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Monday, 26 November, 2001, 16:41 GMT
Greek tragedy does it again
Jerry Hall, Fiona Shaw
Jerry Hall (left) with Fiona Shaw, awarded best actress
The Greek tragedy Medea walked off with two awards at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards on Monday.

Sir Peter Hall presented Deborah Warner with the award for best director of the production at the Queen's Theatre, and Fiona Shaw won the award for best actress for her work in the production.

Kiss Me Kate
Kiss Me Kate: Replicating its Broadway sucess

It is the second time the pair have won the Evening Standard awards.

The Broadway production of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate received the best musical award from Andrew Lloyd Webber, beating off competition from the hit My Fair Lady.

The production, which is currently enjoying a revival at the Victoria Palace Theatre, stars Americans Marin Mazzie and Brent Barrett.

Tourism

The awards come after a difficult few months for the West End, which has been hit by an economic downturn and a decline in tourism since the 11 September attacks on the US.

Marin Mazzie
Marin Mazzie stars in Kiss Me Kate
Evening Standard editor Max Hastings told the audience that despite suggestions that London theatre was in "crisis", it was in surprisingly good health.

But he warned that the capital had to clean up and sort out its transport problems if it wished to continue to attract tourists.

The award for best play went to Robert Lepage's The Far Side Of The Moon, the story of two brothers and the space race.

Robert Lepage flew to London from Quebec to accept the award, which was presented by Miranda Richardson.

The best comedy was Feelgood, Alistair Beaton's satire of New Labour spin doctors, which won in the category despite competition from Caught In The Net and Lifex3.

Alex Jennings won the best actor award for his performances in two Royal National Theatre productions, The Winter's Tale and The Relapse.

Sir John Mortimer presented the Charles Wintour Award for most promising playwright, established in memory of the late Evening Standard editor and theatre lover.

Roy Williams won the 30,000 award for Clubland, his comedy of sexual politics.

The Patricia Rothermere Award went to Prunella Scales, for her lifetime contribution to London's theatre.

The 400 guests at the Savoy Hotel ceremony included Hollywood actor Brendan Fraser, Sir Donald Sinden, Sam Mendes, Peter Bowles, Jane Asher, Felicity Kendal, Alan Rickman, Jerry Hall and My Fair Lady stars Martine McCutcheon and Alexandra Jay.

See also:

20 Mar 01 | Arts
From Medea to Muggle
01 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Shaw shines as murderous Medea
22 Oct 01 | Showbiz
West End still drawing crowds
25 Sep 01 | Arts
Hytner appointment welcomed
05 Sep 01 | Arts
Key double act quits theatre
28 Feb 01 | Entertainment
West End crisis 'near'
27 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Colourful play wins accolade
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