director award for setting the little-known Shakespeare play Timon of Athens in modern times. Hytner also won the Lebedev Special Award in recognition of his ten-year leadership of the National Theatre, which has seen him bring War Horse and One Man, Two Guvnors to the stage.

One to watch – Matthew Tennyson

Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Hardy won the Outstanding Newcomer Award in their early days, so it’s worth keeping your eye on young actor Matthew Tennyson who won this year’s prize for his role in Making Noise Quietly at the Donmar Warehouse.


The Judas Kiss

The Judas Kiss, a play about Oscar Wilde was on everyone’s lips at the awards, despite not being nominated. It received glowing praise from National Theatre director Nicholas Hytner, who described Rupert Everett’s performance as one of the best on the London stage for years.


Writer Nick Payne won the award for Best Play for Constellations, becoming the youngest person to the category at just 29. It’s a tender story of love, awkwardness and string theory, using physics as a metaphor for life.

Sweeney Todd

Named Best Musical at the awards, this tale of a homicidal barber could convince even those allergic to musical theatre to burst into song. Stephen Sondheim’s score for Sweeney Todd is delicious in its complexity, and leading duo Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton are musical royalty.

Have you seen any of the award-winners? Or have you seen some theatre recently that deserves an award?

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Thursday Theatre News: Wicked, Dirty Dancing and National Theatre Excitement Thu, 21 Jan 2010 18:46:54 +0000 In a week dominated by a trip to see Legally Blonde (yes, I’m still humming the songs), there’s nice news from another pair of London musicals.

Wicked has been voted the best musical of the Noughties by visitors to, with Spring Awakening and Avenue Q coming in second and third. It’s nice for the Wicked team, but to be honest, I’m not convinced by any poll that has Billy Elliot at No.7 (surely top 3?), and is missing Mamma Mia, Phantom of the Opera and Les Mis.

Next up is Dirty Dancing, which is having a Valentine’s Day Charity Gala on 13 February in aid of Magic 105.4’s Cash for Kids charity. If you’re a fan, make sure you’re there for this special show.

Also this week, the Tricycle Theatre’s announced the third play in their Irish Season. Pat McCabe’s The Dead School joins Greta Garbo Came To Donegal and Chronicles of Long Kesh at the theatre this spring. The Dead School arrives at the Tricycle after a Ireland and a sell-out run at the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival in 2009, where it was nominated for three Irish Times Theatre Awards including Best Production. If you saw it, tell us about it!

But all the big news today has been about the National Theatre’s new season. And it’s got me breathless with excitement.

There’s Oscar-winner Danny Boyle directing a new take on Frankenstein, and (my personal favourite) Rupert Goold directing a new play by Mike Bartlett about global warming called Earthquakes In London. Shakespeare fans can see a £10 Hamlet with Clare Higgins and Rory Kinnear, directed by Nicholas Hytner, as well as Twelfth Night directed by Peter Hall for his 80th birthday, starring his daughter, film and stage actress Rebecca Hall, as Viola. Wow.

There’s more: I’m personally chuffed to see two shows transferring from my hometown theatres in Northampton: Eugene O’Neill’s Beyond The Horizon and Tennessee Williams’s Spring Storm from the Royal & Derngate Theatres start the new season in April.

Read the whole story of the National Theatre’s 2010 plans on the Official London Theatre website, and put the booking dates in your diaries today! It’s going to be great.

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