Brits Abroad Dominate 1999 Tony NominationsDate: 5 May 1999
The Brits may follow their dominating performance at this year's Oscars at another premiere American awards ceremony - the Tonys, the premiere awards for Broadway. Nominations, announced this week, include a whopping 23 for productions seen in the West End first.
Big potential homegrown winners are the National's production of Tennesee Williams' Not About Nightingales which received six nominations, including best director (Trevor Nunn), best actor (Corin Redgrave), best supporting actor (Finbar Lynch) and best revival; the Almeida Theatre's revival of The Iceman Cometh, which garnered five nominations, also including best director (Howard Davies), best actor (Kevin Spacey) and best revival; and Martin McDonagh's Lonesome West, part of the Leenane trilogy seen first in full at the Royal Court, which received four nominations, including best new play, best supporting actress (Dawn Bradfield) and, yet again, best actor (Brian O'Byrne) and best director (Garry Hynes).
In some of the leading categories, including best actor and best director, an incredible three-quarters of the nominations are for British or Irish productions. In the best new play category, Lonesome West and Not About Nightingales is battling Patrick Marber's Closer. In the best supporting actress category, Lonesome West's Bradfield is up against Claire Bloom from the Donmar Warehouse production of Electra and Samantha Bond from the National production of David Hare's Amy's View.
Two British heavyweights - Zoe Wanamaker and Oscar and Bafta-winner Judi Dench - are going head to head in the best actress category. At last year's Olivier Awards in the UK, the two were also contenders - with Wanamaker's title role in Electra and Dench's portrayal of distraught mother Esme Allen in Amy's View. On that occasion, Wanamaker took home the honours.
The Tony Awards will be announced Sunday, 6 June 1999.