Olivier

Your Guide to the 2018 Olivier Awards

With the 2018 Olivier Awards due to take place on Sunday 8 April at the majestic Royal Albert Hall in London, let’s take a whistle stop tour of the hit shows to have played the theaters of the West End this year. Established in 1976, the Olivier Awards celebrate the best of London theater and this year is no exception! I was fortunate enough to see three of the shows nominated this year (Angels in America, Follies and An American in Paris) and they were all spectacular.

It is no surprize that the show leading the way at the 2018 awards is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash hit, Hamilton. The show dominates the musical categories with three out of the four nominations for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and two out of four for Best Actor in a Musical, along with nominations for Best Director and Best New Musical. Lin-Manuel Miranda has also been nominated for the award for Outstanding Achievement in Music. Following rave reviews on Broadway, the musical opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre in December 2017. Described by critics as “a game-changer” (Radio Times) and “the best and cleverest thing on the London stage” (Time Out), its success looks set to continue on this side of the pond. Hamilton has broken the record for the most nominations by a single production with a whopping total of 13.

Lin-Manuel_Miranda_in_HamiltonFollowing closely behind, however, is the National Theatre’s revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies. Featuring a huge cast of 37 performers, a 21-piece orchestra and a stunning set, the show was an unforgettable piece of theater that well deserves its 10 nominations. One of its leading ladies, Imelda Staunton, has been nominated for two Olivier Awards this year–Best Actress in a Musical and Best Actress in a Play (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf)–bringing her nomination tally to a potentially lucky 13.

Rounding up our whistle stop tour of the musicals to have impressed London’s theater audiences this last year, it wouldn’t be fair not to mention two new musicals that have received a host of nominations. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie transferred into the West End following a hit run at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre. It is based on the 2011 BBC documentary, Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, and is a dazzling message of how to beat the bullies and overcome prejudice. Described as “a breath of fresh air” (The Times), this is a new musical that has taken the West End by storm. And then there is Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, which is currently playing at London’s Garrick Theatre. Based on Mel Brooks’ 1974 film of the same name, this musical comedy only opened in London in October 2017 but has been described as “the funniest West End musical since The Producers” (WhatsOnStage). It is a reworking of the 2007 Broadway show which ran for just over a year but received decidedly mixed reviews. Watch the trailer for the new show below:

Over in the plays, several productions are firmly leading the way in the nominations. Directed by Sam Mendes, Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman has received 8 nominations, including Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best New Play. It was the fastest selling production in the history of the Royal Court Theatre before it moved to the Gielgud Theatre in June 2017. Having already won the Evening Standard Theatre and WhatOnStage Awards for Best Play and Best Director, The Ferryman is in a good position to add a couple more awards to its growing collection. The production is due to transfer to the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Broadway in October 2018.

A play that has already transferred to Broadway and is wowing critics and audiences alike is the National Theatre’s revival of Angels in America. This is an epic, two-part production that sold out in London in a matter of days. Featuring a stellar cast, including Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, Russell Tovey, and Denise Gough, the production has been nominated for 6 Olivier Awards, including Best Director, Best Actor (Andrew Garfield), and Best Revival.

The other big-hitters in the plays include the Harold Pinter Theatre’s production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and the Almeida Theatre’s revival of the Shakespeare tragedy Hamlet, both of which have received 3 nominations a piece and accompany Angels in America in the nominations for Best Revival. Robert Icke’s modern-day production of Hamlet starred Andrew Scott in the title role and his performance has been acclaimed as a “career defining performance” (The Evening Standard). It was recorded as-live and broadcast in the UK on BBC Two and you can watch it for a limited period here [http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09yj7dz]. It is not to be missed!

So that concludes our quick glimpse at the buzz surrounding this year’s Olivier Awards. A full list of all the nominations can be found below. Whatever the outcome, it will be an exciting evening celebrating the best of British theater.

You can watch the Olivier Awards highlights show in the UK on ITV straight after the ceremony at 10.20pm, or from outside the UK on the Olivier Awards Facebook page [https://www.facebook.com/OlivierAwards/] at the same time.

Full List of Nominations:

Best actor in a supporting role in a musical

Michael Jibson for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Ross Noble for Young Frankenstein at Garrick Theatre

Jason Pennycooke for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Cleve September for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Best actress in a supporting role in a musical

Sheila Atim for Girl From The North Country at the Old Vic

Tracie Bennett for Follies at National Theatre, Olivier

Rachel John for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Lesley Joseph for Young Frankenstein at Garrick Theatre

Outstanding achievement in music

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – Music and orchestrations by Dan Gillespie Sells at Apollo Theatre

Follies – The Orchestra, under the music supervision of Nicholas Skilbeck and music director Nigel Lilley at the National Theatre, Olivier

Girl From The North Country – Music and lyrics by Bob Dylan, original orchestrations and arrangements by Simon Hale at the Old Vic

Hamilton – Composer-lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda at Victoria Palace Theatre

Best new dance production

Flight Pattern by Crystal Pite at Royal Opera House

Goat by Ben Duke for Rambert Dance Company at Sadler’s Wells

Grand Finale by Hofesh Shechter at Sadler’s Wells

Tree Of Codes by Wayne McGregor and the Paris Opera Ballet at Sadler’s Wells

Outstanding achievement in dance

Rocio Molina for pushing the boundary of flamenco in Fallen From Heaven (Caída Del Cielo) at Barbican Theatre

Francesca Velicu for her performance in English National Ballet’s production of Pina Bausch’s Le Sacre Du Printemps at Sadler’s Wells

Zenaida Yanowsky for her performance in Liam Scarlett’s Symphonic Dances at Royal Opera House

Best entertainment and family

David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny at Garrick Theatre

Derren Brown: Underground at Playhouse Theatre

Dick Whittington at London Palladium

Five Guys Named Moe at Marble Arch Theatre

Best theatre choreographer

Andy Blankenbuehler for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Bill Deamer for Follies at National Theatre, Olivier

Kate Prince for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at Apollo Theatre

Randy Skinner for 42nd Street at Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Christopher Wheeldon for An American In Paris at Dominion Theatre

Best musical revival

42nd Street at Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Follies at National Theatre, Olivier

On The Town at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Best actor in a musical

Ciaran Hinds for Girl From The North Country at the Old Vic

John McCrea for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at Apollo Theatre

Giles Terera for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Jamael Westman for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Best actress in a musical

Janie Dee for Follies at National Theatre, Olivier

Shirley Henderson for Girl From The North Country at the Old Vic

Imelda Staunton for Follies at National Theatre, Olivier

Josie Walker for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at Apollo Theatre

Best revival

Angels In America at National Theatre, Lyttelton

Hamlet at Almeida Theatre

Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? at Harold Pinter Theatre

Witness For The Prosecution at London County Hall

Best new comedy

Dry Powder at Hampstead Theatre

Labour Of Love at Noel Coward Theatre

Mischief Movie Night at Arts Theatre

The Miser at Garrick Theatre

Outstanding achievement in affiliate theatre

The B*easts at Bush Theatre

Killology at Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

The Red Lion at Trafalgar Studios 2

The Revlon Girl at Park Theatre

Best lighting design

Howell Binkley for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Paule Constable for Angels In America at National Theatre, Lyttelton

Paule Constable for Follies at National Theatre, Olivier

Jan Versweyveld for Network at National Theatre, Lyttelton

Best sound design

Tom Gibbons for Hamlet at Almeida Theatre

Gareth Owen for Bat Out Of Hell The Musical at London Coliseum

Eric Sleichim for Network at National Theatre, Lyttelton

Nevin Steinberg for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Best costume design

Hugh Durrant for Dick Whittington at London Palladium

Roger Kirk for 42nd Street at Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Vicki Mortimer for Follies at National Theatre, Olivier

Paul Tazewell for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Best set design

Bunny Christie for Ink at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

Bob Crowley and 59 Productions for An American In Paris at Dominion Theatre

Rob Howell for The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Vicki Mortimer for Follies at National Theatre, Olivier

Best actor in a supporting role

Bertie Carvel for Ink at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

John Hodgkinson for The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

James McArdle for Angels In America at National Theatre, Lyttelton

Peter Polycarpou for Oslo at Harold Pinter Theatre

Best actress in a supporting role

Bríd Brennan for The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Denise Gough for Angels In America at National Theatre, Lyttelton

Dearbhla Molloy for The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Imogen Poots for Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? at Harold Pinter Theatre

Best new opera production

La Boheme at Trafalgar Studios 2

The Exterminating Angel at Royal Opera House

Semiramide at Royal Opera House

Outstanding achievement in opera

Paul Brown for his set and costume designs for Iolanthe at London Coliseum

Joyce DiDonato and Daniela Barcellona for their performances in Semiramide at Royal Opera House

Roderick Williams for his performance in The Royal Opera’s The Return Of Ulysses at the Roundhouse

Best actor

Paddy Considine for The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Bryan Cranston for Network at National Theatre Lyttelton

Andrew Garfield for Angels In America at National Theatre Lyttelton

Andrew Scott for Hamlet at Almeida Theatre

Best actress

Laura Donnelly for The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Lesley Manville for Long Day’s Journey Into Night at Wyndham’s Theatre

Audra McDonald for Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar and Grill at Wyndham’s Theatre

Imelda Staunton for Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? at Harold Pinter Theatre

Best director

Dominic Cooke for Follies at National Theatre Olivier

Marianne Elliott for Angels In America at National Theatre Lyttelton

Rupert Goold for Ink at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

Thomas Kail for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Sam Mendes for The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Best new play

The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Ink at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

Network at National Theatre, Lyttelton

Oslo at Harold Pinter Theatre

Best new musical

An American In Paris at Dominion Theatre

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at Apollo Theatre

Girl From The North Country at the Old Vic

Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Young Frankenstein at Garrick Theatre

 

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Alexandra Appleton

Alex is a freelance writer and editor with a PhD in theatre history. She is also a performer and director, previously running a successful theatre company and youth theatre company in the north of England. Alex is from the UK and lives just outside London with her young family. She is enjoying introducing them to the theatre!

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