The Manchester Evening News has announced its list of nominees for this year's MEN Theatre Awards. Billed as the Oliviers of the North, the MEN Awards are now in their 22nd year.

This year's awards features more than 80 nominations, encompassing both visiting and local-area productions, across 22 different categories. Amongst the leading actors in contention are Janet McTeer, Joanna Riding, John Thomson, Russell Dixon, John Ramm and Alison Pargeter.

Winners will be announced on Tuesday 2 December 2003 at a ceremony presented by Jason Moorhouse and held at the City's Crowne Plaza Midland Hotel.


The full list of Manchester Evening News 2003 nominations is as follows:

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE - Juliet Ellis for You Hang Up First at Contact, Emma Lowndes for Port and The Seagull at the Royal Exchange, Aislinn Mangan for Translations at the Library Theatre, Joanna Riding for Hobson's Choice at the Royal Exchange

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE - Michael Imerson for Brighton Beach Memoirs at the Oldham Coliseum, Robert Horwell for Schweyk in the Second World War at the Library Theatre, Richard Oldham for Once Upon a Time in Wigan at Contact, John Thomson for Hobson's Choice at the Royal Exchange, Paul Webster for Home at the Oldham Coliseum

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - Libby Davidson for Cooking with Elvis at the Bolton Octagon, Olwen May for Schweyk in the Second World War at the Library Theatre, Lynne McCallum for The Steamie at the Oldham Coliseum, Kerry Pears for Brighton Beach Memoirs at the Oldham Coliseum

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - Russell Dixon for The Seagull at the Royal Exchange, Vincent Penfold for The Hypochondriac at the Bolton Octagon, John Ramm for Twelfth Night at the Royal Exchange, Darren Southworth for Ham at the Bolton Octagon, Sion Tudor Owen for Schweyk in the Second World War at the Library Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A VISITING PRODUCTION - Karen Drury for Brief Encounter at The Lowry, Janet McTeer for The Duchess of Malfi at The Lowry, Ruth Negga for Duck at the Library Theatre, Alison Pargeter for Sugar Daddies at the Bolton Octagon, Tanya Selvaratnam for Alladeen at Contact

BEST ACTOR IN A VISITING PRODUCTION - George Costigan and Matthew Kelly for Of Mice and Men at The Lowry, Zach Lee for Reunion at the Bolton Octagon, Ian McDiarmid for The Embalmer at The Lowry, Richard Sumitro for Hobson's Choice at The Lowry, Andres Williams for The Graduate at The Lowry

BEST FRINGE PERFORMER - Craig Cheetham for Rafts and Dreams at the Royal Exchange Studio, Jonzi D for Aeroplane at the Library Theatre, Pieter Dirk-Uys for Foreign Aids at Contact, Segun for Bro-9 at Contact

BEST MUSICAL - The Boyfriend at the Lowry, Chicago at the Palace Theatre, The Rat Pack at the Opera House, Umoja at the Palace Theatre

BEST VISITING PRODUCTION -Duck from Out of Joint at the Library Theatre, Henry V from Northern Broadsides at The Lowry, Hobson's Choice from the Young Vic at The Lowry, Macbeth from TABS Theatre at Oldham Coliseum, A Midsummer Night's Dream from The Watermill at The Lowry, 1984 from Northern Stage Ensemble at The Lowry

BEST FRINGE PRODUCTION - Moonshed at the Royal Exchange Studio, Shoot the Crow at the Royal Exchange Studio, Surf's Up at Contact, Victory at The Dirt Palace at Contact

BEST SPECIAL ENTERTAINMENT - Alladeen at Contact, Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes in Happy at the Library Theatre, Circus Ronaldo at Platt Fields, The Ladyboys of Bangkok at The Lowry, The Twits at the Palace Theatre

COMEDY AWARD - Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure at the Opera House, Peter Kay's "My Mum Wants a Bungalow" tour at The Lowry, the Manchester Apollo and the MEN Arena, John Shuttleworth for Pillock of the Community at The Lowry, Dave Spikey's "Overnight Success Tour" at the Comedy Store

BEST DESIGN - Brighton Beach Memoirs at the Oldham Coliseum, Bro-9 at Contact, Home at the Oldham Coliseum, The Hypochondriac at the Bolton Octagon, You Hang Up First at Contact

BEST PRODUCTION - Brighton Beach Memoirs at the Oldham Coliseum, Home at the Oldham Coliseum, Once Upon a Time in Wigan at Contact, Schweyk in the Second World War at the Library Theatre, Translations at the Library Theatre

BEST NEW PLAY - Moonshed at the Royal Exchange Studio, Once Upon a Time in Wigan at Contact, Port at the Royal Exchange, Surf's Up at Contact, You Hang Up First at Contact

OPERA AWARD - Die Fledermaus at the Clonter Opera Farm, Don Giovanni at the Royal Northern College of Music, Idomeneo from Opera North at The Lowry, Maria Padilla at the Buxton Festival, The Ring Cycle from the Scottish Opera at The Lowry

DANCE AWARD - La Bayadere and Swan Lake from the Kirov at The Lowry, Requiem from Phoenix Dance at the Royal Northern College of Music, Sleeping Beauty from Birmingham Royal Ballet at The Lowry, Triple Bill from the Paul Taylor Dance Company at The Lowry

MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER - Viktoria Kay for Cooking With Elvis at the Bolton Octagon, Emma Kearney for Translations at the Library Theatre, Andrew Sheridan for Port at the Royal Exchange

- by Christian Bell