Dame Maggie Smith and Andrew Scott win top prizes at theatre awards

By Lucy Mapstone, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Dame Maggie Smith and Andrew Scott were among the big winners at the Evening Standard’s Theatre Awards.

Dame Maggie was awarded her fifth Natasha Richardson Award for best actress for her performance as Goebbels’ secretary in A German Life, fending off competition from Hayley Atwell, Cecilia Noble, Juliet Stevenson and Anjana Vasan.

The veteran stage and screen star, 84, now holds the record for the most wins in the category, having previously won the accolade in 1962, 1970, 1984 and 1994.

Anne-Marie Duff (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Fleabag star Scott took the prize for best actor for his appearance in the gender-switched version of Noel Coward’s Present Laughter.

He succeeded over previous best actor winner Tom Hiddleston, who won for Coriolanus in 2014 and who was shortlisted again for his role in Betrayal.

The other best actor nominees were Downstate’s K Todd Freeman and Francis Guinan, and Death Of A Salesman star Wendell Pierce.

Anne-Marie Duff was another winner at the annual awards ceremony.

Having made her musical theatre debut in Sweet Charity, the actress took the best musical performance prize, beating musical theatre stalwart Sheridan Smith to the title.

Sir Ian McKellen (Ian West/PA)

Smith was nominated for her role in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Duff’s other competitor in the musical category was Fiddler On The Roof’s Andy Nyman.

Play of the year went to American playwright Lynn Nottage’s Sweat, a production that explores the relationships and fears of a community left divided by de-industrialisation.

Oscar-winner and star of The Crown Olivia Colman was in attendance at the event to present the prize for Nottage’s play.

Nottage is the first and only woman to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice in America – first for Ruined in 2009 and then in 2017 for Sweat, which made its Broadway debut that year.

Sir Ian McKellen accepted the editor’s award for his Ian McKellen On Stage tour, which saw him perform to more than 80 theatres in the year of his 80th birthday.

Olivia Colman attended the awards (Ian West/PA)

The Lord Of The Rings star raised money for theatre charities during his long stage stint.

Theatre director Peter Brook received a special award for his contribution to theatre.

Actress and former politician Glenda Jackson, who appeared in several of Brook’s productions earlier in her career, presented the prize.

The Son star Laurie Kynaston won the emerging talent prize, and the best musical award went to Jamie Lloyd’s revival of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita.

The Evening Standard’s proprietor and host of the event Evgeny Lebedev said: “Theatre in this city is in rude health and I look forward to seeing what the next generation of thespians can offer in the years to come.”

The event, held at the London Coliseum, was co-hosted by Vogue editor-in-chief Dame Anna Wintour, Damian Lewis, Helen McCrory and Cush Jumbo.