(Louise Jury's article appeared in the Evening Standard, 11/2.)

The Standard Theatre Awards 2009: Longlist revealed

It has been a year when Sam Mendes finally returned to London theatre, Jude Law and David Tennant were mobbed as Hamlet and audiences flooded the West End as never before.

With 2009 set to be a blockbuster year at the box office, today's longlist for the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards proves it has been 12 months of critical as well as commercial success.

Stalwarts such as Simon Russell Beale and Henry Goodman turned in performances to delight their fans, while faces from film or TV took centre stage, including Kevin Spacey, artistic director of the Old Vic, whose performance in Inherit The Wind is recognised.

The depth of talent was such that even acclaimed performances by Law, Dom�inic West and Gillian Anderson failed to make the running for the awards, chosen by our panel of London critics.

Matthew Kelly makes the longlist for two productions, Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf and Troilus And Cressida. Ken Stott is recognised for his turn as Eddie Carbone in Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge and is joined by co-star Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

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