The nominees for the 2016 Laurence Olivier Awards were announced yesterday (29 February), with NHB-published The Winter's Tale and Nell Gwynn amongst those securing multiple nominations.
The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company's production of The Winter's Tale is up for six awards, including Best Revival. The production, which opened at the Garrick Theatre, London, in October 2015, is also up for Best Director (Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh), Best Actor (Kenneth Branagh), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Michael Pennington), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Judi Dench) and Best Lighting Design (Neil Austin). The official tie-in edition, which features Kenneth Branagh's edited version of Shakespeare’s text performed in the production, plus exclusive additional content, is published by NHB.
Nell Gwynn by Jessica Swale is nominated for Best New Comedy. The exhilarating take on the heady world of Restoration theatre is also shortlisted for Best Actress (Gemma Arterton), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Michele Dotrice) and Best Costume Design (Hugh Durrant). Nell Gwynn is currently playing at the Apollo Theatre in London's West End following its successful initial run at Shakespeare's Globe.
Other shows recognised include Gypsy by Stephen Sondheim (eight nominations including Best Musical Revival) and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom by August Wilson (Best Revival). The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Royal Opera House on 3 April.
The winners of the Off West End Awards 2016 were announced last night (28 February), with Robert Holman's tender drama A Breakfast of Eels taking home the title of Best New Play.
Telling the story of two brothers coming together in the aftermath of their father's funeral, A Breakfast of Eels also won Best Male (Matthew Tennyson). It premiered at the Print Room, London, in March 2015, and was praised by The Times as 'intensely absorbing... hushed and unhurried, sensitive and beautiful'.
Two other NHB-published plays received prizes at the Awards: Image of an Unknown Young Woman by Elinor Cook scooped Best Production and Best Set Designer (Fly Davis), while The Christians by Lucas Hnath won Best Supporting Female (Lucy Ellinson and Emilie Patry, joint winners).
The Off West End Theatre Awards (also known as The Offies) recognise and celebrate the excellence, innovation and ingenuity of independent theatres across London. First awarded in 2011, over 300 productions from 80 participating theatres are considered each year.