A celebration of British theatre…

The Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2018 were recently held at the magnificent Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. A fitting tribute to the London stage, the star-studded ceremony was co-hosted this year by Idris Elba, Claire Foy, Evgeny Lebedev and Anna Wintour who paid tribute to the UK talent by saying it was “so wonderful to give it a positive and creative voice”. Phoebe Waller-Smith was presenter for the evening.

The top prizes of the night were scooped by Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okenado for their parts as the passionate lovers divided by politics in Anthony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre.

Okonedo was presented with the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress, in partnership with Christian Louboutin, by Bodyguard star Richard Madden.

Her “magical” performance saw her named the winner in a category that included Carey Mulligan, Lia Williams, Cecilia Noble and Laura Linney.

The Crown star Claire Foy presented Fiennes with the Best Actor Award, in partnership with Ambassador Theatre Group, for a “memorably intense” performance. Also shortlisted were Bryan Cranston, Ian McKellen, Colin Morgan and Kyle Soller.

Stella McCartney presented the award for Best Design to Miriam Buether for her work on The Jungle, which reconfigured the auditorium into a makeshift cafe in the Calais Jungle.

John Galliano paid tribute to the behind the scenes heroes of the theatre. In a heartfelt dedication to theatre’s dressers, he revealed that he began his career as a dresser at the National Theatre after leaving St Martin’s School of Art. He then invited 26 dressers from London’s theatres on stage to take a bow.

But HAIR Magazine’s award for the best dressed goes to Rita Ora. Despite stiff competition, she stole the show in a pale pink archive Thierry Mugler gown embellished with pale pink feathers that formed a dramatic collar around the singer’s neck.

Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2018: The winners in full

Best Actor, in partnership with Ambassador Theatre Group

Ralph Fiennes Antony and Cleopatra (National Theatre)

Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress, in partnership with Christian Louboutin

Sophie Okonedo  Antony and Cleopatra (National Theatre)

Best Play, in partnership with Chanel

The Inheritance  by Matthew Lopez (Young Vic & Noël Coward Theatre)

Milton Shulman Award for Best Director
Marianne Elliott Company (Gielgud Theatre)

Best Musical
Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre)

Best Musical Performance
Rosalie Craig Company (Gielgud Theatre)

Best Design
Miriam Buether The Jungle (Young Vic & Playhouse Theatre)

Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright
Natasha Gordon Nine Night (National Theatre)

Emerging Talent Award, in partnership with Access Entertainment
Jamael Westman Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre)

Lebedev Award
Sir Cameron Mackintosh  For his contribution to musical theatre

Milton Shulman Award for Best Director
Marianne Elliott Company (Gielgud Theatre)

Best Musical
Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre)

Best Musical Performance
Rosalie Craig Company (Gielgud Theatre)

Best Design
Miriam Buether The Jungle (Young Vic & Playhouse Theatre)

Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright
Natasha Gordon Nine Night (National Theatre)

Emerging Talent Award, in partnership with Access Entertainment
Jamael Westman Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre)

Lebedev Award
Sir Cameron Mackintosh  For his contribution to musical theatre