GROUNDHOG DAY has been named the Best Musical of 2016 by the people who really know - the critics. The ceremony held today at the West End's Prince of Wales Theatre also featured a sneak-peek performance of a musical that will be facing the critics in a few weeks...
At today's Critics' Circle Awards, Tim Minchin's GROUNDHOG DAY took home the Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical (new or revival). Minchin's debut musical Matilda, which was also directed by Matthew Warchus, won the same prize from the critics in 2010.
Warchus and the creative team are currently in New York preparing for the show's Broadway premiere in April, when leading man Andy Karl will reprise his performance as weatherman Phil Connors. In his and Minchin's absence, the award was collected by producer André Ptaszynski for Whistle Pig and Kate Varah, Executive Director of The Old Vic, who were joined at the ceremony by several members of the original London cast: Carlyss Peer, Emma Lindars, Eugene McCoy, Georgina Hagen, Jack Shalloo, Julie Jupp, Lisa Mathieson, Mark Pollard, Roger Dipper, Ste Clough and Vicki Lee Taylor.
The Best Musical award was presented by The Times critic Dominic Cavendish. The ceremony, hosted by Critics' Circle Drama Section Chair Mark Shenton, concluded with a sneak-peek performance from new Gary Barlow and Tim Firth musical The Girls, which is currently in previews at the West End’s Phoenix Theatre, where it officially opens on 21st February and will be eligible for next year’s awards. Today, star Joanna Riding performed “Scarborough”, accompanied on the piano by co-writer and director Tim Firth.
Since the Awards’ inception in 1989 the theatre critics, consisting entirely of respected and influential working journalists, have prided themselves on offering something unique on the packed theatre awards circuit: each member of the Drama Section independently casts their vote based on personal choice, free of any discussion or industry influence, ensuring a highly democratic voting process.