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Brits bid for Tony Awards glory

Published 07/06/2015

Dame Helen Mirren's performance as the Queen in The Audience is nominated for the best actress in a play Tony Award
Dame Helen Mirren's performance as the Queen in The Audience is nominated for the best actress in a play Tony Award

Britain's leading ladies are set to light up New York where home-grown talent dominates the nominations at the Tony Awards.

Dame Helen Mirren is nominated for the best actress in a play for her performance as the Queen in The Audience, while Carey Mulligan is nominated for her role in Skylight and Ruth Wilson for her part in Constellations.

The Audience, written by Peter Morgan, is inspired by the private weekly meetings between the monarch and Britain's prime ministers - 12 in all - over her six-decade reign.

It has been a critical and commercial success in both London and New York

Dame Helen, who also faces competition from Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss and Geneva Carr on the shortlist, said it was an "honour" to be nominated.

She said : "I am very lucky that I speak American. Albeit in the play with a very British accent. It is a very exciting season on Broadway, with many great plays, musicals and performances, so just to be a part of that is a thrill."

Meanwhile, Mulligan starred in Skylight alongside Bill Nighy who is also nominated, and Wilson starred with Jake Gyllenhaal in Constellations.

Wolf Hall star Ben Miles, a familiar face on TV shows including Coupling and Lark Rise To Candleford, is nominated for the best actor award for his role as Thomas Cromwell in the play based on Hilary Mantel's best-selling novels.

He is shortlisted alongside stars including Elephant Man actor Bradley Cooper who is currently appearing in the West End.

Dame Helen's co-star Richard McCabe, who plays Labour prime minister Harold Wilson, is nominated for the award for an actor in a featured role in a play, alongside Nathaniel Parker, who plays King Henry VIII in Wolf Hall.

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, which started life at the National Theatre, has six nominations, including best play and best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play for Alex Sharp.

Wolf Hall is also nominated for best play.

David Hare's Skylight has seven nominations, including nods for Mulligan and director Stephen Daldry.

Two of its stars, Nighy and Matthew Beard, are nominated for awards for actors in a leading role and a featured role respectively.

Writer and comedian John O'Farrell is nominated for best book of a musical for his work on Something Rotten and Sting is shortlisted for best original score for his musical The Last Ship, despite it closing after a run of just three months.

The awards will be handed out in the early hours of tomorrow UK time at a ceremony hosted by Alan Cumming and American actress Kristin Chenoweth.

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