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Andrew Scott Makes History With Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards Win for ‘Vanya’

Andrew Scott Makes History With Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards Win for ‘Vanya’

With his victory on Monday at the Critics’ Circle Theatre awards, Andrew Scott has made history. The Irish performer, recognized as best actor for his one-man West End show, “Vanya,” previously was named best actor at the 2024 Critics’ Circle Film Awards for his performance in “All of Us Strangers.” He’s the first person to win lead actor Critics’ Circle prizes in both film and television in the same year.

“It’s a thrilling delight,” Scott says. “I’ve been involved with both film and theater ever since I started acting when I was 17 years old. I’ve always worked between the two mediums. So to have these two projects, which were very dear to me, be recognized is more than I could have wished for.”

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In the case of “Vanya,” Simon Stephens’ adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya,” Scott played all of the show’s eight roles. That was a herculean task, one that required him to shape-shift as he assumed male and female parts over a wide range of ages and backgrounds.

“It took a huge amount of stamina,” Scott admits. “But it made me a better actor. I got to exercise all these muscles.”

For “All of Us Strangers,” Scott starred as a middle-aged gay writer who grapples with his childhood trauma after his long-dead parents miraculously reappear in his life. Scott thinks the two projects share some connective tissue.

“Both stories examine grief, but theres a lightness to the way they explore those themes,” he says.

Scott is proud that those distinctive performances were celebrated by critics. “I have great respect for good criticism. It’s so wonderful to read it and marvel at how a critic has managed to conjure up a sentence that perfectly describes the feeling that an audience gets watching interesting art.”

Of course, he’s no stranger to the awards, having previously won the 2019 best actor prize for “Present Laughter,” along with a best Shakespearean performance honor for 2017’s “Hamlet.”

Other winners at the Critics’ Circle awards included “The Motive and the Cue,” which was named best new play, and “Guys & Dolls,” which was named best musical. Sophie Okonedo won best actress for her work in “Medea.”

Scott came to audiences’ attention in the U.S. as the “hot priest” in the Emmy-winning “Fleabag.” He also played Moriarty on “Sherlock” and appeared in “1917,” “Catherine Called Birdy” and “Spectre.” On stage, Scott’s credits include “Cock” and “Three Kings.” He will next appear as the murderous Tom Ripley in Netflix’s “Ripley.”

Even though he’s in demand in movies and TV, Scott says he plans to continue moving between the screen and the stage. “I love the theater,” he says. “It’s an actor’s medium. When you’re on stage, you know immediately if it’s working. It’s your responsibility to keep the audience engaged and prevent them from growing bored.” On “Vanya,” that responsibility rested entirely on Scott’s shoulders each night.

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