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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 11:53 GMT
West End back on awards shortlist
Kristin Scott Thomas in As You Desire Me
Kristin Scott Thomas is on the shortlist for best actress
The West End has made a comeback on the shortlist for London's Evening Standard Theatre Awards with nominations for Don Carlos, Mary Poppins and Billy Elliot.

Commercial theatre has been absent from the awards in recent years although the nods do include transfers from studio venues such as the Donmar and Almeida.

Mike Leigh's 2,000 Years is the only work from past shortlist favourite the National Theatre, up for an award.

There are four nominations for plays by German dramatist Friedrich Schiller.

The 18th-Century playwright's Don Carlos is shortlisted for design and direction.

And its star Derek Jacobi is nominated for best actor alongside Brian Dennehy for Death of a Salesman and Simon Russell Beale for The Philanthropist.

Harriet Walter - up for best actress for her role in Schiller's Mary Stuart - is pitted against Eva Best for Hedda Gabler; Clare Higgins for Death of a Salesman, and Kristin Scott Thomas for As You Desire Me.

Judging panel

The awards, to be announced at a Savoy Hotel ceremony on 28 November, are decided by a panel of theatre critics.

In the best play category, the National's 2,000 Years is shortlisted with the Tricycle's Bloody Sunday; the Royal Court's Harvest, and the Comedy Theatre's The Home Place.

Billy Elliot and Mary Poppins face competition from The Big Life for best musical.

The other nominations on the director shortlist are: Richard Eyre for his work on Mary Poppins and Hedda Gabler and Jonathan Kent for As You Desire Me.


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