Two new plays - David Hare s The Blue Room and Conor McPherson s The Weir - also racked up several nominations a piece. The Blue Room, Hare s modern take on Arthur Schnitzler s La Ronde which had a sell-out run last year at the Donmar Warehouse, received six nominations including Best New Play, Best Director for Sam Mendes, Best Actress for Nicole Kidman and Best Actor for Iain Glen. The Weir, which is back at the Royal Court now for a third run, has also been nominated for Best New Play and Best Director for Ian Rickson, receiving four nominations in total.
Strong line-ups in both the Best Actor and Best Actress categories see nominations going to Micheal Gambon for The Unexpected Man, David Suchet for Amadeus, Kevin Spacey for The Iceman Cometh and to Sinead Cusack for Our Lady of Sligo, Judi Dench for Filumena and Diana Rigg for Britannicus and Phedre.
TV presenter Clive Anderson will host the awards ceremony on Friday, 12 February 1999 in a lunchtime ceremony held at the National Theatre. To maintain an element of surprise, the winners of some categories will receive their awards in unexpected locations outside of the ceremony. The Awards will be televised on BBC2 on Monday, 15 February at 7.30pm in a programme that will combine the awards presentation with the highlights of the year in London theatre.
This year s Awards comprise 83 nominations in 20 categories:
BEST NEW PLAY: The Blue Room by David Hare at the Donmar Warehouse; Copenhagen by Michael Frayn at the RNT Cottesloe; The Weir by Conor McPherson at the Royal Court; The Unexpected Man by Yasmina Reza, RSC at The Pit and Duchess.
BEST NEW COMEDY: Alarms & Excursions by Michael Frayn at the Gielgud; Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick by Terry Johnson at the RNT Lyttelton; Love Upon the Throne by Patrick Barlow at the Comedy; Things We Do For Love by Alan Ayckbourn at the Gielgud and Duchess.
BEST ENTERTAINMENT: Jackie Mason - Much Ado About Everything at the Playhouse; The Right Size in Do You Come Here Often? at the Vaudeville; Steve Coogan Is the Man Who Thinks He's It at the Lyceum; Shakespeare's Villains: A Masterclass in Evil with Steven Berkoff at the Haymarket.
BEST ACTRESS: Nicole Kidman, The Blue Room; Judi Dench, Filumena at the Piccadilly; Diana Rigg, Britannicus and Phedre, Almeida at the Albery; Sinead Cusack, Our Lady of Sligo at the RNT Cottesloe; Eileen Atkins, The Unexpected Man.
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE: Brendan Coyle, The Weir; Emma Fielding, The School for Scandal, RSC at the Barbican; Adam Godley, Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick at the RNT Lyttelton; Michael Sheen, Amadeus.
BEST COSTUME DESIGNER: Maria Bjornson, Britannicus and Phedre; Bunny Christie, As You Like It at Shakespeare s Globe; William Dudley, Amadeus at the Old Vic and London Cuckolds at RNT; Robert Jones, Henry VIII, RSC at the Young Vic.
BEST LIGHTING DESIGNER: Paule Constable, Amadeus and Uncle Vanya, RSC at the Young Vic; Mark Henderson, Britannicus and Phedre; David Hersey, Oklahoma!; Hugh Vanstone, The Blue Room and The Unexpected Man.
BEST SET DESIGNER: Maria Bjornson, Britannicus and Phedre; William Dudley, Amadeus and Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick; Richard Hoover, Not About Nightingales at the RNT Cottesloe; Mark Thompson, The Blue Room and The Unexpected Man.
BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION: Ballett Frankfurt's Enemy in the Figure, Sadler's Wells; Royal Ballet's Room of Cooks, Sadler Wells; City Ballet of London's The Man with the Moustache, Sadler's Wells at the Peacock; Bill T Jones/ Arnie Zane Dance Company's We Set Out Early...Visibility Was Poor, Sadler's Wells at the Peacock.
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE: Trisha Brown for L'Orfeo, BITE:98's presentation of Theatre Royal de la Monnaie's production; William Forsythe and his company for their Sadler's Wells season Bill T. Jones and his company for We Set Out Early...Visibility Was Poor; Twyla Tharp and her company for their BITE:98 season.
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA: Sandra Ford for her outstanding company debut as principal artist in ENO's Tales of Hoffman and Mary Stuart at Coliseum; Rene Jacobs for his musical direction of L'Orfeo; The Orchestra of the ROH for its consistently outstanding musicianship in Royal Opera's Le Nozze di Figaro at the Shaftesbury, The Bartered Bride and The Golden Cockerel at Sadler's Wells; Andrew Shore for his outstanding character performances in ENO's Gianni Schicchi and The Elixir of Love at the Coliseum.