London's Evening Standard newspaper today released its full list of nominations for the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, the first of the major theatrical awards for the 2002 London season. Winners will be announced at a ceremony held on 25 November 2002, aired on Carlton Television on 28 November.

Hollywood's Gwyneth Paltrow (pictured) leads a slew of nominations for the Donmar Warehouse, in its tenth and last season under the directorship of Sam Mendes. Paltrow has been nominated for Best Actress for her role in the Broadway transfer of David Auburn's Proof, which received its UK premiere at the Donmar in May.

She's competing against Clare Higgins, from the Richard Eyre's National Theatre production of Nicholas Wright's Vincent in Brixton, which recently finished its West End season, as well as fellow Donmar leading lady Helen McCrory, now appearing in Mendes' double bill of Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night.

Those current Donmar productions, Hollywood-courted Mendes' last for the theatre before handing over his artistic director position to Michael Grandage next month, have also put him in the running for the Standard's Best Director award and earned star Simon Russell Beale a shot at this year's Best Actor honour, pitted against Daniel Craig for Caryl Churchill's A Number (also up for Best New Play and Best Designer) and Tom Georgeson for Frozen at the NT Cottesloe.

Across the main drama awards, the Donmar Warehouse’s four overall nominations are matched by four nominations apiece for the Royal Court and National Theatres, doled out for leading productions including A Number, Vincent in Brixton and Plasticine, each of which received two nominations in various fields.

Meanwhile, in the Best Musical category, the three contenders are: the Gershwin-fest My One and Only, which ran earlier this year at the Piccadilly Theatre after its Chichester Festival opening; Andrew Lloyd Webber's Bollywood blockbuster Bombay Dreams, still at the Apollo Victoria; and the Broadway transfer of The Full Monty, which has just announced its early closure at the Prince of Wales theatre.

- by Terri Paddock

The full list of Evening Standard nominations is as follows:

BEST ACTOR - Daniel Craig for A Number at the Royal Court, Simon Russell Beale for Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night; Tom Georgeson for Frozen.

BEST ACTRESS - Gwyneth Paltrow for Proof, Helen McCrory for Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night, Clare Higgins for Vincent in Brixton at the NT Cottesloe and Wyndham's Theatre.

BEST DIRECTOR - Sam Mendes for Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night; Tim Carroll for Twelfth Night at Shakespeare's Globe; Dominic Cooke for Plasticine at the Royal Court Upstairs.

BEST STAGE DESIGNER - Stephen Brimson Lewis for Much Ado About Nothing, RSC at the Theatre Royal Haymarket; William Dudley for The Coast of Utopia at the NT Olivier; Ian MacNeil for Plasticine and A Number at the Royal Court.

BEST MUSICAL - Bombay Dreams at the Apollo Victoria; The Full Monty at the Prince of Wales; My One and Only at the Piccadilly.

MOST PROMISING PLAYWRIGHT - Anthony Neilson for Stitching at the Bush; Charlotte Eilenberg for The Lucky Ones at Hampstead Theatre; Vassily Sigarev for Plasticine.

OUTSTANDING NEWCOMER - Jochum Ten Haaf for Vincent in Brixton, Alison Pargeter for Damsels in Distress at the Duchess Theatre; Jake Gyllenhaal for This Is Our Youth at the Garrick Theatre.