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Nicole Kidman and James McAvoy win big at Evening Standard Theatre Awards

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Nicole Kidman and James McAvoy win big at Evening Standard Theatre Awards

Nicole Kidman and James McAvoy were the big winners at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards on Sunday (22Nov15), picking up the coveted acting trophies at the annual London prizegiving.

The Oscar winner ended her nearly two-month run as scientist Rosalind Franklin in new play Photograph 51 in the West End on Saturday (21Nov15), and she celebrated the closing with a triumphant win, claiming the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress at Sunday's ceremony.

Kidman gave special thanks to her musician husband Keith Urban and late father in her acceptance speech, saying, "Wow. We had our final performance last night so this is extraordinary to get this... I have a husband who got off a plane four hours ago. He's done that about 20 times in the last four months. That's love in action. Thank you for loving me, I will love you for the rest of my life.

"I did this because my father died a year ago and he was a scientist, I did this for him, every night before I went on stage I would kneel in front of his photograph and he would give me the strength to go on stage every night."

James McAvoy was handed the Best Actor award for his role in The Ruling Class, beating out the likes of Ralph Fiennes, Simon Russell Beale and Kenneth Cranham.

Imelda Staunton won the Best Performance in a Musical prize for her acclaimed role in Gypsy, and The Quantum of Solace Bond girl Gemma Arterton was feted with the Newcomer in a Musical prize for her role in Made in Dagenham.

Meanwhile, director Robert Icke was named the winner of the Milton Shulman Award for his production of Oresteia, while Best Play went to The Motherf**ker with the Hat and Kinky Boots won Best Musical.

Ralph Fiennes and Joely Richardson honoured her mum Vanessa Redgrave with the special Editor's Award for her contribution to the arts, and a clearly-moved Redgrave was given with a standing ovation from the audience.

"Obviously I can never act again," the veteran actress told the crowd. "We are special, we do carry a responsibility that we do share lightly sometimes and sometimes deeply. Our special responsibility I think is that we carry the lifeblood of our society within us."

The final prize of the night went to acclaimed Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim, who was honoured for his major achievements in theatre with the Lebedev Award.

The ceremony at London's Old Vic theatre was a star-studded event - Salma Hayek, Dame Shirley Bassey, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen were all in attendance.

- Cover Media