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Matilda, Guvnors & Constellations compete at South Bank Awards

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Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly's RSC musical Matilda, Richard Bean's National Theatre adaptation of Goldoni's classic The Servant of Two Masters, One Man, Two Guvnors, and Nick Payne's fourth play Constellations will compete in the theatre category at this year's South Bank Awards.

Now in their 16th year, the South Bank Awards will be hosted as ever by Melvyn Bragg, and presented in a ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel on 1 May 2012, broadcast on television channel Sky Arts.

Broadcaster ITV’s cancellation of the long-running television arts programme in 2010 sparked fears that the Awards would also be cancelled, but Sky Arts stepped in to revive the event, and the Awards were presented on the channel for the first time in 2011.

In addition to theatre, the South Bank Awards cover classical music, comedy, dance, film, literature, opera, pop music, TV drama and visual arts.

One audience-voted category, run in conjunction with The Times newspaper, is the Breakthrough Award, for which one artist is nominated from each art form.

Joseph Drake with Lily James at the press night for Othello at Sheffield Crucible. Photo credit: Dan Wooller
This year's Breakthrough Award nominee in the theatre category is actor Joseph Drake who made his professional stage debut in 2011 in Vernon God Little directed by Rufus Norris at the Young Vic.

He has since appeared in Kingdom of Earth, Nijinsky and Trevor Nunn's Theatre Royal, Haymarket revival of The Lion in Winter alongside Robert Lindsay and Joanna Lumley.

He is currently appearing in Philip Ridley’s Shivered which continues at Southwark Playhouse until 14 April 2012.

Stage regular Jessica Raine is also competing for the Breakthrough Award for her recent television drama role in the BBC's Call the Midwife.

Raine was initially cast against Lesley Sharp in Simon Stephen's Harper Regan which premiered at the National Theatre in 2008.

She returned to the National a year later in Mike Bartlett's Earthquakes in London and again in Clifford Odets' Rocket to the Moon before transitioning to TV.


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