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Blighty B&B

LONDON Bialystock and Bloom are getting closer — all things considered — to Blighty.

Plans are shaping up for a fall 2004 U.K. preem of record Tony winner “The Producers” at the Theater Royal, Drury Lane. The industry already is buzzing about a possible pair of homegrown stars to headline the London staging: Robert Lindsay, currently at the National Theater in the Nick Dear play “Power,” as Bialystock, and U.K. comedian Lee Evans (“Funny Bones”) as Bloom.

London producer David Ian told Variety that Lindsay and Evans “aren’t a done thing, by any means; we’re still looking at it.” But Ian, whose European operation of Clear Channel will have a 20% share in the West End staging, hoped to be able to confirm the leads “before the end of this year,” adding, “We have been working on casting (the show) with U.K. actors.” Look for tickets to go on sale locally prior to Christmas.

No Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, then? “At the moment,” Ian says, “they’re not coming here. We’re equally convinced we can get two good people that are known and have marquee value and would be good in it.” By way of comparison, he pointed to London’s ongoing version of “Chicago.” That revival opened on the West End in 1997 with, notes Ian, “a purely European cast,” headed by England’s own Ruthie Henshall as Roxie and German chanteuse Ute Lemper as Velma. (Henshall is currently back in the show, this time as Velma.)

Lindsay is certainly no stranger to wowing audiences in a musical, as his Tony-winning stand proved back in the ’80s in “Me and My Girl.” If Evans, meanwhile, does end up cast in the Broderick role, he can always turn to Lane for advice: The two co-starred in the 1997 movie “Mouse Hunt.”

Bourne Again

Another show taking its time seeing the light of London day is Matthew Bourne‘s stage version of “Edward Scissorhands,” the 1990 Tim Burton film that starred Johnny Depp as the shear-happy Edward. Once mooted for a workshop as far back as 2001, the revised calendar should see a pre-London tryout in 2005 in Plymouth in southern England, with a West End opening to follow by Christmas.

And whereas initial thoughts were of a more conventional book musical, the idea now is for “a movement/dance piece, similar in size to (Bourne’s) ‘The Car Man’ and ‘The Nutcracker,’ ” says Robert Noble, a director (with Bourne) of New Adventures, the Tony-winning director-choreographer’s troupe post-Adventures in Motion Pictures, which no longer exists. Danny Elfman remains on board as “Edward’s” composer, while New Adventures’ co-producers on the project are yet to be determined.

Bourne will be amply represented in London and elsewhere before then. His witty, wonderfully designed (by Anthony Ward) take on “The Nutcracker” returns for a second Christmas season in December to Sadler’s Wells and has elicited interest from the Ahmanson Theater in L.A., where Bourne has already taken three productions, among them his career-making “Swan Lake.”

And Bourne’s Olivier-winning “Play Without Words” — a slice of 1960s pastiche seen all too briefly at the National last summer — returns to the Lyttelton for 50 perfs, opening Dec. 16. A 10-week U.K. tour starts in March.

Berkeley Bravi

On to this column’s eagerly anticipated announcement of the annual Berkeley awards. These, you may remember, are the kudos doled out every August by 30-plus visiting American theater enthusiasts who steep themselves for the better part of a month in London legit. In the past, their prize-giving has demonstrated real prescience: Stephen Dillane was awarded a Berkeley Award for best actor for “The Real Thing” well before he won a Tony for the same revival.

This year’s winners in five categories follow below. Not for the first time, the National Theater led the trophy bearers:

Best actor: Simon Russell Beale, “Jumpers”

Best actress: Ony Uhiara, “Fallout”

Best director: Nicholas Hytner, “Henry V” (beating “Jumpers’ ” David Leveaux by one vote)

Best design: Peter McKintosh, “Brand”

Best overall production: “Jerry Springer — The Opera.”