Now while I don’t follow what is happening in American Theatre as I do British Theatre (quite shamefully in fact) I have to admit looking at the nominations for this year’s Tony Awards I’m quite impressed. Now I have to admit that part of that is down to the fact there is quite a lot of British talent up for awards this year, but the other half of me thinks its because there are a few productions that I wouldn’t mind seeing coming over here.
So let’s take a closer look at some of the productions and actors that have been nominated:
Best Play: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Wolf Hall Parts One and Two, Disgraced, Hand to God.
There are two that I haven’t heard of so I can’t comment on those, but I can say a lot about the British entries – both of which I have seen. Starting with the Curious Incident, I was very impressed with the design and of course I did get very emotionally involved with the story that seems to be taking the world by storm – a play that definitely sticks in the mind long after its over.
Meanwhile, Wolf Hall based on the best selling books by Hilary Mantel actually comes across better on stage than in the books (well in my personal opinion). I have a fascination with the Tudor period so this was always one that I wanted to see. The cast were strong and well selected and the performances were memorable.
Best Revival of a Play: The Elephant Man, Skylight , This is Our Youth, You Can’t Take it With You.
The Elephant Man is coming to the West End very soon, so it will be very interesting to hear reactions to it over here. It is a definite highlight in the West End calender. While Skylight starring Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy got mixed reactions over here and to be honest I didn’t really pay much attention when it was around.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Play: Bradley Cooper (The Elephant Man), Ben Miles (Wolf Hall), Bill Nighy (Skylight), Alex Sharp (The Curious Incident…) and Steven Boyer (Hand to God).
A tough category when you look at it, with two British actors stirring things up nicely! But I have heard positive things about Bradley Cooper’s performance and I would like to see Ben Miles get it for his humane treatment of Thomas Cromwell that is superb to watch.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Play: Geneva Carr (Hand to God), Helen Mirren (The Audience), Elisabeth Moss (The Heidi Chronicles), Carey Mulligan (Skylight) and Ruth Wilson (Constellations)
Again a very mixed category. Of course the British side of me thinks that Helen Mirren is likely to win this on the basis that her performance was at least widely praised over here (well she did win an Olivier award for her performance!) – even if the reviews that I have read from America seem a little more mixed. So long live the Queen!
In terms of musicals, I can’t really comment as they are ones that a) I have never heard of and b) never seen so it wouldn’t be fair. However there are a few that I have spotted in the nominees that I think would be quite nice to see over here.
Some examples are: An American in Paris – set in the city of love that is trying to rebuild itself after World War II, this sounds like the sort of musical that we need in the West End at the moment: a classic rather than another jukebox or film to stage adaptation.
The King and I – another classic musical from Rodgers & Hammerstein that would fit in with other musicals that are around in the West End at the moment. I have never seen it on stage so perhaps that has something to do with it!
Finally On the Town – featuring the music of Leonard Bernstein how can you possibly go wrong? It seems that Broadway knows what musicals deserve to be seen and it I think at times the West End needs to learn from their example – classics are the way forward at the moment!
Sorry for my randomness there but it was something that just needed to be said! Anyway good luck to all the nominees!