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Boeing & 39 Scoop Tonys as Other Brits Overlooked

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The West End transfers of Boeing-Boeing and The 39 Steps were the big British winners on Broadway last night (15 June 2008), when they scooped two trophies apiece in the 62 annual Tony Awards in New York (See News, 29 May 2008). However, other British contenders – including the Menier Chocolate Factory revival of Sunday in the Park with George, winner of five Oliviers last year and nominated for 13 Tonys, Rupert Goold’s much-garlanded Patrick Stewart-headed Macbeth and Tom Stoppard’s Rock ‘n’ Roll, with four Tony nominations each - left empty-handed.

Matthew Warchus’ production of Marc Camoletti’s 1960s farce Boeing-Boeing, which was a flop in its original Broadway run, won awards for Best Play Revival and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for original cast member and former artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe Mark Rylance (pictured). Rylance beat off competition from compatriots Patrick Stewart for Macbeth, Rufus Sewell for Rock ‘n’ Roll and Ben Daniels for Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

The 39 Steps, Patrick Barlow’s comic adaptation of John Buchan’s thriller best known from the Alfred Hitchcock film, nabbed its two prizes in technical categories: Best Lighting and Sound Design for Kevin Adams and Mic Pool.

Elsewhere, Katrina Lindsay won Best Costume Design for the Broadway-originated production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, directed by her frequent UK collaborator Rufus Norris. And Irish actor Jim Norton was named Best Featured Actor in a play for Conor McPherson’s The Seafarer, which premiered at the National Theatre. He triumphed over competitors including his co-star Conleth Hill.

Wider British success was thwarted by homegrown US productions including Lincoln Center’s revival of South Pacific (which scooped seven Tonys, the most this year), August: Osage County (with five, Best Play and Best Direction) and In the Heights (with four, including Best Musical).

- by Terri Paddock


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