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Big Name Actors Lead Standard Awards Longlists

By • West End
For only the second time in its 54-year history, London’s Evening Standard newspaper has published the long list of contenders in its annual Evening Standard Theatre Awards, which this year includes big names such as Kenneth Branagh, Kevin Spacey, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Helen McCrory, Penelope Wilton, Alan Rickman, Michael Grandage, Michael Boyd and Rupert Goold.

The first prize-giving of the awards season – ahead of the Critics’ Circle, the Laurence Olivier and Whatsonstage.com’s own Theatregoers’ Choice Awards, all of which are announced in the new year – the Evening Standard Awards are announced at a ceremony hosted by Richard Wilson at the Royal Opera House on 24 November 2008, with shortlists due to published in the newspaper this Friday, 7 November.

The Standard Awards are decided by a panel of critics from the Mail on Sunday (Georgina Brown), Observer (Susannah Clapp), Times (Benedict Nightingale) and Daily Telegraph (Charles Spencer) as well as the Standard itself (Nicholas de Jongh), chaired by Evening Standard editor Veronica Wadley. The longlist comprises every individual and production submitted by the judges as awards-worthy.

As Nicholas de Jongh explained when the longlists were first revealed last year: “The whole notion of introducing the longlist is to draw attention to the very high quality which we regularly enjoy across the full gamut of theatre … Everyone of the longlist deserves their moment of glory.”

Historically, the thinking of the Standard judges was much more of a mystery. Until 2001 when the newspaper began announcing the shortlists in advance of the awards presentation (See News, 6 Nov 2001), only the winners themselves were ever publicly revealed. Unlike last year when the longlists began, one category this year – the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright – has no longlist. In 1999, for the only time in its history, the Evening Standard Awards excluded the annual category for Best Play completely because the judges felt that year there were no new works that lived up to “the extraordinary achievements of the past” (See News, 23 Nov 1999).

- by Terri Paddock


The full longlists of contenders in this year’s 54th annual Evening Standard Theatre Awards, which covers openings up until the end of October 2008, are (in no particular order):

BEST PLAY

  • Black Watch - by Gregory Burke (National Theatre of Scotland at Barbican)
  • Days Of Significance - by Roy Williams (RSC at the Tricycle)
  • Her Naked Skin - by Rebecca Lenkiewicz (National\'s Olivier)
  • Never So Good - by Howard Brenton (National\'s Lyttelton)
  • Now Or Later - by Christopher Shinn (Royal Court)
  • The Pitmen Painters - by Lee Hall (Live Theatre and National Theatre co-production)

    BEST ACTOR

  • Kenneth Branagh - Ivanov (Donmar West End at Wyndham\'s)
  • David Calder - King Lear (Shakespeare\'s Globe)
  • Adam Godley - Rain Man (Apollo)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor - Othello (Donmar Warehouse)
  • Will Keen - Waste (Almeida)
  • Simon Russell Beale - Much Ado About Nothing (National\'s Olivier)
  • Jonathan Slinger - Richard II and Richard III (RSC at the Roundhouse)
  • Kevin Spacey - Speed-the-Plow (Old Vic)

    BEST ACTRESS

  • Lesley Manville - Her Naked Skin (National\'s Olivier)
  • Helen McCrory - Rosmersholm (Almeida)
  • Phoebe Nicholls - Waste (Almeida)
  • Lesley Sharp - Harper Regan (National\'s Cottesloe)
  • Margaret Tyzack - The Chalk Garden (Donmar Warehouse)
  • Penelope Wilton - The Chalk Garden (Donmar Warehouse)

    THE NED SHERRIN AWARD FOR BEST MUSICAL

  • La Cage Aux Folles - Menier Chocolate Factory and Playhouse
  • Eurobeat - Novello
  • Jersey Boys - Prince Edward
  • Marguerite - Theatre Royal Haymarket
  • Street Scene - The Opera Group, Young Vic and Watford Palace Theatre co-production

    THE SYDNEY EDWARDS AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR

  • Lucy Bailey - Timon of Athens (Shakespeare\'s Globe)
  • Michael Boyd - The History Cycle (Royal Shakespeare Company at the Roundhouse)
  • Rupert Goold - Six Characters In Search Of An Author (Gielgud)/No Man\'s Land (Duke of York\'s)/The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot (Almeida)
  • Michael Grandage - Othello/The Chalk Garden/Ivanov (Donmar West End at Wyndham\'s and Donmar Warehouse)
  • Katie Mitchell - The Trojan Women (National\'s Lyttelton)
  • Emma Rice - Brief Encounter (Kneehigh at Cinema Haymarket Theatre)
  • Alan Rickman - Creditors (Donmar Warehouse)
  • John Tiffany - Black Watch (National Theatre of Scotland at Barbican)

    BEST DESIGN

  • Miriam Buether - In The Red And Brown Water (Young Vic)
  • Laura Hopkins - Black Watch (National Theatre of Scotland at the Barbican)
  • Rob Howell - The Norman Conquests (Old Vic)
  • Neil Murray - Brief Encounter (Kneehigh at Cinema Haymarket Theatre)
  • Melly Still - The Revenger\'s Tragedy (National\'s Olivier)

    THE MILTON SHULMAN AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING NEWCOMER

  • Michelle Dockery - Pygmalion (Old Vic)
  • Luke Evans - Small Change (Donmar Warehouse)
  • Felicity Jones - The Chalk Garden (Donmar Warehouse)
  • Joseph Mawle - The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot (Almeida)
  • Lex Shrapnel - Henry IV Part I (Royal Shakespeare Company at The Roundhouse)
  • Ella Smith - Fat Pig (Trafalgar Studios and Comedy Theatre)

    THE CHARLES WINTOUR AWARD FOR MOST PROMISING PLAYWRIGHT
    NO LONGLIST ANNOUNCED


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