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 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
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 4 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
The C-Word - review: Sheridan Smith shines in a warm, honest adaptation of Lisa Lynch's book about living with cancer
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils