For the fourth year running, London’s Evening Standard newspaper has published the longlist of contenders in its annual Evening Standard Theatre Awards. Winners will be announced at a star-studded awards ceremony at the reopened Savoy Hotel on Sunday 28 November 2010.

Unusually, for Best Actress, two of those on the list are in contention for their performances in musicals - Sheridan Smith for Legally Blonde and Elena Roger for Passion. The Standard Awards have no dedicated categories for musical performances and only one specifically for the genre, Best Musical, which does not distinguish between new work and revivals.

Amongst the other big names on the long lists are Judi Dench, Keira Knightley, David Suchet, Zoe Wanamaker, Adrian Lester, Alfred Molina, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Simon Russsell Beale, Gemma Arterton, Helen McCrory, Tamsin Greig and former Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm.

In addition to the eight regular categories in the Standard awards – Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Play, Best Musical, Best Director, Best Design, Most Promising Playwright and Outstanding Newcomer – there are two special awards, one for outstanding contribution to theatre, and a second with an international theme, initiated last year by the newspaper’s new Russian owner Evgeny Lebedev, the Golden Seagull Award, presented by the Moscow Art Theatre.

The Evening Standard Awards are the first in the annual awards season. They’re followed by our own Whatsonstage.com Awards, the “theatregoers’ choice”, for which shortlists are announced at our launch party on Friday 3 December following theatregoer nominations from 1 November, the Critics’ Circle and the Laurence Olivier Awards.

** FOR INFORMATION ON SPONSORING THE WHATSONSTAGE.COM AWARDS – WITH ACCESS TO ALL AWARDS EVENTS – CLICK HERE! **


The full longlist of contenders in this year’s 56th annual Evening Standard Theatre Awards, which covers openings up until the end of October 2010, are (in alphabetical order):

BEST ACTOR

The Natasha Richardson Award for BEST ACTRESS

BEST PLAY

The Ned Sherrin Award for BEST MUSICAL

  • Hair (Gielgud Theatre)
  • Legally Blonde The Musical (Savoy Theatre)
  • Les Misérables (2010) (Cameron Mackintosh production at the Barbican Theatre)
  • Passion (Donmar Warehouse)
  • Sweet Charity (Menier Chocolate Factory; transferred to Theatre Royal Haymarket)
  • The Human Comedy (A Young Vic/The Opera Group production co-produced with Watford Palace theatre)

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Dominic Cooke for Clybourne Park (Royal Court)
  • Howard Davies for The White Guard (National Theatre, Lyttelton) and All My Sons (Apollo theatre)
  • James MacDonald for Cock (Royal Court)
  • Jeremy Herrin for Spur Of The Moment (Royal Court)
  • Joe Hill-Gibbins for The Beauty Queen Of Leenane (Young Vic)
  • Laurie Sansom for Beyond The Horizon and Spring Storm (both National Theatre, Cottesloe)
  • Lyndsey Turner for Posh (Royal Court)
  • Michael Grandage for Red (Donmar Warehouse) and Danton's Death (National theatre, Olivier)
  • Nicholas Hytner for The Habit Of Art (National Theatre, Lyttelton), London Assurance (National Theatre, Olivier) and Hamlet (National Theatre, Olivier)
  • Roger Michell for Rope (Almeida theatre)
  • Rupert Goold for Romeo And Juliet (RSC Stratford) and Earthquakes In London (National Theatre, Cottesloe)
  • Thea Sharrock for After The Dance (National Theatre, Lyttelton)

BEST DESIGN

  • Bunny Christie for The White Guard (National Theatre, Lyttelton)
  • Christopher Oram for Passion and Red (both Donmar Warehouse)
  • Lez Brotherston for The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice (Vaudeville theatre), Measure For Measure (Almeida theatre), Women Beware Women (National Theatre, Olivier) and Design For Living (Old Vic)
  • Mark Thompson for London Assurance (National Theatre, Olivier)
  • Miriam Buether for Sucker Punch (Royal Court) and Earthquakes In London (National Theatre, Cottesloe)
  • Rob Howell for Private Lives (Vaudeville theatre) and Deathtrap (Noël Coward theatre)
  • Vicki Mortimer for The Cat In The Hat (National Theatre, Cottesloe; transferred to Young Vic)

The Charles Wintour Award for MOST PROMISING PLAYWRIGHT

  • Anya Reiss for Spur Of The Moment (Royal Court)
  • Atiha Sen Gupta for What Fatima Did (Hampstead theatre)
  • DC Moore for The Empire (Royal Court)
  • James Graham for The Whisky Taster (Bush theatre) and The Man (Finborough theatre)
  • Nick Payne for If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet (Bush theatre) and Wanderlust (Royal Court)
  • Penelope Skinner for Eigengrau (Bush theatre)

The Milton Shulman Award for OUTSTANDING NEWCOMER