London’s Evening Standard newspaper today released its list of nominations for the 52nd annual Evening Standard Theatre Awards. Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Monday 27 November 2006.

The National, the Donmar Warehouse and the Royal Court lead the nominations. Conor McPherson’s The Seafarer (at the NT Cottesloe), Peter Morgan’s Frost/Nixon (about to open at the Gielgud following its sell-out at the Donmar) and Tom Stoppard’s Rock 'n' Roll (now at the Duke of York’s after its summer premiere at the Royal Court) - which also has nominations for Best Actor (Rufus Sewell) and Best Actress (Sinead Cusack) - in contention for Best Play.

Elsewhere in the play categories, Kevin Spacey gets a Best Actor nod for A Moon for the Misbegotten at the Old Vic, while Bill Irwin and Kathleen Turner are both nominated for their performances in the West End revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.

In a year resplendent with big-budget musicals – including many Broadway imports – Michael Grandage’s revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Evita is up for Best Musical, with a nomination for its Argentine star Elena Roger as Best Newcomer and set designer Christopher Oram. Grandage himself is also nominated as Best Director, pitted against Marianne Elliott for Pillars of the Community at the National and Anthony Page for in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.

Evita battles it out in the musicals category against Caroline, or Change at the National, the Menier Chocolate Factory’s West End transfer of Sunday in the Park With George, and Broadway’s Spamalot at the Palace Theatre. However, fans of this year’s other big Broadway transfers - Wicked and Avenue Q - will be disappointed, as neither of those shows figure in the Standard’s awards line-up.

Other high-profile names that are in contention for this year's Evening Standard awards include Michael Sheen and Frances O'Connor, while in the Outstanding Newcomer field, Chris New, receives a nomination for Bent, competing against Andrew Garfield (Beautiful Thing, Burn, Chatroom, Citizenship and The Overwhelming), Elena Roger and Punchdrunk Theatre Group.

- by Caroline Ansdell

The full list of Evening Standard 2006 nominations is as follows:

BEST PLAY - The Seafarer by Conor McPherson, Rock 'n' Roll by Tom Stoppard, Frost/Nixon by Peter Morgan.

BEST ACTOR - Kevin Spacey for A Moon for the Misbegotten, Bill Irwin for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Rufus Sewell for Rock ‘n’ Roll and Michael Sheen for Frost/Nixon.

BEST ACTRESS - Sinead Cusack for Rock ‘n’ Roll, Frances O'Connor for Tom and Viv, Kathleen Turner for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.

BEST DIRECTOR - Marianne Elliott for Pillars of the Community, Michael Grandage for The Wild Duck, Evita and Frost/Nixon, Anthony Page for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.

BEST DESIGNER - David Farley and Timothy Bird for Sunday in the Park with George, Borkur Jonsson for Metamorphosis and Christopher Oram for Evita.

BEST MUSICAL - Caroline, Or Change, Evita, Spamalot, Sunday in the Park with George.

OUTSTANDING NEWCOMER - Andrew Garfield for Beautiful Thing, Burn, Chatroom, Citizenship and The Overwhelming , Chris New for Bent, Elena Roger for Evita, Punchdrunk Theatre (for Faust).

The winners of the special award and the Charles Wintour award for most promising playwright will be announced on the day.

DON’T FORGET!! You can help draw up the nominations in the Theatregoers’ Choice Awards. Shortlists will be announced at our own awards event on Friday 1 December 2006 at Café de Paris.

To nominate your favourite performances & productions
& visit the awards microsite, click here!