Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch star in Frankenstein (photo: Catherine Ashmore)
Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch star in Frankenstein

Frankensteins face off for Best Actor

Published November 7, 2011

Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller are to go up against each other in the Best Actor category at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2011.

The two actors, who shared the roles of Frankenstein and his creature in Danny Boyle’s National Theatre production last year, have both made the nominations shortlist, announced today. They will compete for the Best Actor gong alongside recent Theatre Awards UK winner Bertie Carvel for Matilda The Musical and Charles Edwards for Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare’s Globe.

However Frankenstein’s director, Boyle, fails to make the cut after being featured on the longlist. Instead, directors Rob Ashford (Anna Christie), Dominic Cooke (Chicken Soup With Barley), Edward Hall (Richard III and The Comedy Of Errors) and Mike Leigh (Grief) will compete for Best Director.

The Best Actress shortlist sees Sheridan Smith receive her second consecutive nomination, for Flare Path. The actress, who was nominated for Legally Blonde The Musical last year, is up against Kristin Scott Thomas for Betrayal and Samantha Spiro for Chicken Soup With Barley.

In the Best Play category, playwright Richard Bean has the honour of receiving two nominations, for The Heretic and One Man, Two Guvnors. However he faces competition from Gina Gionfriddo for Becky Shaw and Nina Raine for Tribes.

Another interesting clash comes in the Outstanding Newcomer category, where husband and wife Kyle Soller and Phoebe Fox are nominated alongside each other, both for multiple performances.

Betty Blue Eyes, London Road and Matilda The Musical will compete for Best Musical, at the expense of longlisted shows including Fela! and Crazy For You.

Individuals not to make the shortlist after being featured on the longlist last month include Ralph Fiennes, Derek Jacobi, James Corden, Jude Law, Gemma Arterton, Eve Best, Tracey Ullman and Lesley Manville, and directors Michael Grandage, Trevor Nunn and Sam Mendes.

The Evening Standard Theatre Awards are to be held on 20 November at the Savoy Hotel. The awards are among the first of the season, with the Theatregoers’ Choice, Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards and Olivier Awards with Mastercard still to come.

The Evening Standard Theatre Awards shortlist:

Best Actor
Bertie Carvel for Matilda The Musical (RSC Stratford and Cambridge Theatre)
Benedict Cumberbatch for Frankenstein (National’s Olivier Theatre)
Charles Edwards for Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe)
Jonny Lee Miller for Frankenstein (National’s Olivier Theatre)

Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress
Sheridan Smith for Flare Path (Theatre Royal Haymarket)
Samantha Spiro for Chicken Soup With Barley (Royal Court)
Kristin Scott Thomas for Betrayal (Comedy Theatre)

Best Play
The Heretic – Richard Bean (Royal Court )
One Man, Two Guvnors – Richard Bean (National’s Lyttelton Theatre)
Becky Shaw – Gina Gionfriddo (Almeida Theatre)
Tribes – Nina Raine (Royal Court)

Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical
Betty Blue Eyes (Novello Theatre)
London Road (National’s Cottesloe Theatre)
Matilda The Musical (RSC Stratford and Cambridge Theatre)

Best Director
Rob Ashford for Anna Christie (Donmar Warehouse)
Dominic Cooke for Chicken Soup With Barley (Royal Court)
Edward Hall for Richard III & The Comedy Of Errors (Propeller at Hampstead Theatre)
Mike Leigh for Grief (National’s Cottesloe Theatre)

Best Design
Bunny Christie for Men Should Weep (National’s Lyttelton Theatre)
Lizzie Clachan for Wastwater (Royal Court)
Adam Cork for sound design of Anna Christie and King Lear (Donmar Warehouse)
Mark Tildesley for Frankenstein (National’s Olivier Theatre)

Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright
E.V. Crowe for Kin (Royal Court)
Vivienne Franzmann for Mogadishu (Lyric Hammersmith)
Penelope Skinner for The Village Bike (Royal Court)

Milton Shulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer
Phoebe Fox for her performances in As You Like It (Rose Theatre, Kingston) and The Acid Test (Royal Court) and There Is A War (National’s Paintframe)
Malachi Kirby for his performance in Mogadishu (Lyric Hammersmith)
Kyle Soller for his performances in The Glass Menagerie (Young Vic), The Government Inspector (Young Vic) and The Faith Machine (Royal Court)
David Wilson Barnes for his performance in Becky Shaw (Almeida Theatre)