The Critics’ Circle Awards 2018 took place on Tuesday 29 January 2019. It was the 15th year that Nyman Libson Paul have sponsored the event, proudly supporting the best of British theatre.
The big winner this year was Inheritance – Matthew Lopez’s brilliant two-part transposition of Howard’s End to 21st century gay New York. It won best new play, best director for Stephen Daldry and best actor for Kyle Soller.
Marianne Elliott’s resurrection of the Sondheim musical Company won best musical and best designer. Patsy Ferran – who won best newcomer at the Critics’ Circle Awards 2015 – received best actress for her role in Summer and Smoke. Sophie Okonedo, CBE was awarded best Shakespearean performance for her portrayal of Cleopatra in the National Theatre’s Antony and Cleopatra.
In a win for British theatre as a whole, the event trended on Twitter, the hashtag #CriticsCircleAwards reaching 1,145,391 people. This without the star power of Bryan Cranston and Hamilton that amplified the awards’ reach last year.
The Critics’ Circle Awards first took place in 1989. The awards are presented by the Critics’ Circle, founded in 1913 to protect and promote cultural criticism in the UK. Winners are selected from the independent votes of working theatre critics, free of any discussion or industry influence.
Nyman Libson Paul has been a principal sponsor of the awards since 2005. As NLP partner Anthony Pins, who attended the event, said: “We are proud sponsors of The Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards and send our congratulations to all of the Award nominees and winners. The fact that the awards are determined only by the professional critics gives them immense credibility, and are highly respected as such by the industry.”
Full list of winners:
Best new play – The Inheritance
Best Musical – Company
Best Actor – Kyle Soller in The Inheritance
Best Actress – Patsy Ferran in Summer & Smoke
Best Shakespearean Performance – Sophie Okonedo in Antony & Cleopatra
Best Director – Stephen Daldry for The Inheritance
Best Designer – Bunny Christie for Company
Most Promising Playwright – Natasha Gordon for Nine Night
Most Promising Newcomer – Chris Walley in The Lieutenant of Inishmore
Special Award – Neil McPherson