Glenda Jackson considers stage return as she wins award for King Lear

By Tim Masters
Entertainment correspondent

Image source, Manuel Harlan
Image caption,
Glenda Jackson as King Lear at the Old Vic

Glenda Jackson has said she hopes to return to the stage after her critically-acclaimed role as King Lear.

The Oscar-winning actress and former MP has won a Critics' Circle Theatre Award for best Shakespearean performance.

"I would hope someone would write a good play and I would want to do it," she told the BBC at Tuesday's awards ceremony.

Her leading role at London's Old Vic last year was her first stage appearance for 25 years.

'Kiss and make up'

Jackson, 80, gave up acting for politics in the early 1990s and served as a Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn for 23 years.

"I've been highly critical of critics in the past and critics have been highly critical of me, so I suppose this is our opportunity to kiss and make up," she said.

"It's such a privilege to be allowed to tackle that play and I think it was very brave of the Old Vic to do it.

"One of the really good things about the run is that so many young people came to see it. That was very exciting."

Image source, Manuel Harlan
Image caption,
Anthony Boyle, left, won for his performance as Scorpius Malfoy in the Harry Potter play

The awards were handed out at a ceremony at the Prince of Wales Theatre, home to the West End production of The Book of Mormon.

The box office hit Harry Potter and The Cursed Child took home three prizes, with Anthony Boyle, who plays Scorpius Malfoy, named most promising newcomer.

John Tiffany won for his direction while Christine Jones took the prize for set design.

'Quite terrifying'

Stephen Dillane won the best actor prize for Faith Healer at the Donmar Warehouse and Billie Piper was named best actress for her role in Federico Garcia Lorca's Yerma at the Young Vic.

Piper, who played a young woman driven to extremes by her desire to have a child, will reprise her role at the same theatre in the summer.

The actress said she was "delighted and thrilled" with her win, adding that many women had spoken to her afterwards about the "traumatic" theme of the play.

Image source, Johan Persson
Image caption,
Critics said Billie Piper was 'on raw, ferocious, spellbinding form' in Yerma

"A lot of women felt compelled to come over and talk about things they'd experienced. People wanted a discussion."

She added that she felt "really good" about returning to the role in July.

"It's quite terrifying but I hope that it will all click quickly."

The Old Vic's Groundhog Day was named best musical, while The Flick by Annie Baker, which ran at the National Theatre, was named best new play.

Charlene James took home the prize for most promising playwright for Cuttin' It, her drama about female genital mutilation.

Media caption,
Charlene James: "We need to target younger audiences if we are going to make a change on FGM"

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