Laura Linney, COMPANY, Kelli O'Hara and More Make Shortlist for Evening Standard Awards
The shortlist for the 64th Evening Standard Theatre Awards is unveiled today. It has been expanded to include five names in most categories and the variety of productions reveals the health of London's theatre land. While the subsidised theatres dominate, many of the productions shortlisted have been such strong critical and commercial hits that they have transferred or are about to transfer to the West End or Broadway.
In the category of Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress, given in partnership with Christian Louboutin, two performances in one-woman plays go head to head. Laura Linney is shortlisted for her solo performance in an adaptation of Elizabeth Strout's novel, My Name Is Lucy Barton. Up against her is Carey Mulligan in Dennis Kelly's Girls and Boys.
Completing the Best Actress line-up are Cecilia Noble in a comic role in Nine Night, Lia Williams as the schoolmistress in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Sophie Okonedo as the Egyptian queen in Antony and Cleopatra.
Okonedo's co-star Ralph Fiennes, playing Antony in The National Theatre production, is shortlisted for Best Actor, given in partnership with Ambassador Theatre Group. Two other National Theatre productions are recognised in the Best Actor category: Bryan Cranston in Network, the stage adaptation of the film that satirised television, and Colin Morgan for Translations, a revival of Brian Friel's classic play. Also competing for Best Actor are Ian McKellen as King Lear and Kyle Soller in the post-Aids play The Inheritance.
Contenders for Best Play, given in partnership with Chanel, include three female writers - Laura Wade, Annie Baker and Ella Hickson. They are up against works by New Yorker Matthew Lopez and, from Italy, Stefano Massini (with his adaptor Ben Power, deputy artistic director of The National Theatre).
The National Theatre leads the shortlist with 14 mentions. The production to make the most appearances on the shortlist is Marianne Elliott's gender-swap revival of Sondheim's musical, Company, followed by The Inheritance, which has three.
The Emerging Talent Award, in partnership with Access Entertainment, recognises the stars of tomorrow. The contenders are Hamilton'sJamael Westman, Rona Morison in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Debris Stevenson, creator and star of Poet in da Corner, and Chris Walley, making his stage debut in The Lieutenant of Inishmore. Director Roy Alexander Weise is also shortlisted for his work on two productions: Nine Night at The National Theatre and Br'er Cotton at Theatre503.
The winners will be announced on Sunday 18th November at an Awards ceremony, held at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. The Evening Standard Theatre Awards are hosted by Evening Standard owner, Evgeny Lebedev, with his co-hosts Dame Anna Wintour, Claire Foy and Idris Elba. The ceremony will be presented by Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Evening Standard Editor and member of the Advisory Judging Panel, George Osborne says:
"Great theatre holds up a mirror to our times, so it's no surprise that this has been a year of strong female leads on the London stage, and that is reflected in this year's shortlist for our Evening Standard Theatre Awards. We are in for an exciting night."
EVENING STANDARD THEATRE AWARDS 2018 - SHORTLIST
BEST ACTOR in partnership with Ambassador Theatre Group
- Bryan Cranston Network, National Theatre (Lyttelton)
- Ralph Fiennes Antony and Cleopatra, National Theatre (Olivier)
- Ian McKellen King Lear, Minerva Chichester & Duke of York's
- Colin Morgan Translations, National Theatre (Olivier)
- Kyle Soller The Inheritance, Young Vic & Noël Coward Theatre
Natasha Richardson AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS in partnership with Christian Louboutin
- Laura Linney My Name Is Lucy Barton, Bridge Theatre
- Carey Mulligan Girls and Boys, Royal Court
- Cecilia Noble Nine Night, National Theatre (Dorfman)
- Sophie Okonedo Antony and Cleopatra, National Theatre (Olivier)
- Lia Williams The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Donmar Warehouse
BEST PLAY in partnership with Chanel
- Home, I'm Darling Laura Wade, National Theatre (Dorfman)
- The Inheritance Matthew Lopez, Young Vic & Noël Coward Theatre
- John Annie Baker, National Theatre (Dorfman)
- The Lehman Trilogy Stefano Massini, (adapted by Ben Power), National Theatre (Lyttelton)
- The Writer Ella Hickson, Almeida
MILTON SHULMAN AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR
- Stephen Daldry The Inheritance, Young Vic & Noël Coward Theatre
- Marianne Elliott Company, Gielgud Theatre
- Robert Hastie The York Realist, Donmar Warehouse
- Phyllida Lloyd Tina, Aldwych Theatre
- Ian Rickson Translations, National Theatre (Olivier)
- Caroline, or Change Minerva Chichester & Hampstead Theatre
- Company Gielgud Theatre
- Everybody's Talking About Jamie Apollo Theatre
- Fun Home Young Vic
- Hamilton Victoria Palace
BEST MUSICAL PERFORMANCE
- Sharon D Clarke Caroline, or Change, Minerva Chichester & Hampstead Theatre
- Rosalie Craig Company, Gielgud Theatre
- Arinzé Kene Misty, Bush & Trafalgar Studios
- Kelli O'Hara The King and I, Palladium
- Adrienne Warren Tina, Aldwych
- Miriam Buether The Jungle, Young Vic & Playhouse Theatre
- Bunny Christie Company, Gielgud Theatre
- Es Devlin Girls and Boys, Royal Court
- Rae Smith Translations, National Theatre (Olivier)
- Jan Versweyveld Network, National Theatre (Lyttelton)
CHARLES WINTOUR AWARD FOR MOST PROMISING PLAYWRIGHT
- Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm Br'er Cotton, Theatre503
- Natasha Gordon Nine Night, National Theatre (Dorfman)
- Francis Turnly The Great Wave, National Theatre (Dorfman)
EMERGING TALENT AWARD in partnership with Access Entertainment
- Rona Morison The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Donmar Warehouse
- Debris Stevenson Poet in da Corner, Royal Court
- Chris Walley The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Noël Coward Theatre
- Alexander Weise (director) Nine Night, National Theatre (Dorfman)/Br'er Cotton, Theatre503
- Jamael Westman Hamilton, Victoria Palace
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos