London to celebrate best of theatre at Olivier Awards

Paul Mescal and Jodie Comer are among the stage stars up for a prize

Paul Mescal is nominated in the best actor category for playing Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire. Reuters
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A stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli's 1988 animation My Neighbour Totoro leads nominations at Sunday's Olivier Awards, where actors Jodie Comer and Paul Mescal are also in the running for Britain's top theatre honours.

The London theatre community will gather at the Royal Albert Hall for the annual ceremony, named after the famed British actor Laurence Olivier, which celebrates the best productions in the capital.

The Royal Shakespeare Company's critically acclaimed production of My Neighbour Totoro, based on the much-loved film by Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, about two sisters who discover friendly forest spirits when they move to a new country house with their father in post-war Japan, has nine nominations.

These include nods for best entertainment or comedy play, choreography, directing, costume design and music, as well as a best actress nomination for Mei Mac, who plays younger sibling, four-year-old Mei.

Standing at the Sky's Edge, about three families living for a period of more than 60 years in a council housing estate in the English city of Sheffield, follows with eight nominations, including best new musical, directing, two acting nods and original score for musician Richard Hawley.

Paul Mescal, who was nominated at this year's Oscars, has been recognised in the best actor category for playing Stanley Kowalski in a revival of Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire.

The Irish actor will compete against David Tennant (Good), Tom Hollander (Patriots), Rafe Spall (To Kill a Mockingbird) and Giles Terera (Blues for An Alabama Sky) for the award.

Killing Eve star Comer is up for best actress in one-woman play Prima Facie, in which she portrays a barrister who defends men accused of sexual assault before herself being assaulted. The actress, 30, won rave reviews for her West End debut and reprises the role on Broadway this month.

Jodie Comer is nominated for best actress for one-woman play Prima Facie. Reuters

The other contenders in the best actress category are Mescal's A Streetcar Named Desire co-star Patsy Ferran, Janet McTeer (Phaedra) and Nicola Walker (The Corn Is Green).

Other productions nominated include a new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, Aaron Sorkin's stage adaptation of Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird, as well as The Band's Visit, about a group of Egyptian musicians who mistakenly end up in an outpost in the Negev desert.

Updated: April 02, 2023, 6:52 AM