London theatres dominate Critics’ Circle awards

Theatre fans heading to luxury suites in London can take solace in the knowledge that the capital’s National Theatre recently swept up accolades at the Critics’ Circle theatre awards.

A resounding success, the venue won five gongs, including best new play for One Man, Two Guvnors, best musical for London Road and best director for Mike Leigh’s Grief along with best actor and designer for Frankenstein.

Easily accessible to those in hotels in Park Lane, the National Theatre has made a name for itself with a consistently praised programme of unique theatre experiences including some of film and TV’s biggest names.

The Beach and 28 Days Later director Danny Boyle helmed the production of Frankenstein, which saw well-respected actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller take on the monster and eponymous role respectively.

“But the judges gave Cumberbatch the edge for an ‘astonishing and expectation-shattering’ performance which involved him bursting stark naked out of a six-foot pod of skin,” revealed the Guardian.

Boyle and Frankenstein’s award-winning designer Mark Tildesley will be combining their efforts one more time in the biggest piece of theatre, the Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Winning musical London Road, which was crowned Time Out’s show of 2011, beat off stiff competition from the likes of Shrek, Sweeny Todd, Crazy for You and Backbeat.

Meanwhile, BBC’s Birdstone star Eddie Redmayne received an award for best Shakespearean performance for Richard II at another leading London stage, The Donmar.

“I sit onstage for 15 minutes before the play begins with a crown on my head, and on press night as the play started I could see all the critics with their notebooks,” Redmayne remarked while accepting the award.

“As the lights went down, all I could hear was my temples pulsing against this band of metal. It felt like going to the guillotine. You don’t please all the critics, but it’s nice know that across the board you’ve done an all right job.”

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