26/11/2012 07:02 GMT | Updated 26/11/2012 13:14 GMT

Evening Standard Theatre Awards: Danny Boyle, Dame Judi Dench and Hattie Morahan Triumph


HuffPost UK Culture was on the star-studded red carpet of the 58th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards on Sunday night, talking to the finest theatre talent the capital has to offer.

Held at The Savoy Hotel, the awards evening included recognition for the theatrical achievements seen at the London 2012 Olympics.

Team GB gold medalist Victoria Pendleton presented Danny Boyle with the Beyond Theatre award for his breathtaking creative vision of the Olympic Games opening ceremony.

Danny Boyle (C) and his team from the London 2012 Opening Ceremony accept the Beyond Theatre award at the 58th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards

Boyle's theatrical extravaganza Isles of Wonder was praised by judges for taking theatre outside of the traditional stage. The ceremony saw Britain's green countryside recreated in the Olympic stadium, along with a troop of flying Mary Poppins, luminescent cyclists and giant flaming Olympic rings.

Danny Boyle's spectacular Olympic opening Ceremony

National treasure Dame Judi Dench was honoured for her contribution to world theatre with the Moscow Art Theatre's Golden Seagull award, presented by Sir Ian McKellen. The oscar-winning actress said she was "overwhelmed" and added that theatre was her first love.

(L to R) Evgeny Lebedev, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen attend an after party following the 58th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards

The awards had a sprinkle of extra Hollywood glamour with a Best Actress nomination for Cate Blanchett. The star, who was not able to attend the event, lost out to Hattie Morahan who won for her moving interpretation of trapped housewife Nora in A Doll's House at the Young Vic theatre.

Before picking up her award, Morahan told HuffPost UK: "Being nominated alongside Cate is really surreal!

"If someone said to me 'who is your favourite actress', I would say Cate Blanchett - so I'm quite gobsmacked and convinced I'm going to wake up and find it's all a dream."

Hattie Morahan (R) accepts the Natasha Richardson award for Best Actress for 'A Doll's House' from presenter Damian Lewis at the 58th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards

National Theatre director Sir Nicholas Hytner picked up two awards, telling the audience "I'm very lucky to have a theatre that is properly funded...[it is] ridiculous to cut that funding now."

29-year-old playwright Nick Payne became the youngest ever winner in the Best Play category for metaphysical love story Constellations starring Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall.

Rafe Spall (L) and Nick Payne attend an after party following the 58th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards

London Evening Standard editor Sarah Sands said: "The Evening Standard winners show the extraordinary creative talent in London theatre. Big moral questions are being tackled with imagination and wit.

"The success of the Evening Standard depends on the greatness of this city and it was on glorious display at the Savoy last night."

Full List of Winners at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards

Best play - Constellations by Nick Payne

Best director - Sir Nicholas Hytner for Timon of Athens

Best actor - Simon Russell Beale for Collaborators

Natasha Richardson award for best actress - Hattie Morahan for A Doll's House

Ned Sherrin award for best musical - Sweeney Todd

Best design - Soutra Gilmour for Inadmissible Evidence and Antigone

Charles Wintour award for most promising playwright - Lolita Chakrabarti for Red Velvet

Milton Shulman award for outstanding newcomer - Matthew Tennyson for Making Noise Quietly

Lebedev special award - Sir Nicholas Hytner for his dynamic directorship of the National Theatre

Editor's award - David Hare for his contribution to theatre

Beyond theatre - Danny Boyle and his team for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics

Burberry award for emerging director - Simon Godwin

Moscow Art Theatre's Golden Seagull - Dame Judi Dench

Watch the highlights from the Evening Standard's Theatre Awards, in association with Burberry, at the Savoy Hotel:

Photo gallery Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2012 See Gallery