● National Theatre leads with seven on shortlist, followed by Royal Court with five and Donmar Warehouse with four
● Ralph Fiennes, James McAvoy, Simon Russell Beale and Kenneth Cranham battle it out for Best Actor
● Nicole Kidman, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Denise Gough and Lia Williams contest Best Actress category
The London Evening Standard today announces the shortlist for its 61st Theatre Awards, in partnership with The Ivy. The winners will be announced at an Awards ceremony presented by Rob Brydon, and co-hosted by Evgeny Lebedev, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen, at the Old Vic on Sunday 22 November.
Leading the way is the National Theatre with seven shortlisted candidates across six categories – Best Play (Stephen Adly Guirgis) and Best Director (Indhu Rubasingham) for The Motherf**ker With the Hat; Best Actor for Ralph Fiennes’ performance in Man and Superman; Best Actress for Denise Gough in People, Places and Things; the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright for Alistair McDowall, whose Pomona ran in the Temporary Theatre; and two shortlisted for the Emerging Talent Award in Partnership with Burberry – Calvin Demba (The Red Lion) and Patsy Ferran (Treasure Island). The National Theatre is closely followed by the Royal Court and Donmar Warehouse with five and four shortlisted respectively.
In the Best Actor category, four-time Evening Standard Theatre Award winner Simon Russell Beale is recognised for his performance in Temple at the Donmar Warehouse against Kenneth Cranham for The Father, Ralph Fiennes for Man and Superman and James McAvoy for The Ruling Class.
Returning to the London stage after a 17 year absence, Nicole Kidman is shortlisted for the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress for her role in Photograph 51, and is joined by Denise Gough for People, Places and Things, Gugu Mbatha-Raw for Nell Gywnn, and Lia Williams for Oresteia.
The Father, written by Florian Zeller and translated by Christopher Hampton – currently playing at Wyndham’s Theatre, vies for the Best Play award with Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen and The Motherf**ker with the Hat by Stephen Adly Guirgis. The latter’s director Indhu Rubasingham also makes the shortlist for the Milton Shulman Award for Best Director alongside Robert Icke for Oresteia and Jamie Lloyd for Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
This year for the first time there are three musical awards, in recognition of the contribution of musical theatre to the West End. In the new Best Musical Performance category, Imelda Staunton (Gypsy) is joined by Katie Brayben (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Rosalie Craig (City of Angels) and Killian Donnelly (Kinky Boots). Gemma Arterton (Made in Dagenham), Ellie Bamber (High Society) and Natalie Dew (Bend It Like Beckham) compete for inaugural Newcomer in a Musical Award. The third musical award, is the Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical, is voted for by the Radio 2 listeners, the shortlist for which has already been announced (Assassins, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Bend It Like Beckham, Gypsy and Kinky Boots). The winner of this award will be announced live on the night on BBC Radio 2 by Elaine Paige.
London theatre has once again seen a wealth of new talent across its stages this year, and awards for Most Promising Playwright and Emerging Talent are hotly contested. The Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright sees Molly Davies (God Bless the Child), Alistair McDowall (Pomona) and Diana Nneka Atuona (Liberian Girl) shortlisted; and for the Emerging Talent Award in partnership with Burberry, those shortlisted are Calvin Demba (The Red Lion), Patsy Ferran (Treasure Island) and David Moorst (Violence and Son).
In addition to these categories there will also be presentations for the Editor’s Award, given to an individual or organisation for an outstanding contribution to theatre; the Lebedev Award, presented to a writer, performer, director or institution for a specific piece of work or as a lifetime achievement award; and the Beyond the Theatre Award, for a performance, event or production beyond the realms of the stage.
Owner of the London Evening Standard Evgeny Lebedev said today, “This fantastic shortlist bears witness to the fact that Londoners are living through a theatrical golden age. With ground-breaking director-led seasons, visionary new writing dominating the West End and the world¹s finest thespian talent queuing up to perform here, London¹s theatre scene is the envy of the world.”
THE 61ST ANNUAL LONDON EVENING STANDARD THEATRE AWARDS SHORTLIST IN FULL
- Simon Russell Beale, Temple, Donmar Warehouse
- Kenneth Cranham, The Father, Ustinov Bath, Tricycle & Wyndham’s Theatre
- Ralph Fiennes, Man and Superman, National Theatre’s Lyttelton
- James McAvoy, The Ruling Class, Trafalgar Studios
Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress:
- Denise Gough, People, Places and Things, National Theatre’s Dorfman
- Nicole Kidman, Photograph 51, Noel Coward Theatre
- Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nell Gwynn, Shakespeare’s Globe
- Lia Williams, Oresteia, Almeida Theatre & Trafalgar Studios
- The Motherf**ker with the Hat (Stephen Adly Guirgis), National Theatre’s Lyttelton
- Hangmen (Martin McDonagh) Royal Court
- The Father (Florian Zeller, translated by Christopher Hampton) Ustinov Bath, Tricycle & Wyndham’s Theatre
Milton Shulman Award for Best Director:
- Robert Icke, Oresteia, Almeida Theatre & Trafalgar Studios
- Jamie Lloyd, Assassins, Menier Chocolate Factory
- Indhu Rubasingham, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, National Theatre’s Lyttelton
- Anna Fleischle, Hangmen, Royal Court
- Tim Hatley, Temple, Donmar Warehouse
- Robert Jones, City of Angels, Donmar Warehouse
Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright:
- Molly Davies, God Bless the Child, Royal Court Upstairs
- Alistair McDowall, Pomona, Orange Tree Theatre & National Theatre’s Temporary Space
- Diana Nneka Atuona, Liberian Girl, Royal Court Upstairs (Peckham & Tottenham pop up venues)
Emerging Talent Award in Partnership with Burberry:
- Calvin Demba, The Red Lion, National Theatre’s Dorfman
- Patsy Ferran, Treasure Island, National Theatre’s Olivier
- David Moorst, Violence and Son, Royal Court Upstairs
Best Musical Performance:
- Katie Brayben, Beautiful, Aldwych Theatre
- Rosalie Craig, City of Angels, Donmar Warehouse
- Killian Donnelly, Kinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre
- Imelda Staunton, Gypsy, Savoy Theatre
Newcomer in a Musical:
- Gemma Arterton, Made in Dagenham, Adelphi Theatre
- Ellie Bamber, High Society, Old Vic
- Natalie Dew, Bend It Like Beckham, Phoenix Theatre
Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical (voted for by the public):
- Assassins, Menier Chocolate Factory
- Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Aldwych Theatre
- Bend It Like Beckham, Phoenix Theatre
- Gypsy, Savoy Theatre
- Kinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre