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Monday, 27 November, 2000, 17:56 GMT
Colourful play wins accolade
Actor John Hurt (left) and  Rolling Stone Mick Jagger
Actor John Hurt (left) and Rolling Stone Mick Jagger were guests at the awards
The Royal National Theatre's new production Blue/Orange has been named best play at London's prestigious Evening Standard Awards.

The star of Joe Penhall's play, Chiwetal Ejiofor, was named outstanding newcomer at the event at London's Savoy Hotel on Monday.

Other top awards went to Simon Russell Beale, named best actor for his role in Hamlet, while raunchy ballet The Car Man won the music event of the year title.

Joe Penhall
Penhall's play was first produced by the National Theatre

Blue/Orange deals with mental illness and race. It had a first run at the National Theatre earlier this year but is due to transfer to the Duchess Theatre in the West End in 2001.

The Car Man is a film noir-style production set to the music of Bizet's opera Carmen, which opened at London's Old Vic in September.

Performed by the company Adventures in Motion Pictures, it follows the tragic events which occur when a new mechanic has a fling with the garage owner's wife.

Other awards went to writer Marie Jones who won the best comedy title for Stones in His Pockets.

The play takes a comic look at the effects on a couple of County Kerry locals when the set of a Hollywood blockbuster comes to the area.

Paola Dionisotti was named best actress for her role in Further Than The Furthest Thing - another National Theatre production.

On the guest list for the event were numerous celebrities including acclaimed British stage and screen actor John Hurt and Rolling Stone Mick Jagger.

Handing out awards were current West End stars including Jerry Hall, appearing in The Graduate, and Macaulay Culkin, star of Madame Melville.

Full list of winners

Best actor - Simon Russell Beale (Hamlet)

Best actress - Paola Dionisotti (Further Than The Furthest Thing)

Best musical event - The Car Man

Best director - Michael Grandage (As You Like It, Passion Play)

Most promising playwright - Gary Mitchell (The Force Of Change)

Best play - Blue/Orange, by Joe Penhall

Best comedy - Stones In His Packets, by Marie Jones

Best stage designer - Bunny Christie (Baby Doll)

Outstanding newcomer - Chiwetel Ejiofor (Blue/Orange)

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