Maggie Smith Wins Record Sixth “Evening Standard” Theatre Award
Dame Maggie Smith is an absolute star of both stage and screen; that can’t be denied. Her reputation speaks for itself, but her status as queen of the London stage was cemented last week as she took home a record sixth Evening Standard Theatre Award for her performance as Joseph Goebbels’ secretary in A German Life.
Smith’s triumphant return to the stage after 12 years away has been hailed with much critical acclaim. Her last stage appearance was in 2007, while her last win was in 1994 for her portrayal of the Elder Tall Woman in Three Tall Women. She also won for The Private Ear and the Public Eye in 1962, Hedda Gabler in 1970, Virginia in 1981, and The Way of the World in 1984.
Smith played Brunhilde Pomsel, the former secretary of Nazi general Joseph Goebbels, in A German Life at the Bridge Theatre. The play, written by Christopher Hampton, was based on testimony given by a dying Pomsel when she broke her silence on her experiences of being at the heart of the Nazi propaganda machine during World War II. Smith called this role one of her most interesting and spoke on the importance of the play itself:
The fact that in this day and age there is a lot of anti-Semitism, I think people should be reminded of it.
Smith was given her prize at a ceremony on Sunday evening at the London Coliseum. Top acting prizes also went to Andrew Scott (Spectre, Victor Frankenstein) and Anne-Marie Duff (Nowhere Boy, Suffragette), and Sir Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings, Gods and Monsters) received a special award for his touring show, which raised money for theater charities. Also in attendance were fellow Potter alumnae Fiona Shaw (Aunt Petunia) and Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy).
Congratulations to Dame Maggie Smith on her historic win! You can catch her most recent role as the formidable Dowager Countess of Grantham, Violet Crawley, in the film adaptation of Downton Abbey.