Comedy Stalin in Collaborators - who'd have thought it could work?
The cost of theatres not co-ordinating and a plea

Stan's awards predictions from the Evening Standard shortlist

So the long list for the Evening Standard's theatre awards has finally been whittled down to a more manageable three or four contenders per category but this means that, potentially, some of my fav's are already out of the running.

The headlines are all about the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller are going head to head in the best actor category for their role-swapping turns in Frankenstein at the National earlier this year. Some commentators are already calling for a duel award as it would unfair for one and not the other to win.

It would certainly make headlines to give a double honour, as pitching the two against each other has (not that I'm cynical about the motives behind these things or anything). It would be a real shame for one to win and not the other as both put in sterling performances in what was a novel and bold way of casting the play.

But we shouldn't forget that there are two other contenders in the category: Bertie Carvel for Matilda (which hadn't actually opened in London when the long list was drawn up, just saying) and Charles Edwards for Much Ado About Nothing. Of course, ironically, these two are the only ones from the long list I haven't seen and my top choice, Richard Clothier, hasn't made it which is a travesty, obviously.

Stan's best actor prediction: If they don't do a double award for the monster duo then I reckon Jonny Lee Miller will go home with the gong.

The best actress category is down to just three contenders only one of which I haven't seen, Kristen Scott Thomas for Betrayal. I've seen lots of her film work and she is a fantastic actress but I'm going to stick with my original fav.

Stan's best actress prediction: because everyone loves her at the mo (and deservedly so) it has to be Sheridan Smith for Flare Path.

Richard Bean has two in the best play category so it would be a little cruel for him not to win. I've seen all four contenders but my original choice from the long list, Wittenberg, hasn't made the cut which is a real shame so of the ones that remain:

Stan's best play prediction: I'd choose Tribes, The Heretic has a weak ending but I reckon One Man Two Guv'nors will win.

Best director is another category I've seen all the contenders and my choice from the long list actually made it, Ed Hall for Richard III and Comedy of Errors.

Stan's best director prediction: I really want Ed Hall to win and he should win it and I don't see how he can't win it and I will be throwing a hissy fit if he doesn't. So there.

Best newcomer is a bit tricky because I've only seen one of them and that is Kyle Soller who is up against his wife Phoebe Fox (wonder if they'll sit together on the night?)

Stan's best newcomer prediction: Not really a prediction as he's the only one I can judge but Kyle Soller  who is actually nominated for three productions all I've which I've seen and all of which were great performances - surely the volume of work counts for something here?

The awards ceremony is on November 20, I'm hopeful of getting at least one right.