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Manville and Henry Scoop Top Acting Honours At 2013 Critics' Circle Awards

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Lesley Manville and Lenny Henry have scooped the top acting honours at the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards 2013 ceremony, which took place today, Tuesday 28 January, at London’s Prince Of Wales Theatre. Hosted by Critics' Circle Chairman Mark Shenton, the ceremony marked the 25th Anniversary of the prestigious Awards. 

Daily Telegraph critic Charles Spencer presented Manville with the Best Actress Award for her extraordinary performance as Helene Alving in Ghosts, currently enjoying a limited engagement at Trafalgar Studios One following its sell-out run at the Almeida

Lenny Henry accepted the award for Best Actor from Dominic Maxwell of The Times. Henry was a sensation last summer in the role of disaffected patriarch Troy Maxson in August Wilson’s powerful drama Fences, which came to the West End’s Duchess Theatre following its run at Theatre Royal Bath and a short tour.

His Critics’ Circle Award seals a remarkable career transformation for the star, who started out impersonating Frank Spencer on TV talent show New Faces in the '70s, and is now firmly established in the front rank of Britain's dramatic stage actors.

Among the other honourees were Rory Kinnear, who picked up a gong for writing and another for acting, and playwright Lucy Kirkwood, whose Chimerica was 2013’s most essential new drama. See below for the full list of winners.

As ever, the ceremony was an informal gathering of award recipients, drama critics, theatre practitioners and the media, who came together to celebrate the critics’ personal choice of the best UK theatre from the last calendar year. In what has become a popular tradition, comedian Arthur Smith introduced proceedings in his own inimitable style.

Since the Awards’ inception in 1989 the theatre critics, consisting entirely of respected and influential working journalists, have offered 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.

Celebrating their tenth year alongside the Critics Circle Drama Section, the 2013 Awards were presented in association with leading entertainment industry specialists Nyman Libson Paul Chartered Accountants, and supported by Delfont Mackintosh Theatres.

THE CRITICS’ CIRCLE THEATRE AWARDS 2013

WINNERS

Most Promising Playwright : Phoebe Waller-Bridge for Fleabag (awarded jointly), Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Soho Theatre, London

Most Promising Playwright : Rory Kinnear for The Herd (awarded jointly), Bush Theatre, London

The Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer [other than a playwright] : Kate O’Flynn in Port, Lyttelton Theatre at the National, London

Best Designer : Es Devlin for Chimerica, Almeida Theatre, London, followed by transfer to Harold Pinter Theatre, London

Best Director : Lyndsey Turner for Chimerica, Almeida Theatre, London, followed by transfer to Harold Pinter Theatre, London

The John and Wendy Trewin Award for Best Shakespearean Performance : Rory Kinnear in Othello, Olivier Theatre at the National, London

Best Actress : Lesley Manville in Ghosts, Almeida Theatre, London, followed by transfer to Trafalgar Studios, London

Best Actor : Lenny Henry in Fences, Theatre Royal Bath and tour, followed by transfer to Duchess Theatre, London

The Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical [new or revival] : The Scottsboro Boys, Young Vic Theatre, London

Best New Play : Chimerica by Lucy Kirkwood. Almeida Theatre, London, followed by transfer to Harold Pinter Theatre, London 

Ghosts is currently playing at Trafalgar Studios One. For more information and to book tickets, click here.

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