The Donmar Warehouse has been nominated for 13 Laurence Olivier Awards across four different productions, The Chalk Garden, Ivanov, Piaf, and Twelfth Night. Piaf, which transferred to the Vaudeville, secures five nominations (Best Musical Revival, Best Actress in a Musical, Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design) while The Chalk Garden, directed by Donmar’s Artistic Director Michael Grandage, takes four. The leading ladies of The Chalk Garden, Margaret Tyzack and Penelope Wilton, both feature in the Best Actress category alongside Lindsay Duncan for That Face and Deanna Dunagan for August: Osage County.

Michael Gambon, already the recipient of four Laurence Olivier Awards, is nominated in the Best Actor category for his role in No Man’s Land. He faces competition from co-star David Bradley, along with Adam Godley for Rain Man and Derek Jacobi for Twelfth Night.

Three other plays have gained four nominations each – August: Osage County at the Lyttelton (Best Actress, Best Company Performance, Best New Play and Best Set Design); The Norman Conquests at The Old Vic (Best Performance in a Supporting Role, Best Company Performance, Best Revival and Best Costume Design) and the RSC’s The Histories at the Roundhouse (Best Company Performance, Best Revival, Best Set Design and Best Costume Design).

La Cage Aux Folles receives the highest number of nominations for an individual production. The flamboyant show is shortlisted for seven awards including Best Musical Revival. The nominations see the two male leads, Douglas Hodge and Denis Lawson, compete for Best Actor in a Musical, while Jason Pennycooke is nominated for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical, as is Terry Johnson for Best Director, Matthew Wright for Best Costume Design and Lynne Page for Best Theatre Choreographer.

With nominations for No Man’s Land, That Face, Maria Friedman Re-Arranged and La Cage Aux Folles, commercial producer Sonia Friedman equals the Donmar Warehouse’s total of 13 nominations.

Up against La Cage Aux Folles and Piaf for awards in the musical categories, with five nominations each, are the Broadway smash hit Jersey Boys (Best New Musical, Best Actor in a Musical, Best Director, Best Theatre Choreographer and Best Sound Design) and the new Gypsy Kings musical ZORRO (Best New Musical, Best Actress in a Musical, Best Actor in a Musical, Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical and Best Theatre Choreographer).

National Theatre of Scotland’s critically acclaimed production of Black Watch by Gregory Burke – one of the hottest tickets for 2008 – receives a total of five nominations. In addition to John Tiffany for Best Director, the long-awaited London debut is also shortlisted for Best New Play, Best Company Performance, Best Theatre Choreographer and Best Sound Design. The inventive Brief Encounter at the Cinema Haymarket has notched up four nominations for Best Entertainment Award, Best Set Design, Best Sound Design and Artistic Director of Kneehigh Theatre Emma Rice is shortlisted for Best Director.

Nominations in the opera categories are shared between The Royal Opera and the English National Opera. Nominations for Best New Opera Production are Don Carlo and The Minotaur at the Royal Opera House and I Pagliacci and Partenope at the Coliseum.

Best New Dance Production sees nominations for Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal’s Cafe Muller/The Rite of Spring at Sadler’s Wells; The Royal Ballet of Flanders’ Impressing the Czar at Sadler’s Wells; The Royal Ballet’s Infra at the Royal Opera House and DV8’s To Be Straight With You at the Lyttelton. The Outstanding Achievement in Dance category is shared by the Royal Ballet of Flanders in Impressing the Czar and Savion Glover, Marshall Davis Jr and Maurice Chestnut in Bare Soundz, both at Sadler’s Wells and The Royal Ballet Company in Infra.

In the category of Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre, Clive Rowe’s performance in Mother Goose at Hackney Empire is shortlisted alongside three productions from the Royal Court: Oxford Street, The Pride and Scarborough.

This year, for the first time, the theatre panel introduced a new award for Best Company Performance, in order to reflect the high level of ensemble productions in 2008. The nominated shows include August: Osage County directed by Anna D Shapiro at the Lyttelton; Black Watch directed by John Tiffany at the Barbican; The Histories directed by Michael Boyd at the Roundhouse; The Norman Conquests directed by Matthew Warchus at The Old Vic and Sunset Boulevard directed by Craig Revel Horwood at the Comedy.

Press Release courtesy of Jill Cotton at Colman Getty.

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