Olivier Awards 2014 Celebrate An Awesome Year In London’s West End

Photo: The Olivier Awards
Photo: The Olivier Awards

So here we are again theatre fans, The Olivier Awards 2014 took place this evening in London’s beautiful Royal Opera House.

As some you will have seen, I was down on the Red Carpet to watch the biggest and brightest of London Theatre getting ready to celebrate what has been a brilliant year. We had stars such as Martin Freeman, Mark Gatiss, Hayley Atwell and as an added surprise Tom Hiddleston make their way up the red carpet talking to fans as they went. The star studded event had performances from hit shows such as The Book of Mormon, The Scotsboro Boys and also Benny and Bjorn from ABBA also took to the stage to celebrate the success of Mamma Mia.

Without further ado, let’s get down to seeing who the big awards this evening.

Best Director

Lyndsey Turner – Chimerica (Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre)
In winning this award, Turner has cemented herself as the right choice to direct Benedict Cumberbatch in the 2015 Barbican production of Hamlet. So I wonder whether we will be seeing her name in the nominations for this category for 2016 Awards.

Best New Play

Chimerica – (Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre)

Best New Comedy

Jeeves & Wooster In “Perfect Nonsense”  (Duke of York’s Theatre)
A well deserved win for a show that is winning over the West End one laugh at a time.  I bet show host Stephen Mangan is over the moon with this win, as he is just finished his run in the play as the hapless Bertie Wooster.

Best Actress

Lesley Manville –  Ghosts (Almeida Theatre and Trafalgar Studios)
In her acceptance speech Manville said “Oh Larry, where have you been all my life?! I’m beside myself with happiness”.  She also thanked the stage management team saying they were “to die for”. Always nice to see actors remembering the oft forgotten backstage crew.

Best Actor

Rory Kinnear – Othello (The National Theatre, Olivier)
Now this was certainly the category of the night as it had some of the strongest contenders of the year in here. I have to be brutally honest and say that I really, really hoped that Tom Hiddleston would have won for his amazing run in Coriolanus, however there were truly no weak performances in the category. So well done Rory.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Jack Lowden  – Ghosts (The Almeida Theatre and Trafalgar Studios)
Again, this category was one that I would be typing a different name, as Mark Gatiss was nominated for his role in Coriolanus, however this was not to be Mark’s year. This was a production that I was really annoyed to have missed, and it appears it was a brilliant show.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Sharon D Clarke – The Amen Corner (The National Theatre, Olivier)

Radio 2 Audience Award

Les Miserables (The Queens Theatre)
This award is voted for by the listeners of BBC Radio 2, and this is the second time that Les Miserables has scooped the award.  As one of the longest running, and still one that fills houses night after night, it is no surprise to see the musical pick up this prize.

Best Theatre Choreographer

Casey Nicholaw –  The Book Of Mormon (The Prince of Wales Theatre)
It appears that today is the brighter day for the team at The Book of Mormon. The show, which has become a real must see in the West End, has just celebrated it’s first birthday. The win tonight is just the icing on top of their brilliant year.  Speaking of The Book of Mormon …..

Best Supporting Performance in a Musical

Stephen Ashfield – The Book Of Mormon (The Prince of Wales Theatre)
The star who plays Elder McKinley has the pleasure of leading one of the best numbers in the show, and that’s saying something.  His performance during “Turn It Off” had me nearly crying with laughter, and I am so happy to see him recognised for the role.

Best Actor in a Musical

Gavin Creel – The Book Of Mormon (The Prince of Wales Theatre)
“Hello!!” This win has me jumping for joy as Creel has really earned this win in his role of Elder Price.  Any fans of the show will know that he had big shoes to fill to make the role his own, and by God has he done that.  Although commiserations to Jared Gertner who was also nominated in this category for his role of Elder Cunningham. I was lucky enough to meet Gavin on the red carpet earlier this evening, and he said that the show had won the minute they received the first nomination.

Best Actress in a Musical

Zrinka Cvitešić – Once (The Phoenix Theatre)
This is a truly well deserved award, as the show has become another staple must see in the West End, and the lucky girl now has Arthur Darvill as her guy.  I am hoping to catch this in a couple of weeks, however her performance of “Falling Slowly” at last year’s West End Live was truly beautiful.

Best New Musical

The Book of Mormon – (The Prince of Wales Theatre)
Well this win is certainly quite the first birthday present for the cast and crew.  It is also another win for co writer Robert Lopez, who of course is now an Oscar Winner thanks to penning the music behind recent Disney supernova Frozen.  I have been a fan of The Book of Mormon since it opened on Broadway and I was a little worried that the British Theatre establishment would not recognise the genius of the musical, due to it’s controversial subject matter.  However, this is not the case, and I can’t wait to watch the musical make its British TV debut in the highlights show this evening.

So there we have the big winners of The Olivier Awards 2014.  All in all, there were a few shocks on the night, as I fully expected Hiddleston and Gatiss to win for their roles in Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory failed to win any big awards.  However, all in all the winners were what we were expecting.  Did you agree with the winners? Let us know your thoughts.

Kirsty Wallace
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