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Oscar Favorites Mark Rylance, Nicole Kidman & Benedict Cumberbatch Snare Top Olivier Awards Nods

Hard on the heels of his surprise Oscar win last night for Bridge Of Spies, Mark Rylance this morning came up with an Olivier Awards nomination for best actor in Farinelli And The King, in which he played King Phillipe V of Spain. The drama, which received six nominations including best play, was written by Claire Van Kampen, Rylance’s wife and frequent artistic collaborator. He’ll square off for the award against, among others, Benedict Cumberbatch, up for the title role in Hamlet and an Oscar nominee for The Imitation Game. Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (The Hours) is also up for an Olivier, for Photograph 51. The Oliviers, the most prestigious of the London theater awards, will be handed out at the 40th anniversary ceremony on April 3 at the Royal Opera House.

Benedict CumberbatchAlso notable among the nominations: American musicals dominated the category, with Kinky Boots and In The Heights receiving nominations for best new musical and Gypsy, Guys And Dolls and Seven Brides For Seven Brothers for best revival. Dame Judi Dench received her 15th nomination, for The Winter’s Tale, one of seven nominations for the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company production. Dame Judi has won six times, along with a special Olivier. Imelda Staunton received her 11th nomination for her performance in Gypsy; she’s won three times before. And among the best new play nominees was Broadway export Hand To God, a scabrous comedy that opened recently to passionately negative reviews. Here are the nominees in the theater categories:

2016 OLIVIER AWARDS NOMINEES (Theatre)

Best New Play
Farinelli And The King at the Duke of York’s Theatre
The Father at Wyndham’s Theatre
Hangmen at the Royal Court & Wyndham’s Theatre
People, Places And Things at the National Theatre

Best Revival
Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre
Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Donmar Warehouse
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the National Theatre
The Winter’s Tale at the Garrick Theatre

Best New Comedy
A Christmas Carol at the Noël Coward Theatre
Hand To God at the Vaudeville Theatre
Nell Gwynn at the Apollo Theatre
Peter Pan Goes Wrong at Apollo Theatre

Best New Musical
Bend It Like Beckham at the Phoenix Theatre
In the Heights at the King’s Cross Theatre
Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre
Mrs. Henderson Presents at the Noël Coward Theatre

Best Musical Revival
Bugsy Malone at Lyric Hammersmith
Guys And Dolls at Savoy Theatre
Gypsy at Savoy Theatre
Seven Brides For Seven Brothers at Regent’s Park

Outstanding Achievement in Music
Bend It Like Beckham – Music by Howard Goodall, Lyrics by Charles Hart and Orchestrations by Howard Goodall and Kuljit Bhamra  Farinelli And The King – Claire van Kampen for Musical Arrangements, the Musicians and Iestyn Davies and the Singers who alternated the singing role of Farinelli
In The Heights – Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Kinky Boots – Music and Lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, Music Supervision, Arrangements and Orchestrations by Stephen Oremus

Best Director 

Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh for The Winter’s Tale
Matthew Dunster for Hangmen
Robert Icke for Oresteia
Jonathan Kent for Gypsy

Best Theatre Choreographer
Carlos Acosta and Andrew Wright for Guys And Dolls
Drew McOnie for In The Heights
Stephen Mear for Gypsy
Jerry Mitchell for Kinky Boots

Best Actor
Kenneth Branagh for The Winter’s Tale
Kenneth Cranham for The Father
Benedict Cumberbatch for Hamlet
Adrian Lester for Red Velvet
Mark Rylance for Farinelli And The King

Best Actress
Gemma Arterton for Nell Gwynn
Denise Gough for People, Places And Things
Nicole Kidman for Photograph 51 at Noël Coward Theatre
Janet McTeer for Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Lia Williams for Oresteia

Best Actor in a Musical 

Ian Bartholomew for Mrs. Henderson Presents
Killian Donnelly for Kinky Boots
David Haig for Guys And Dolls
Matt Henry for Kinky Boots
Jamie Parker for Guys And Dolls

Best Actress in a Musical
Tracie Bennett for Mrs. Henderson Presents
Natalie Dew for Bend It Like Beckham
Laura Pitt-Pulford for Seven Brides For Seven Brothers
Imelda Staunton for Gypsy
Sophie Thompson for Guys And Dolls

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Mark Gatiss for Three Days In The Country at National Theatre
Michael Pennington for The Winter’s Tale 
Tom Sturridge for American Buffalo at Wyndham’s Theatre 
David Suchet for The Importance Of Being

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Judi Dench for The Winter’s Tale
Michele Dotrice for Nell Gwynn
Melody Grove for Farinelli And The King
Catherine Steadman for Oppenheimer

Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical
David Bedella for In The Heights
Dan Burton for Gypsy
Peter Davison for Gypsy
Gavin Spokes for Guys And Dolls

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical
Preeya Kalidas for Bend It Like Beckham
Amy Lennox for Kinky Boots
Lara Pulver for Gypsy
Emma Williams for Mrs. Henderson Presents

Best Costume Design 

Gregg Barnes for Kinky Boots
Hugh Durrant for Nell Gwynn
Jonathan Fensom for Farinelli And The King
Katrina Lindsay for Bend It Like Beckham

Best Set Design
Hildegard Bechtler for Oresteia
Es Devlin for Hamlet
Jonathan Fensom for Farinelli And The King
Anna Fleischle for Hangmen

Best Lighting Design 

Neil Austin for The Winter’s Tale
Natasha Chivers for Oresteia
James Farncombe for People, Places And Things
Mark Henderson for Gypsy

Best Sound Design
George Dennis for The Homecoming at Trafalgar Studios 1 
Tom Gibbons for People, Places And Things
Christopher Shutt for The Father
Christopher Shutt for Hamlet

Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre
Barbarians at The Clare, Young Vic
Phil Dunster for his role in Pink Mist at Bush Theatre
Pat Kinevane and Fishamble for Silent at Soho Theatre
Violence And Son at the Royal Court