Rylance vs Pacino to play out at Tonys

The British actor Mark Rylance is to go head to head with Al Pacino at this year's Tony Awards in New York.

Rylance has been nominated for his role as caravan-dwelling Johnny "Rooster" Byron in the hit play Jerusalem, written by Jez Butterworth, which began life at the Royal Court in 2009.

The production is currently playing on Broadway. Pacino received a nod for his appearance as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, which closed in February on Broadway. The two will compete in the category for "best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play".

In the best-play category, Jerusalem will compete with another British production, the National Theatre's War Horse, which opened earlier this month at New York City's Lincoln Center Theater to widespread critical acclaim.

Vanessa Redgrave is nominated for "best actress in a leading role" in a revival of Alfred Uhry's 1987 play Driving Miss Daisy, which was made into a 1989 film.

Jerusalem was nominated for six awards in total, with War Horse getting the nod five times.

The New York Times review of Jerusalem describe Rylance's turn as "seismic". Winners will be announced on 12 June at a ceremony in the city's Beacon Theatre.

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