Jessie Buckley has been named the winner of the best actress category at the 31st Annual Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards, for her role in Cabaret.
The musical revival, directed by Rebecca Frecknall, and billed as Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, emerged as the frontrunner at the ceremony held at London’s Ham Yard Hotel on April 3.
The West End show, which has been running at London’s Playhouse Theatre since December 2021, won three awards in total, the highest tally of the evening, also picking up the best director gong for Frecknall and the best designer award for Tom Scutt.
Oscar nominee Buckley played Sally Bowles in the production alongside Eddie Redmayne as The Emcee, with their roles having now been taken over by Amy Lennox and Hawkeye star Fra Fee.
Rupert Goold’s Spring Awakening won the best musical category, and cast member Stuart Thompson was named joint winner in the most promising newcomer category for his role as Moritz.
He shared the award with Samuel Creasey, who played Malcolm Polstead in the theatre adaptation of Sir Philip Pullman’s novel The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage.
The best actor award went to The Crown star Ben Daniels for his role as writer and activist Ned Weeks in Dominic Cooke’s new staging of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart.
Kramer’s largely autobiographical play is set during the 1980s Aids crisis, and the UK cast for the production also included Silent Witness star Liz Carr and Poldark’s Luke Norris.
Best-selling novelist Zadie Smith was named joint winner of the most promising playwright award alongside Igor Memic.
Smith was honoured for her debut play, The Wife Of Willesden, which was adapted from Chaucer’s The Wife Of Bath’s Tale, with Memic honoured for debut drama Old Bridge, which draws upon “personal history in its depiction of war-torn Bosnia”.
The Good Wife star Cush Jumbo won the award for best Shakespearean performance for Hamlet.
The ceremony comes ahead of 2022 Olivier Theatre Awards, being held on April 10 at the Royal Albert Hall, where stars like Jumbo, Buckley and Daniels are also nominated.
The Critics’ Circle Theatre awards were founded in 1989 and are run by the drama section of The Critics’ Circle.