Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mistress versus Scientist: Gugu and Nicole in Battle for Best Actress at Our Theatre Awards; REVEALED: THE 61ST ANNUAL LONDON EVENING STANDARD THEATRE AWARDS SHORTLIST

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mistress versus Scientist: Gugu and Nicole in Battle for Best Actress at Our Theatre Awards; REVEALED: THE 61ST ANNUAL LONDON EVENING STANDARD THEATRE AWARDS SHORTLIST

Article excerpt

Byline: Robert Dex Arts Correspondent

Theatre Awards 2015 in partnership with RISING star Gugu Mbatha-Raw is in the running for an Evening Standard Theatre Award for her performance as one of the West End's most infamous actresses.

Her portrayal of Nell Gwynn, who rose from the 17th-century London stage to become the mistress of Charles II, sees her shortlisted for the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress.

Mbatha-Raw, 32, is recognised alongside Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman, who played pioneering scientist Rosalind Franklin in Photograph 51, Denise Gough for People, Places And Things and Lia Williams for Oresteia.

Other names up for the awards, at the Old Vic on Sunday November 22, include four-time winner Simon Russell Beale. The actor, 54, is recognised for his performance in Temple, at the Donmar, which was inspired by Occupy London's camp outside St Paul's.

Russell Beale is joined in the best actor category by Kenneth Cranham for The Father, Ralph Fiennes for Man And Superman and James McAvoy for The Ruling Class. The Father, written by Florian Zeller and translated by Christopher Hampton, vies for best play with Martin McDonagh's Hangmen and Stephen Adly Guirgis's The Motherf**ker With The Hat.

The latter's director, Indhu Rubasingham, makes the shortlist for the Milton Shulman Award for Best Director alongside Robert Icke for Oresteia and Jamie Lloyd for Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Oscar nominee Imelda Staunton's turn in Gypsy sees her recognised in a new category for best musical perform-ance alongside Katie Brayben, the star of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Rosalie Craig for City Of Angels and Kinky Boots' Killian Donnelly.

Made In Dagenham's Gemma Arterton competes for best newcomer in a musical with High Society's Ellie Bamber and Natalie Dew for Bend It Like Beckham. Other awards include most promising playwright, in a gong named after ex-Standard editor Charles Wintour, and emerging talent, in partnership with Burberry.

Owner of the Evening Standard Evgeny Lebedev said: "This fantastic shortlist bears witness to the fact that Londoners are living through a theatrical golden age. With ground-breaking director-led seasons, visionary new writing dominating the West End and the world's finest thespian talent queuing up to perform here, London's theatre scene is the envy of the world." Radio 2 listeners have voted for their favourite musical, while the Editor's Award honours outstanding contribution to theatre. The Lebedev Award will be presented to a writer, performer, director or institution for a specific piece of work or as a lifetime achievement award, and the Beyond The Theatre Award recognises work outside the traditional stage approach. …

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