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Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2015 – Sparkling nominations…

Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2015 – Sparkling nominations…

November 3 2015

• Bend it Like Beckham (BILB) musical in best musical award nomination
• Indhu Rubasinshgam shortlisted in director category
• Natalie Dew gets newcomer nomination for BILB musical

BRITAIN’S theatre landscape is beginning to reflect the talent there is in the country’s minority communities.

The 61st Evening Standard Theatre Awards were announced yesterday (November 2) and there were powerful nods to “Bend it Like Beckham” musical, Indhu Rubasingham, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Diana Nneka Atuona.

Indhu Rubasingham appears in one of the most prestigious of all the categories – the Milton Shulman Award for Best Director.

The awards ceremony itself will be hosted by Rob Brydon at the Old Vic Theatre (and he should feel quite at home having starred in “Future Conditional” there recently) on November 22.

Rubasingham’s production of “The Motherf*****r With The Hat” at the National Theatre’s Lyttelton goes up against Jamie Lloyd for “Assassins” at the Menier Chocolate Factory and Robert Icke for “Oresteia” at the Almeida and Trafalgar Studios.

The Motherf****r with the Hat”, written by Stephen Adly Guirgis, also appears in the shortlist for Best Play, alongside “Hangman” by Martin McDonagh at the Royal Court, “The Father” by Florian Zeller and translated by Christopher Hampton; it was first performed at the Ustinov in Bath and then transferred to the Tricycle in Kilburn (where Rubasingham is artistic director) and now can be seen at in the West End at Wyndham’s.

Filmmaker Gurinder Chadha who adapted her own hit film, “Bend It Like Beckham” for a West End musical, can bask in the glory of an Evening Standard Radio2 Audience Award nomination for best musical (voted for by the public). The show has been packing them in at the Phoenix Theatre and is enjoying a run into the New Year. Last week, the musical was named as the best live production at the Asian Media Awards 2015.

Natalie Dew with Jamie Campbell Bower in 'Bend It Like Beckham'

One of the stars of the show, Natalie Dew, who plays the lead of Jess, the football-mad teenager, is named in the shortlist for Newcomer in a Musical. She is up against Gemma Arterton for “Made in Dagenham” at the Adelphi and Ellie Bamber for “High Society” a the Old Vic.

Mbatha-Raw goes up against Hollywood superstar Nicole Kidman for the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress. Mbatha-Raw plays one of the country’s best known actresses of yore – Nell Gywnn was the notorious mistress of Charles II and a figure of much delight in 17th century London. Kidman has been wowing audiences in “Photograph 51” a play about scientific discovery.

The other nominations go to Denise Gough in “People, Places and Things” at the National Theatre’s Dorfman and Lia Williams in “Oresteia” at the Almeida Theatre and Trafalgar Studios.

Atuona’s “Liberian Girl” is nominated for the Charles Wintour Award for most promising playwright. reviewed it when it appeared at the Royal Court Upstairs and it featured at pop venues in Peckham and Tottenham.

Ralph Fiennes, who was in GB Shaw’s iconic “Man and Superman” with Indira Varma at the National Theatre’s Lyttelton, gets a nomination in the Best Actor category. He is up against Simon Russell Beale for “Temple” at the Donmar, Kenneth Cranham for “The Father” and James McAvoy in “The Ruling Class” at Trafalgar Studios.

Evgeny Lebedev, owner of the London Evening Standard, 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 world¹s finest thespian talent queuing up to perform here, London¹s theatre scene is the envy of the world.”

The Evening Standard Theatre Awards are in the partnership with The Ivy.

Picture: Natalie Dew (left) and Indhu Rubasingham

For the full list of nominations, please see

Interview Gurinder Chadha – Dreaming and Remembering
Bend It Like Beckham review – Melting Hearts and Minds
Indhu Rubasingham 2014 Olivier Award

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture