AWARDS: MONSTAS: Our best theatre actress of 2018 so far

We awarded 13 monstas for the best pop, theatre, TV and film of 2017 in December – and here we look at the cream of 2018 so far and what’s to come. Sheridan Smith, Jade Anouka and Imelda Staunton are previous winners in this category.

  • Read on for our top 6 best theatre actresses of 2018 so far and our hopes for the next half year

Jade Anouka (The Phlebotomist, Hampstead Theatre)

Screen Shot 2018-07-08 at 11.18.30

Anouka was the titular phlebotomist in this not-so-futuristic tale of the importance of genetics that completed a sold-out run downstairs in this north London venue.

Monica Dolan (The B*easts, Bush Theatre) Review

One of 3 monologues on this list and 2 were self-written. Dolan is the psychotherapist looking after an 8-year-old who has had breast enlargements. Also shortlisted as our new play of the year so far.

Laura Linney (My Name Is Lucy Barton, Bridge Theatre) Review

We said: ‘Linney impersonates her mother during a tremendous feat of memory when she quickly gains the audience’s attention and never lets it from her grasp during an hour and a half which passed in a flash in her company.’

Lesley Manville (Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Wyndhams Theatre) Review

We said: ‘Her performance is a masterclass of affection for those around her yet constantly saying the most inappropriate thing, often betraying how her behaviour has affected her sons’ and: ‘Last year we gave our Best Actress monsta to Imelda Staunton for her terrific ball-breaking in Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? and Manville’s turn is certainly the equal of it’.

Meera Syal (Rivers, The Greatest Wealth, Old Vic)

The Old Vic’s One Voice celebration of the 70th birthday of the NHS was hit and miss but this self-penned monologue about a midwife who’d left her family in India to help out in a Midlands hospital was sharply contrasted by Enoch Powell’s infamous ‘rivers of blood’ speech. It moved in a way that was head and shoulders above much of the material it was packaged with.

Lia Williams (The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, Donmar) Review

We said: ‘But it’s Williams’ star turn which had us engrossed. She’s so good that it’s almost impossible to concentrate on anything else when she’s floating across the stage in her pomp’. Runs to 28/7. Tickets.

On our radar for the next 6 months are Sophie Thompson (The Importance Of Being Earnest, Vaudeville Theatre) Tickets; Sheila Atim (Othello, Globe) Tickets; Katherine Parkinson (Home I’m Darling, National Theatre) Tickets; Elaine Cassidy (Aristocrats, Donmar) Tickets; Eileen Atkins (The Height Of the Storm, Wyndhams Theatre) Tickets; and Beverley Knight (Sylvia, Old Vic) Tickets

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Donmar Warehouse.
  • Enjoyed this awards shortlist? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham, email neildurham3@gmail.com and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

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