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National & Court Dominate Evening Standard Shortlists

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The shortlists for the 57th Evening Standard Awards have been announced, with subsidised venues the Royal Court and National Theatre claiming 17 nominations between them (eight and nine respectively).

Among the big names failing to make the cut from the longlists, which were announced last month, are actors James Corden, Gemma Arterton, Ralph Fiennes, Derek Jacobi, Ruth Wilson, Jude Law, Kevin Spacey and Dominic West.

The Best Actor category will feature two actors from the same production – Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, who alternated as Frankenstein and The Creature at the National Theatre earlier this year.

They'll be up against Charles Edwards for his “towering performance” as Benedick in Shakespeare’s Globe’s production of Much Ado About Nothing and Bertie Carvel for his cross-dressing turn as Miss Trunchbull in the RSC's Matilda, which is currently in previews at the Cambridge Theatre.

Elsewhere, the Best Actress longlist has been chopped down to three: Sheridan Smith (Flare Path); Samantha Spiro (Chicken Soup with Barley); and Kristin Scott Thomas (Betrayal).

Best Director features Mike Leigh for his production of Grief at the NT Cottesloe, alongside Rob Ashford (Anna Christie), Dominic Cooke (Chicken Soup with Barley) and Edward Hall (Richard III & The Comedy of Errors).

Richard Bean is a double-nominee in the Best Play category, with The Heretic and One Man, Two Guvnors going up against Gion Gionfriddo's Becky Shaw and Nina Raine's Tribes.

Best Musical meanwhile will be contested between Betty Blue Eyes, which closed at the Novello in September, London Road (NT Cottesloe) and Matilda (RSC).

And the Outstanding Newcomer Award shortlist will see husband and wife Phoebe Fox and Kyle Soller go head-to-head, alongside Malachi Kirby and David Wilson Barnes.

Evening Standard theatre critic Henry Hitchings said: “It's been a fantastic year for musicals, with memorable new writing making an impact in both the commercial and subsidised sectors, alongside a string of deft revivals. The National Theatre has had another strong year, and the general mood in London theatre has been reassuringly buoyant and robust, with starry openings balanced by a commitment to exploring topical issues.

“While it's not all good news, and the full impact of funding cuts has yet to be felt, Londoners have an incredible range of choice that would be the envy of theatregoers in any other city.”

The first prize-giving of the 'awards season' - ahead of the Critics’ Circle, the Laurence Olivier and Whatsonstage.com Awards (which opened nominations last week - click here to nominate now!) – this year’s Evening Standard Awards will be announced at a ceremony hosted by Barry Humphries (aka Dame Edna Everage) at the Savoy Hotel on Sunday, 20 November 2011.

Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2011 Shortlist


  • Bertie Carvel - Matilda the Musical (RSC Stratford & Cambridge Theatre)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch - Frankenstein (NT Olivier)
  • Charles Edwards - Much Ado About Nothing (Globe)
  • Jonny Lee Miller - Frankenstein (NT Olivier)


  • Sheridan Smith - Flare Path (Theatre Royal Haymarket)
  • Samantha Spiro - Chicken Soup with Barley (Royal Court)
  • Kristin Scott Thomas - Betrayal (Comedy)


  • The Heretic (Royal Court) – Richard Bean
  • One Man, Two Guvnors (NT Lyttelton) – Richard Bean
  • Becky Shaw (Almeida) – Gina Gionfriddo
  • Tribes (Royal Court) – Nina Raine


  • Betty Blue Eyes – Novello
  • London Road – NT Cottesloe
  • Matilda – RSC Stratford & Cambridge Theatre


  • Rob Ashford - Anna Christie (Donmar)
  • Dominic Cooke - Chicken Soup with Barley (Royal Court)
  • Edward Hall - Richard III & The Comedy of Errors (Propeller at Hampstead Theatre)
  • Mike Leigh - Grief (NT Cottesloe)


  • Bunny Christie - Men Should Weep (NT Lyttelton)
  • Lizzie Clachan - Wastwater (Royal Court)
  • Adam Cork - Sound Designer, Anna Christie & King Lear (Donmar)
  • Mark Tildesley - Frankenstein (NT Olivier)


  • Ev Crowe - Kin (Royal Court)
  • Vivienne Franzmann - Mogadishu (Lyric Hammersmith)
  • Penelope Skinner - The Village Bike (Royal Court)


    N.B. This category is open not only to actors but also to creatives such as directors. No previously longlisted individual is eligible for consideration.

  • Phoebe Fox for her performances in As You Like It (Rose Kingston), The Acid Test (Royal Court) & There is a War (NT Paintframe)
  • Malachi Kirby for his performance in Mogadishu (Lyric Hammersmith)
  • Kyle Soller for his performances in The Glass Menagerie & Government Inspector (Young Vic) & The Faith Machine (Royal Court)
  • David Wilson Barnes for his performance in Becky Shaw (Almeida)
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