"Enron" vs "Jerusalem" at Standard theatre awards

Mon Nov 9, 2009 12:15pm EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - "Enron," a play about the collapsed U.S. energy trading company, and "Jerusalem," a portrayal of less-than-idyllic life in rural England, face off at the London Evening Standard Theater Awards.

The nominations, announced on Monday, pit the two works against each other in the best play, best actor and best director categories, while Hollywood actress Rachel Weisz is shortlisted for her turn in "A Streetcar Named Desire."

Enron is Lucy Prebble's acclaimed portrait about Enron, which collapsed into bankruptcy in 2001 burdened with billions of dollars of debt.

Critics and audiences agreed the work took on added significance given the financial turmoil of the last two years.

Samuel West, nominated for best actor, plays Jeffrey Skilling, the Enron CEO indicted in 2004 for conspiracy, fraud and insider trading, and Rupert Goold has been nominated for best director.

Jerusalem, about a drug dealer and wastrel called Johnny Byron, was written by Jez Butterworth. As well as best play, it is contesting also the best actor (Mark Rylance) and best director (Ian Rickson) categories.

Weisz faced competition in the best actress category from Juliet Stevenson, Penny Downie and Deanna Dunagan, and Lenny Henry, best known for his comic roles on television, was nominated for best newcomer for his lead role in "Othello."

The awards will be announced on November 23.

Following is a list of the nominations:   Continued...