2012 Best Actress in a Play + in a Musical

Best Actress in a Play

Kate O’Flynn, Lungs
So much quality in this category this year and in some ways, this could have been shared between O’Flynn and Sally Hawkins as their performances shared a similar outstanding quality. But I think O’Flynn edged it slightly in Duncan MacMillan’s new play for Paines Plough, seamlessly negotiating time-jumps, huge emotional leaps and complex theorising in a devastating portrayal of the life of a relationship. 

Honourable mention: Laurie Metcalf, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
There was evidently a slight sense of hyperbole as I left the Apollo theatre – “I might go as far to say that Laurie Metcalf’s extraordinary performance as Mary Tyrone is one of the greatest feats of acting I think I’ve ever seen” – since she’s come second. But it was still a remarkable thing to watch, staggering in its naturalism and heart-breaking in its fatalistic tragedy.

Hattie Morahan, A Doll’s House
Helen McCrory, The Last of the Haussmans
Cate Blanchett, Big and Small
Sally Hawkins, Constellations


Lydia Wilson, ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore; Linda Bassett, In Basildon; Billie Piper, The Effect; Monica Dolan, Chalet Lines

Best Actress in a Musical

Carly Bawden, My Fair Lady
Often I will know right then and there that someone will get one of these awards and as we got to the end of ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’, I knew that Bawden had this in the bag. An utterly gorgeous rendition of the song, “an understated exhalation of wonderment” that was truly special and made me want to sit right through it again right away. Fingers crossed for a London transfer.

Honourable mention: Janie Dee, Hello, Dolly!
In the face of previous perfomers who’ve taken on Dolly Levi and made me love her like no other, it was no mean feat for Janie Dee to take on the role and manage to do something else yet equally lovable. A greater note of melancholy rather than uproariousness made Dee infinitely moving and utterly compelling to watch.

Caroline O’Connor, Gypsy
Anna Francolini, Victor/Victoria
Rosalie Craig, Ragtime
Jenna Russell, Merrily We Roll Along


Laura Pitt-Pulford, Mack and Mabel; Gloria Onitiri, The Bodyguard; Rosalie Craig, Finding Neverland; Hannah Waddingham, Kiss Me Kate

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