The shortlists for the Whatsonstage.com Awards 2013 were announced today (7 December), with a number of NHB authors and plays among the nominees.
Howard Brenton’s historical drama 55 Days is nominated for Best New Play. Set in December 1648, it depicts the political struggle that followed the English Civil War, as a group of Parliamentarians try to determine the nation’s future and decide what to do with their imprisoned monarch. 55 Days premiered at Hampstead Theatre in October. Mark Gatiss is also nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Play for his role as King Charles II.
NSFW, a biting satire set in the world of print media by Lucy Kirkwood, is shortlisted for the Time Out Award for Best New Comedy. Praised by the Telegraph as a ‘dramatically gripping… richly absorbing and inventive play’, it premiered at the Royal Court in October. Lucy has also written plays for the National Theatre, Bush Theatre, Gate Theatre and pioneering companies Headlong and Clean Break.
Also nominated for Best New Comedy is The Last of the Haussmans, the debut play by Stephen Beresford. A funny, touching and at times savage family drama, the play examines the fate of the revolutionary 1960s generation through an enthralling domestic story. The Last of the Haussmans premiered at the National Theatre in June. The production is also recognised in two other categories: Best Actress in a Play (Julie Walters) and Best Supporting Actress in a Play (Helen McCrory).
Gbolahan Obisesan’s Mad About the Boy is shortlisted for the Boom Ents Award for Best Off-West End Production. An urgent, razor-sharp drama exploring the growing generational divide, Mad About the Boy premiered at Underbelly as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2011, where it won a Fringe First Award before going on to tour the UK in 2012. Gbolahan also won the 2009 Jerwood Directors’ Award at the Young Vic.
A number of other plays published by Nick Hern Books have also been shortlisted in various categories. They include: Sweeney Todd by Stephen Sondheim (five nominations including Best Musical Revival), the Eugene O’Neill plays Long Day’s Journey into Night (three nominations including Best Play Revival) and Desire Under the Elms (Best Off-West End Production) and Enda Walsh’s Misterman (Best Solo Performance).
Other NHB authors have also been recognised for their work in various categories this year. Andy Nyman, author of The Golden Rules of Acting, is nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Play for Abigail’s Party. Mark Rylance, author of I Am Shakespeare, is nominated for Best Actor in a Play for his roles in Twelfth Night and Richard III. Simon Callow, author of My Life in Pieces, picks up a nomination for Best Solo Performance for A Christmas Carol, and Greg Doran, author of Shakespeare’s Lost Play, gets a nod for Best Director for the RSC’s Julius Caesar.
The Whatsonstage.com Awards are voted for by the public, with the winners announced on 17 February at an Awards Concert at the Palace Theatre. Voting is now open and remains so until 31 January – click here to pick your winners.