Maxine Peake among nominees for Manchester Theatre Awards

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Maxine Peake, Imogen Stubbs and Lysette Anthony will battle it out for the title of best actress at the 2012 Manchester Theatre Awards.

Peake has been nominated for her performance in Miss Julie, Stubbs for hers in Orpheus Descending and Anthony for her role in Lady Windermere’s Fan, which all ran at the city's Royal Exchange Theatre.

Also nominated in the best actress group is Victoria Elliott for her performance in Two – again at the Royal Exchange – and Lucy van Gasse for her part in Wonderful Town at the Lowry.

Meanwhile, in the category for best actor in a visiting production, John Owen-Jones and Robert Bathurst will compete for their performances in The Phantom of the Opera and Blue/Orange respectively. They are up against Ray Fearon for his role as Mark Antony in Julius Caesar and Karl Davies for his performances in Henry V and The Winter’s Tale.

The Royal Exchange Theatre and the Lowry have received the most nominations across all of the 19 award categories, which include best musical, best studio production, best ensemble and groups for dance and opera too.

The Manchester Theatre Awards are chosen by a panel of nine independent regional theatre critics.

Winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony at Manchester Opera House on March 26.

To see the shortlisted nominations in full go to manchestertheatreawards.com.

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