For the third year running, London’s Evening Standard newspaper has published the longlist of contenders in its annual Evening Standard Theatre Awards, which this year includes big names such as Lenny Henry, Kevin Spacey, Mark Rylance, Juliet Stevenson, David Tennant, Sam Mendes, Rupert Goold, Ian McKellen and Rachel Weisz.

The Best Actress category has been renamed this year in honour of actress Natasha Richardson, who died in March following a skiing accident. Announcing the longlists, Evening Standard executive director Evgeny Lebedev paid tribute to Richardson, calling her "one of the great stage talents of our age", adding that the renaming of the award will "honour her achievements and her memory".

The Awards, now in their 55th year, will be chosen by a panel of critics including the Standard’s own Henry Hitchings, the Observer’s Susannah Clapp, the International Herald Tribune’s Matt Wolf, the Mail On Sunday’s Georgina Brown and the Daily Telegraph’s Charles Spencer. The longlists, which prior to 2007 were kept private, will be whittled down to shortlists next week.

The first prize-giving of the 'awards season' - ahead of the Critics’ Circle, the Laurence Olivier and Whatsonstage.com Awards (which opens public voting on nominations today) - the Evening Standard Awards are announced at a ceremony at the Royal Opera House on 23 November 2009.


The full longlist of contenders in this year’s 55th annual Evening Standard Theatre Awards, which covers openings up until the end of October 2009, are (in no particular order):

BEST PLAY

  • August: Osage County - Tracy Letts (Steppenwolf/National)
  • England People Very Nice - Richard Bean (National)
  • Enron - Lucy Prebble (Royal Court)
  • Jerusalem - Jez Butterworth (Royal Court)
  • Our Class - Tadeusz Slobodzianek/Ryan Craig (Steppenwolf/National)
  • Pornography - Simon Stephens (Tricycle)
  • Punk Rock - Simon Stephens (Lyric Hammersmith)
  • Tusk Tusk - Polly Stenham (Royal Court)
  • When The Rain Stops Falling - Andrew Bovell (Almeida)

    BEST ACTOR

  • Bertie Carvel - The Pride (Royal Court)
  • Michael Feast - Plague Over England (Duchess)
  • Henry Goodman - Duet For One (Almeida/Vaudeville)
  • David Harewood - The Mountaintop (Theatre 503/Trafalgar Studios)
  • Matthew Kelly - Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf (Trafalgar Studios) & Troilus And Cressida (Shakespeare’s Globe)
  • Ian McKellen - Waiting For Godot (Theatre Royal Haymarket)
  • Simon Russell Beale - The Winter’s Tale (Old Vic)
  • Mark Rylance - Jerusalem (Royal Court)
  • Kevin Spacey - Inherit The Wind (Old Vic)
  • Ken Stott - A View From The Bridge (Duke of York’s)
  • David Tennant - Hamlet (RSC Stratford/Novello)
  • David Troughton - Enjoy (Gielgud) & Inherit The Wind (Old Vic)
  • Samuel West - Enron (Royal Court)
  • THE NATASHA RICHARDSON AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS

  • Samantha Bond - Arcadia (Duke of York’s)
  • Deanna Dunagan - August: Osage County (Steppenwolf/ National)
  • Penny Downie - Helen (Shakespeare’s Globe)
  • Rebecca Hall - The Winter’s Tale (Old Vic)
  • Pauline Malefane - The Mysteries (Garrick)
  • Lyndsey Marshal - The Pride (Royal Court)
  • Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio - A View From The Bridge (Duke of York’s)
  • Amy Morton - August: Osage County (Steppenwolf/ National)
  • Juliet Stevenson - Duet For One (Almeida/Vaudeville)
  • Michelle Terry - England People Very Nice (National)
  • Rachel Weisz - A Streetcar Named Desire (Donmar Warehouse)

    THE NED SHERRIN AWARD FOR BEST MUSICAL

  • A Little Night Music (Menier Chocolate Factory/Garrick)
  • Been So Long (Young Vic)
  • Hello, Dolly (Open Air, Regent’s Park)
  • The Mysteries (Garrick)
  • Spring Awakening (Lyric Hammersmith/Novello)
  • Sunset Boulevard (Comedy)

    BEST DIRECTOR

  • Howard Davies - Burnt by the Sun (National)
  • Marianne Elliott - All’s Well That Ends Well (National)
  • Richard Eyre - The Last Cigarette (Trafalgar Studios) and The Observer (National)
  • Rupert Goold - Enron (Royal Court)
  • Jeremy Herrin - Tusk Tusk (Royal Court)
  • Janice Honeyman - The Tempest (RSC Stratford/Richmond)
  • Sean Mathias - Waiting For Godot (Theatre Royal Haymarket)
  • Sam Mendes - The Winter’s Tale (Old Vic)
  • Ian Rickson - Jerusalem (Royal Court)
  • Anna D Shapiro August: Osage County (Steppenwolf/National)

    BEST DESIGN

  • Jon Bausor - Kursk (Young Vic)
  • Miriam Buether - Judgement Day (Almeida)
  • Lez Brotherston - Dancing At Lughnasa (Old Vic)
  • Bob Crowley - Phedre (National) & The Power Of Yes (National)
  • Rob Howell - The Observer (National)
  • Mamoru Iriguchi - Mincemeat (Cardboard Citizens/Cordy House, Shoreditch)
  • Peter McKintosh - Prick Up Your Ears (Comedy)
  • Vicki Mortimer - Burnt by The Sun (National)
  • Christopher Oram - Hamlet/Madame de Sade/Twelfth Night (Donmar at Wyndham’s) & A Streetcar Named Desire (Donmar Warehouse)
  • Todd Rosenthal - August: Osage County (National)
  • Ultz - Jerusalem (Royal Court)

    THE MILTON SHULMAN AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING NEWCOMER

  • Naana Agyei-Ampadu (Been So Long/Young Vic)
  • Aneurin Barnard (Spring Awakening/Lyric Hammersmith)
  • Lenny Henry (Othello/Northern Broadsides at Trafalgar Studios)
  • Ruth Negga (Phedre/National)
  • Bel Powley (Tusk Tusk/Royal Court)
  • Toby Regbo (Tusk Tusk/Royal Court)
  • Tom Sturridge (Punk Rock/ Lyric Hammersmith)
  • Charlotte Wakefield (Spring Awakening/ Lyric Hammersmith & Novello)
  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge (2nd May 1997/Bush)

    THE CHARLES WINTOUR AWARD FOR MOST PROMISING PLAYWRIGHT

  • Alia Bano (Shades/Royal Court)
  • Kieron Barry (Stockwell/Landor & Tricycle)
  • Lucy Kirkwood (It Felt Empty When The Heart Went At First But It Is Alright Now/Arcola)
  • Molly Davies (A Miracle/Royal Court)
  • Katori Hall (Mountaintop/Theatre 503 & Trafalgar Studios)
  • Ella Hickson (Eight/Trafalgar Studios)
  • Alexi Kaye Campbell (The Pride/Royal Court & Apologia/Bush)