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Dressers honoured at London Evening Standard Theatre Awards

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The 64th Annual London Evening Standard theatre awards saw many household names take home awards for their performances, with top acting gongs going to Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo.

Their performances as Antony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre won them the prize, whilst Matthew Lopez’s The Inheritance won Best Play.

The evening was hosted by Phoebe-Waller Bridge and co-hosted by Idris Elba, Claire Foy, Evgeny Lebedev and Anna Wintour, at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

With British theatre’s hall of fame being present, you’d be forgiven for thinking the entire evening was dedicated to the famous. However, in a surprise turn of events, the unsung heroes of theatre were honoured in one special moment.

In a heartfelt speech, designer John Galliano in partnership with Maison Margiela paid tribute to the ‘behind-the-scenes heroes of theatre’ – the dressers.

The moment that the dressers were honoured at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2018. Photo Credit: Paul Aspinall

After describing his early career as a dresser at the national theatre (post-Central St Martin’s School of Art) he invited 26 theatre dressers on to the stage to take a bow.

The star-studded audience showed their appreciation with rapturous applause.

The moment will have sent ripples through backstages across the UK, showing that the hard work and dedication of the country’s dressers has been recognised by the elite theatre world.

Via a well-known costume group on facebook, many theatre people voiced their appreciation for the honour.

One commenter said:

“I’m so glad to hear this. I often think those working behind the scenes don’t get enough credit.”

Another explained how their grandmother who had passed away recently had been a dresser in the West End:

“My Grandmother passed away last month at the age of 96. She was a dresser for Charles H Fox in the west end. She was a part of many productions. She would have loved this “

The London Evening Standard Awards is hosted annually and pays tribute to those working across the theatre industry in the capital. This years event was the 64th ceremony.

The full winners’ list has been published by the London Evening Standard and is as follows:

Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2018:

Best Actor, in partnership with Ambassador Theatre Group
Ralph Fiennes Antony and Cleopatra (National Theatre)

Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress, in partnership with Christian Louboutin
Sophie Okonedo Antony and Cleopatra (National Theatre)

Best Play, in partnership with Chanel
The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez (Young Vic & Noël Coward Theatre)

Milton Shulman Award for Best Director
Marianne Elliott Company (Gielgud Theatre)

Best Musical
Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre)

Best Musical Performance
Rosalie Craig Company (Gielgud Theatre)

Best Design
Miriam Buether The Jungle (Young Vic & Playhouse Theatre)

Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright
Natasha Gordon Nine Night (National Theatre)

Emerging Talent Award, in partnership with Access Entertainment
Jamael Westman Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre)

Lebedev Award
Sir Cameron Mackintosh For his contribution to musical theatre

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