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Follies, The Ferryman and The Jungle finalists for South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2018

Three shows make the shortlist in the theatre category this year

The original cast of The Ferryman
© Johan Persson

The nominations for the South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2018 have been announced.

The awards recognise big hitters in categories including TV drama, classical music, theatre, comedy, dance, film, visual arts, pop, literature and opera.

In the theatre category, Jez Butterworth's recent hit play The Ferryman is nominated alongside Dominic Cooke's revival of Follies at the National Theatre and the Young Vic's The Jungle, which is due to transfer to the West End in June.

In other categories there are appearances from Scottish Opera's production of Pelléas and Mélisande, Stormzy, Line of Duty, Howards End, Maliphantworks and Dua Lipa. Lady Macbeth, playwright Alice Birch's first feature film, has been nominated in the film category.

Also announced are The Times Breakthrough Awards, which recognises achievements made by newcomers across the arts. In the theatre category, Monica Dolan has been nominated for her debut play The B*easts alongside Sophie Willan for comedy, Francis Lee for film and Nubya Garcia for pop music.

Melvyn Bragg will host the awards this year, which take place on Sunday 1 July. Bragg said: "The creative industries generate £92 billion a year, and yet the funding cuts in the arts in schools are very worrying. Since 2010, there has been a 28 per cent drop in pupils taking arts GCSEs, with a corresponding drop in the number of arts teachers being trained.

"This means that the future of everything we stand for and everything we're good at is being threatened. But what we also stand for are events like these awards, which show how rich and diverse the arts in this country are."

The evening will also see the announcement of the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award.