Monday, 13 April 2015

Sunny Afternoon, Beautiful, The Young Vic, Angela Lansbury & Wicked + more win Olivier Awards

The winners of the Olivier Awards 2015 were announced last night (12th April 2015) at the Royal Opera House.

Hosted by Lenny Henry, the ceremony was closed with Kevin Spacey and Beverley Knight giving a rendition of 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' with the full Oliviers Orchestra and the 90-strong Arts Educational Choir under Musical Director Larry Blank.

Hampstead Theatre and the Young Vic were the big winners of the night, winning four awards each. Hampstead Theatre's hugely successful West End transfer Sunny Afternoon was crowned Best New Musical and received acting nods for its stars John Dagleish and George Maguire (Best Actor in a Musical and Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical) who play brothers Ray and Dave Davies in The Kinks musical. Legendary musician Ray Davies had further cause to celebrate when he recieved the Autograph Sound Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music for the Sunny Afternoon score.

The Young Vic's wins include the prestigious Best Revival Award for A View From The Bridge, for which Mark Strong won Best Actor and Ivo Van Hove was named Best Director. Mike Bartlett's Bull, which was staged at The Maria at the Young Vic, won the Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre Award.


Bartlett left the ceremony tonight with a second 2015 Olivier Award, the Best New Play prize for his modern history play King Charles III, which enjoyed sell out runs at the Almeida Theatre and Wyndham's Theatre and is transferring to Broadway. This brings the British playwright's number of Olivier Awards up to three, having previously won Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre in 2010 for the play Cock.

Nathaniel Parker won Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of King Henry VIII in Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies at the Aldwych Theatre. Christopher Oram's period dress for the Royal Shakespeare Company production, which has just opened on Broadway, also took home Best Costume Design.

The Donmar Warehouse's sell out production of City Of Angels won Best Musical Revival, as well as Best Lighting Design which went to Howard Harrison.

Angela Lansbury received her first ever Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The role of Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit marked the multi-Tony Award winner's return to the London stage after an absence of nearly 40 years. Penelope Wilton was crowned Best Actress for her performance in Taken At Midnight.

Beautiful - The Carole King Musical saw Katie Brayben and Lorna Want win the awards for Best Actress in a Musical and Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical for their on stage portrayals of songwriters Carole King and Cynthia Weil respectively.

Memphis The Musical was awarded two Oliviers in the categories for Best Theatre Choreographer and Best Sound Design, which went to Sergio Trujillo and Gareth Owen. Best Set Design was won by multi-Olivier winning designer Es Devlin for The Nether at the Duke of York's Theatre.

The Play That Goes Wrong, which originally opened as a one-act show at the Old Red Lion Theatre before transferring to Trafalgar Studios and ultimately the Duchess Theatre in the West End, was awarded Best New Comedy. La Soirée, which describes itself as a cocktail of cabaret, new burlesque and circus sideshow, received the Best Entertainment & Family Award for its run at the La Soirée Spiegeltent.

In the dance categories, Best New Dance Production was shared by 32 Rue Vandenbranden by Peeping Tom at the Barbican Theatre and Mats Ek's Juliet And Romeo by the Royal Swedish Ballet at Sadler's Wells. The award for Oustanding Achievement in Dance went to Crystal Pite for her choreography in the productions of The Associates - A Picture Of You Falling, The Tempest Replica and Polaris also at Sadler's Wells.

Richard Jones was recognised for his direction of The Girl Of The Golden West, The Mastersingers Of Nuremberg and Rodelinda at the London Coliseum in the Outstanding Achievement in Opera category. English National Opera's The Mastersingers Of Nuremberg also picked up the award for Best New Opera Production.

This year's Special Award winners were the groundbreaking classical and contemporary dancer Sylvie Guillem, who was presented her award by Sir Anthony Dowell, and Kevin Spacey, who recieved his award from Dame Judi Dench in recognition of his tenure as Artistic Director at The Old Vic Theatre and contribution to the London stage.

The only publicly voted prize, the This Morning Audience Award, was won by Wicked which was collected by Emma Hatton on the ITV stage in the Covent Garden Piazza. 

On the night the live Oliviers Orchestra performed with orchestrations and original music by conducter Larry Blank,and further orchestrations by Mark Cumberland.

There were also special performances from all the nominated productions in both the Best New Musical and Best Musical Revival categories, including performances by Nicole Scherzinger, dancer Akram Khan and a number from Here Lies Love by leading lady Natalie Mendoza and Talking Heads' David Byrne, who co-created the show with Fatboy Slim.

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