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Leanne Best nominated for prestigious Theatre Awards UK for The Match Box

27th September 2012 Leanne Best  in The Match Box (c) Christian Smith2

Liverpool actress Leanne Best’s “compelling” performance at the Liverpool Playhouse in the world première of Frank McGuinness’s The Match Box in June has been nominated for a major national award.

Best has been nominated alongside Tim Pigott-Smith for King Lear at West Yorkshire Playhouse and Henry Goodman for The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at Chichester Festival Theatre in the Best Performance in a Play category in the Theatre Awards UK.

This is not the first time in recent years that a performance in an Everyman and Playhouse production has been nominated for this award. Jonathan Pryce was nominated for the celebrated Everyman production of The Caretaker in 2009 which he reprised earlier this year to rave reviews in Australia and New York.

Theatre Awards UK is the only nationwide awards scheme to honour creative excellence and the outstanding achievement seen on and off stage throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Gemma Bodinetz, Artistic Director of the Everyman and Playhouse, said: “Leanne Best’s searing tour de force performance in The Match Box left Liverpool audiences breathless with awe. We are thrilled that an actress we have long regarded as exceptional has been nominated for this prestigious national award.”

A graduate of Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts (LIPA), Leanne Best has established herself as one of the outstanding Liverpool actresses of her generation. Her stage credits include Unprotected and The May Queen (Liverpool Everyman); A Streetcar Named Desire, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui and The Hypochondriac (Liverpool Playhouse) and the national tour of Corrie! She will appear in McGuinness’s next work, Damned by Despair, at the National Theatre this autumn.

Audience members and critics were unanimous in their praise for The Match Box, which was extended twice, Best’s “compelling” central performance described as “brilliant, heart-breaking” and “a privilege to see”. The play, a visceral new story about love and hate, was writer Frank McGuinness’s first new work since 2010 and was directed by Bafta nominated actor and director Lia Williams.

The awards will be announced on Sunday 28 October.

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