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The Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards 2012 were hosted today by its Chairman, Mark Shenton, theatre critic for the Sunday Express and daily blogger for The Stage website, at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London.

For the ninth year in a row, the Awards were presented in association with Nyman Libson Paul Chartered Accountants, leading entertainment industry specialists; and supported by Delfont Mackintosh Theatres.

As ever, the ceremony was an informal gathering of award recipients, the drama critics, theatre practitioners and the media, convivially coming together to celebrate the critics’ personal choice of the best theatre, from throughout the UK, during the last calendar year. Comedian Arthur Smith introduced proceedings with his own inimitable style, as has become a well-loved tradition.

Following is a list of the award winners and presenters:

THE CRITICS’ CIRCLE THEATRE AWARDS 2012
WINNERS:

Best New Play:
The Effect by Lucy Prebble
Cottesloe Theatre at the National, London, in a co-production with Headlong
award presented to Lucy Prebble by Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard

The Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical (new or revival):
Merrily We Roll Along
Menier Chocolate Factory, London
award presented to David Babani (Artistic Director, Menier Chocolate Factory) & Maria Friedman by Kate Bassett, Independent on Sunday

Best Actor:
Adrian Lester in Red Velvet
Tricycle Theatre, London
award presented to Adrian Lester by Michael Billington, The Guardian

Best Actress:
Hattie Morahan in A Doll’s House
Young Vic Theatre, London followed by a revival from 2nd April 2013.
award presented to Hattie Morahan by Heather Neill, freelance

The John and Wendy Trewin Award for Best Shakespearean Performance:
Simon Russell Beale in Timon of Athens
Olivier Theatre at the National, London
award presented to Simon Russell Beale by Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard

Best Director:
Benedict Andrews for Three Sisters
Young Vic Theatre, London
award presented to David Lan (Artistic Director, Young Vic Theatre) by Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out

Best Designer:
Miriam Buether for Wild Swans
Young Vic Theatre, London, in a co-production with American Repertory Theater & Actors Touring Company
award presented to Miriam Buether by Simon Edge, Daily Express

Most Promising Playwright:
Lolita Chakrabarti for Red Velvet
Tricycle Theatre, London
award presented to Lolita Chakrabarti by Jane Edwardes, Sunday Times

The Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer (other than a playwright):
Denise Gough for Desire Under the Elms
Lyric Hammersmith, London
award presented to Denise Gough by Susannah Clapp, The Observer

Special Award
Shakespeare’s Globe for Globe to Globe
award presented to Dominic Dromgoole (Artistic Director, Shakespeare’s Globe) & Tom Bird (Executive Producer, Shakespeare’s Globe & Festival Director, Globe to Globe) by Matt Wolf, International Herald Tribune

Since the Awards’ inception in 1989 the theatre critics, consisting entirely of respected and influential working journalists, have prided themselves on offering something unique on the packed theatre awards circuit: each member of the Drama Section independently casts their vote based on personal choice, free of any discussion or industry influence, ensuring a highly democratic voting process.

Press release issued by: Target Live