Rylance and Redgrave up for Tonys




British actors Mark Rylance and Vanessa Redgrave have been nominated for prestigious Tony awards.

Rylance's hit play, Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem, has only been open on Broadway for two weeks. He will go head-to-head for best actor with Hollywood star Al Pacino.

Jerusalem has a total of six nominations for the theatre prizes. Also up for a Tony is co-star Mackenzie Crook, best known to TV viewers as Gareth from The Office. He is nominated for best supporting actor.

Vanessa Redgrave is in the running for best actress for her role in 'Driving Miss Daisy', and is up against stars such as Frances McDormand.

Joanna Lumley will compete for the best supporting actress in a play prize for her performance in La Bête.

Leading the nominations is 'The Book Of Mormon' created by the team behind near-the-knuckle animated TV series South Park. The production has been shortlisted for 14 awards.

'War Horse', created by British writer Michael Morpurgo, which originally opened at the National Theatre in London, is up for five prizes including best play and best direction. A film version directed by Steven Spielberg is due for release later this year.

It competes for best play against 'Jerusalem', a play about a wanted man living in a caravan in rural England, which opened at London’s Royal Court theatre in 2009 and later transferred to the West End, opening on Broadway last month.

The Tony nomination for Rylance, artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe for a decade, follows rave reviews from US critics for the play.

He lines up against Pacino, nominated for his performance in 'The Merchant Of Venice'.

The Tony Awards take place on June 12 at The Beacon Theatre in New York.

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