Entertainment & Arts

Mark Rylance gets Tony Award nomination double

Mark Rylance as Richard III Image copyright AP
Image caption Rylance first played Richard III at the Shakespeare's Globe in 2012

Mark Rylance is up for two prizes at this year's Tony Awards for his roles in the Shakespeare's Globe's all-male Twelfth Night and Richard III.

The 54-year-old is nominated for best lead actor for his Richard.

His cross-dressing portrayal of Olivia in Twelfth Night, meanwhile, sees him shortlisted for best performance by an actor in a featured role.

His co-stars Stephen Fry and Paul Chahidi are also nominated. The Tonys honour the best of Broadway.

Samuel Barnett, who played Viola in Shakespeare's comedy, has received a further nomination for the production, joining Rylance on the best lead actor shortlist.

Tim Carroll's stagings, first seen at the Shakespeare's Globe and then in London's West End, were the toast of Broadway when they opened in New York last November.

Kent-born Rylance already has two Tonys on his mantelpiece, having been named best actor for Boeing Boeing in 2008 and again for Jerusalem three years later.

But he said he didn't care whether he won this time. "My preference is being nominated,'' he laughed. "In my experience, winning is rather an isolating, lonely experience."

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Media captionHugh Jackman surprises award nominations hosts Jonathan Groff and Lucy Liu

Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, The IT Crowd's Chris O'Dowd and former Cagney and Lacey star Tyne Daly are among other big names in contention this year.

But O'Dowd's Of Mice and Men co-star James Franco was conspicuously absent, while Denzel Washington and Michelle Williams were also passed over for their work in A Raisin in the Sun and Cabaret respectively.

The musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, in which a poor man comically eliminates the eight heirs ahead of him for a title, leads the field with 10 nominations.

Based on the novel that inspired the classic Ealing comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets, its nominations include best musical, best original score and two citations in the best leading actor in a musical category.

Yet Jefferson Mays and Bryce Pinkham face stiff competition from How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris, whose portrayal of an East German transgender singer in Hedwig and the Angry Inch has made the show one of Broadway's hottest tickets.

The revival of the cult 1998 rock musical has eight nominations in all - one more than Twelfth Night, Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, Carole King musical Beautiful and the Duke Ellington-inspired After Midnight.

The musical adaptation of Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway gets six nominations, as does Michael Grandage's production of The Cripple of Inishmaan - although none are for its star, Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe.

Other British stars fare better this year, among them Sophie Okonedo - up for best performance by a featured actress in a play, alongside her Raisin in the Sun co-star Anika Noni Rose.

The 68th Tony Awards will be held in New York on 8 June, with X-Men star Hugh Jackman hosting the event for the first time since 2005.

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