Hamilton scoops two top theatre prizes

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Hamilton has won two top prizes at the Evening Standard’s Theatre Awards.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s historical show took home the coveted Best Musical Award at Sunday’s Evening Standard Theatre Awards.

Jamael Westman, who plays Alexander Hamilton at the Victoria Palace Theatre production, also won the Emerging Talent award.

The West End transfer of the hip-hop musical about the Founding Fathers of America has been a sell-out success after taking Broadway by storm in 2015.

It opened in London in December 2017 and a recent gala performance was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who called the production “absolutely incredible” and “so engaging, every moment of it”.

The National Theatre’s production of Antony and Cleopatra also won two awards, taking home both the Best Actor and Best Actress gongs.

Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo were recognised for their portrayal of the titular characters in Shakespeare’s historical drama.

The Best Play title was awarded to The Inheritance. The two-part production inspired by E. M. Forster’s classic novel Howard’s End examines what life is like as a gay man living in New York, a generation after the AIDs crisis.

Sir Cameron Mackintosh, the veteran West End producer, was given the Lebedev Award in recognition of his contribution to musical theatre.

Sir Cameron is the brains behind many of London’s longest-running and most successful shows, including Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, and he also took charge of Hamilton’s arrival in the capital.

The new musical Company also took home two awards, with Marianne Elliott scooping the Best Director gong and Rosalie Craig winning recognition for the Best Musical Performance.

The Best Design award went to Miriam Buether for her work on The Jungle, a play set on the migrant camp in Calais.

Natasha Gordon was recognised as the Most Promising Playwright for the National Theatre production, Nine Night.

Writer and comedian Phoebe Waller-Bridge hosted this year’s ceremony and made reference to the sexual assault allegations which have rocked the film and theatre industry over the last year.

Speaking to the crowds at the Theatre Royal, Ms Waller-Bridge said: “The industry took a great big slap in the cock last year.”

And referencing her second hosting of the annual awards, she added: “Like many sexual predators of the last year, I’ve been given a wary second chance.”

She said London theatre “has had a banger of a year for diversity,” paying tribute to the fact that 60% of the best play nominees were women.

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