Entertainment & Arts

Critics' Circle honours Mark Strong's stage return

Mark Strong Image copyright Uli Weber
Image caption Mark Strong will soon be in the West End with A View from the Bridge

Actor Mark Strong has been honoured for his role in a play that lured him back to the theatre after 12 years in film.

Strong was named best actor at the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards for playing tragic hero Eddie Carbone in Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge.

The play, originally staged at London's Young Vic, also gained a best director award for Ivo Van Hove.

Helen McCrory won best actress for her title role in Greek tragedy Medea at the National Theatre.

Image copyright Richard Hubert Smith
Image caption Helen McCrory's performance as Medea at the National Theatre received glowing reviews

Strong- whose film roles include Zero Dark Thirty and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - said he had chanced upon Miller's classic drama when looking through film scripts at home.

"I picked it up and it was head and shoulders above everything else I was reading. I thought maybe this is the time to go back and do a play. Nothing had really come along that I wanted to do until this."

Strong is now starting rehearsals ahead of the play's transfer from the Young Vic to Wyndham's Theatre in the heart of London's theatre district.

"I love the fact that we are taking this little play from the Young Vic and going up against the big boys in the West End," he said.

Other winners at the Critics' Circle awards included Sir Anthony Sher, who received best Shakespearean performance for his role in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of the epic Henry IV Parts I & II.

"Falstaff is one of Shakespeare's most astonishing creations," Sir Anthony said. "I had no plans to play it - it came completely left-field. I really needed a lot of convincing."

King Charles III by Mike Bartlett, which imagines a future monarchy and is written in Shakespeare-style blank verse, was crowned best new play.

Gypsy, which starred Imelda Staunton at Chichester Festival Theatre and is transferring to London's Savoy Theatre in 2015, won the award for best musical.

The Critics' Circle Theatre Awards were held at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London, on Tuesday.


  • Best New Play: King Charles III by Mike Bartlett (Almeida Theatre, London, followed by transfer to Wyndham's Theatre, London)
  • The Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical (new or revival): Gypsy (Festival Theatre, Chichester, followed by transfer to Savoy Theatre, London)
  • Best Actor: Mark Strong in A View From The Bridge (Young Vic Theatre, London, followed by transfer to Wyndham's Theatre)
  • Best Actress: Helen McCrory in Medea (Olivier Theatre at the National, London)
  • The John and Wendy Trewin Award for Best Shakespearean Performance: Antony Sher in Henry IV Parts I & II (Royal Shakespeare Company at Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, regional tour and Barbican Theatre, London)
  • Best Director: Ivo van Hove for A View From The Bridge (Young Vic Theatre followed by transfer to Wyndham's Theatre)
  • Best Designer: Paul Barritt for Golem (Young Vic Theatre), and Es Devlin for The Nether (Headlong Theatre at Royal Court Theatre, London, followed by transfer to Duke of York's Theatre, London)
  • Most Promising Playwright: Barney Norris for Visitors (Up In Arms regional tour and Arcola Theatre, London, followed by transfer to Bush Theatre, London)
  • The Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer (other than a playwright): Patsy Ferran in Blithe Spirit and Treasure Island (Gielgud Theatre, London, and Olivier Theatre at the National, London)

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