Brief Encounter 2
Brief Encounter at the Cinema Haymarket

Jerusalem and War Horse recognised by Tony Awards

Published May 3, 2011

Mark Rylance, Mackenzie Crook, Joanna Lumley and directors Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris have been nominated in this year’s Tony Awards.

British imports Jerusalem and War Horse picked up six and five nominations respectively, and will go up against each other in the Best Play category when the winners are announced on 12 June. However War Horse can already be assured of one award; it will receive a Special Tony Award for the work of the Handspring Puppet Company, which created the life-size horse puppets in the World War One tale.

Rylance and Crook were nominated for their performances in Jez Butterworth’s depiction of rural England, Jerusalem, which was also nominated for Best Play, Scenic Design, Lighting Design and Sound Design. Rylance won an Olivier Award in 2010 for his performance in the play, which originated at London’s Royal Court before transferring to Broadway.

Elliott and Morris, whose stage production of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse premiered at the National Theatre in 2007, are nominated for Best Direction of a Play for the New York transfer, which opened at the Lincoln Center earlier this month.

In addition to its Special Tony Award, War Horse, which runs concurrently with the West End production at the New London theatre, also receives recognition for its designer Rae Smith, lighting designer Paule Constable and sound designer Christopher Shutt.

Lumley receives a nomination for La Bête, David Hirson’s comedy which premiered at the Comedy theatre in London before moving across the pond. Lumley, who starred alongside Rylance and David Hyde Pierce, is joined in the nominations list by costume designer Mark Thompson.

Another British-originated show to be recognised is Arcadia, producer Sonia Friedman’s production of Tom Stoppard’s drama, which was recast for its Broadway run following a 2009 stay in London. It receives two nominations including Best Revival of a Play.

Kneehigh’s Brief Encounter, which broke new ground when it combined cinema and theatre in a production at London’s Cinema Haymarket in 2008, receives two nominations for its New York run.

Musicals Sister Act and Priscilla Queen Of The Desert The Musical also feature in this year’s Tony nominations list. Although neither show originated in Britain, both enjoyed West End runs before making the move to Broadway. Both Priscilla leading lady Tony Sheldon and Sister Act’s Patina Miller receive nominations, while Sister Act features in the Best Musical line-up.

The nominations were announced today at the Lincoln Center, New York, by two former Tony winners, screen and stage star Matthew Broderick, a previous winner for The Producers, and Anika Noni Rose, who won a Tony for Caroline, Or Change. The announcement was broadcast live at tonyawards.com.

Britain’s offerings will face competition from US shows including The Scottsboro Boys, The Book Of Mormon, Catch Me If You Can, The Normal Heart and Good People. Donmar Warehouse Associate Director Rob Ashford’s show How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, which stars Daniel Radcliffe, receives eight nominations including two for Ashford himself, for choreography and direction.

The winners will be announced on 12 June.

CB