Brits look set for a clean sweep at Tony theatre awards

They may do musicals with pizzazz and they are the movie kings. But the Americans were forced to step aside for the Brits yesterday when Ralph Fiennes, Zoë Wanamaker and The History Boys team launched a serious attempt to make a clean sweep of Broadway's top dramatic honours.

Plays originally premiered in London and starring a feast of talent including Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour and Ian McDiarmid, the former Almeida theatre artistic director and Star Wars icon, dominated the straight plays categories of the Tony nominations, New York's equivalent to the prestigious British Oliviers.

The award for best play will be fought out by the theatre veteran Alan Bennett, who has just turned 72, for The History Boys, against two playwrights half his age whose works have been also nurtured by Britain's subsidised theatre.

Martin McDonagh, 36, the London-born son of Irish parents, has been nominated for a Tony for a third time for The Lieutenant of Inishmore, a bloody black satire on Republican violence and the love of a cat. Conor McPherson, who was born in Dublin, is shortlisted for Shining City, a ghost story first seen at the Royal Court in London two years ago. Only one American, David Lindsay-Abaire, gets a look-in in the category.

Elsewhere, Ralph Fiennes and Ian McDiarmid get acting nominations for their performances in a revival of the great Irish playwright Brian Friel's Faith Healer, a set of monologues which started at the Gate in Dublin before being taken to New York in an almost foolhardy gamble by the London producer Sonia Friedman.

Lynn Redgrave is nominated for best actress in a play against rivals including Kate Burton, who was her co-star in Somerset Maugham's The Constant Wife.

Zoë Wanamaker, who has won acclaim in Awake and Sing!, the Depression-era story of a Jewish family in the Bronx, is up against Frances de la Tour, one of The History Boys team, for best performance by a featured actress. And Andrew Lloyd Webber gets a rare British nomination in the musicals categories for The Woman in White.

The History Boys scoops seven nominations, including best director for Nicholas Hytner, best design for Bob Crowley and best lighting design for Mark Henderson, who gets a second chance with Faith Healer.

Everyone from Samuel Barnett, who plays the gay Jewish boy, to Richard Griffiths, as the overweight and maverick teacher, is honoured in the Tony award nominations.

Alan Bennett said: "Naturally, I'm very pleased, particularly for Samuel Barnett and I hope he wins one as he is about the same age as I was when I won one for Beyond the Fringe."

The Lieutenant of Inishmore receives five nominations and Faith Healer, which was directed by McDiarmid's former co-artistic director at the Almeida Jonathan Kent, gets four.

Sonia Friedman said that it was "a great, great year" for Britain and British talent. "What it will do is it will give us confidence to keep going back with more," she said.

The nominations

Best play

The History Boys (Alan Bennett)

The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Martin McDonagh)

Rabbit Hole (David Lindsay-Abaire)

Shining City (Conor McPherson)

Best performance by a leading actor in a play

Ralph Fiennes (Faith Healer)

Richard Griffiths (The History Boys)

Zeljko Ivanek (The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial)

Oliver Platt (Shining City)

David Wlmot (The Lieutenant of Inishmore)

Best performance by a leading actress in a play

Kate Burton (The Constant Wife)

Judy Kaye (Souvenir)

Lisa Kron (Well)

Cynthia Nixon (Rabbit Hole)

Lynn Redgrave (The Constant Wife)

Best performance by a featured actor in a play

Samuel Barnett (The History Boys)

Domhnall Gleeson (The Lieutenant of Inishmore)

Ian McDiarmid (Faith Healer)

Mark Ruffalo (Awake and Sing!)

Pablo Schreiber (Awake and Sing!)

Best performance by a featured actress in a play

Tyne Daly (Rabbit Hole)

Frances de la Tour (The History Boys)

Jayne Houdyshell (Well)

Alison Pill (The Lieutenant of Inishmore)

Zoë Wanamaker (Awake and Sing!)

Best direction of a play

Nicholas Hytner (The History Boys)

Wilson Milam (The Lieutenant of Inishmore)

Bartlett Sher (Awake and Sing!)

Daniel Sullivan (Rabbit Hole)

Best direction of a musical

John Doyle (Sweeney Todd)

Kathleen Marshall (The Pajama Game)

Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys)

Casey Nicholaw (The Drowsy Chaperone)

Best revival of a play

Awake and Sing!

The Constant Wife

Edward Albee's Seascape

Faith Healer

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices