Veteran British actor Sir Michael Gambon was honored for his longstanding stage career at the annual London Evening Standard Theatre Awards on Sunday, November 28 night. The "Harry Potter" star made his debut in the West End in the 1960s and has carried on appearing in live productions while working in films - and he landed the prestigious Lebedev Special Award to mark his career on the stage.
Founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company Sir Peter Hall was also handed a special honor - the Golden Seagull award - for his contribution to world theatre. Nancy Carroll was honored with The Natasha Richardson Best Actress award for her role as Joan in Terence Rattigan's "After the Dance", and received the trophy from the late star's husband, Liam Neeson.
The Best Actor prize went to Rory Kinnear for two Shakespearean roles, as Hamlet and Angelo in "Measure for Measure", while Best Director was awarded to Howard Davies for his work on "The White Guard" and Arthur Miller's "All My Sons".
Stephen Sondheim's "Passion", which was staged to mark his 80th birthday earlier this year, fought off competition from "Legally Blonde" and "Les Miserables" to win the Ned Sherrin award for Best Musical, and Best Play went to Bruce Norris' racial drama "Clybourne Park". The Editor's Shooting Star award went to Daniel Kaluuya for his performance in boxing drama "Sucker Punch".
Deputy Editor of the London Evening Standard Sarah Sands says, "This year's winners illustrate the astonishing range of talent drawn to the stage. London theatre is, by far, the best in the world, and the Evening Standard is proud of its deep associations with it."