Newcomers and established theater personalities shared the honors at the Olivier Awards this year in a ceremony that was redesigned for the Covid era.
A number of shows were honored, but there was always one apparent constant: Sharon D Clarke, who won Best Actress for her performance in Young Vic’s Death Of A Salesman and became a fixture on the recognition lists of ‘Olivier. She was nominated for a Supporting Performance in 1995, 2003, and 2012, won the Supporting Actress Award in 2014, and was named Best Actress in a Musical in 2019 for her role in Caroline, Or Change.
In accepting her award, she thanked his wife Susie McKenna and the theater’s freelancers, who were among the cultural workers hardest hit during the pandemic. “We need to know our value in this industry and what our incredible industry brings not only into the coffers, but into the soul of our nation. Keep the people of faith. We will be back. “
Comedian Jason Manford hosted a virtual awards ceremony, which was pre-recorded at the London Palladium and broadcast Sunday night on YouTube and ITV.
The original awards were postponed to March due to the coronavirus lockdown shortly after the nominations were announced. A special TV program aired on April 5, the night the awards were scheduled to take place at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Two new musicals, Dear Evan Hansen and & Juliet, won three awards each, while Sharon D Clarke won Best Actress for her performance in Young Vic’s Death Of A Salesman and Andrew Scott won Best Actor for Present Laughter at the Old Vic. In his acceptance speech, Scott praised the comedy instinct of 1943 playwright Noel Coward, saying a sense of humor is “something that has helped us all survive over the two years. last months during this really difficult period ”.
Swedish pop producer Max Martin led the nominations with nine for his musical jukebox & Juliet, which reimagines the ending of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It took three awards, all in the acting categories, with victories for David Bedella as Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, Cassidy Janson as Best Supporting Actress in a Musical and Miriam-Teak Lee as Best Actress in a Musical.
Janson dedicated his award to the team behind & Juliet, saying, “You are so knowledgeable, so viable, so valuable and please none of you retrain” – a reference to comments from the chancellor on ‘viable’ jobs and government – sustained advertisements suggesting artisans could retrain in technology.
Martin’s new work shared the loot in musical categories with fellow West End newbie Dear Evan Hansen.
The teenage musical, which moved to Broadway’s Noël Coward Theater in November 2019 after winning six Tony Awards and being propelled by a young and enthusiastic audience online, took home Best New Musical and Best Original Score. or new orchestrations. Sam Tutty also won the award for Best Actor in a Musical.
Alongside new winners were established Olivier pillars, including Matthew Bourne, who won his ninth place, becoming the most successful individual in award history. Bourne won the award for Best Dramatic Choreographer alongside Stephen Mear for Mary Poppins, while Ian McKellen – another serial winner – won his seventh for his 80-year tour.
The Best Director Award, which was renamed in honor of Sir Peter Hall, went to Marianne Elliott and Miranda Cromwell who co-directed Death of a Salesman. Presenting the award, Sam Mendes urged people watching the awards to donate to his theater artist fund, which he established to support theater workers during the pandemic.
Present Laughter also won two awards, with Scott’s Award followed by Indira Varma, who won her first Olivier after winning Best Supporting Actress. Varma thanked the Olives for their commitment to fighting for fair representation. She said: “I can’t wait until after this pandemic is over and the theaters reopened to see the talent that emerges and the new opportunities offered to those who are sometimes left behind.”
Leopoldstadt, The Story of a Generation of Tom Stoppard at the Wyndham Theater of a Jewish Family in Vienna, produced by Sonia Friedman, won two gongs: Best New American Airlines Play and Best Supporting Actor for Adrian Scarborough. Another Friedman production, Fiddler On The Roof at the Playhouse Theater, won Magic Radio’s Best Musical Revival award.
Bob Crowley won his third Olivier for Best Set Design for his work on Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theater. Spanish dancer and choreographer Sara Baras received an Outstanding Performance in Dance for her choreography and performance in Ballet Flamenco, Sombras at Sadler’s Wells.
Lyricist Don Black received a special award for his contributions to musical theater presented by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the Duchess of Cornwall, and was one of the many stars who gave impassioned speeches on the importance of theater during ‘a year in which he was devastated by the Covid-19 crisis.
Emilia from the Vaudeville Theater won two technical awards, with Joanna Scotcher winning the award for best costume design and Emma Laxton winning the Royal Albert Hall award for best sound design.
Other winners included Cyrano De Bergerac at the Playhouse Theater (Cunard best revival), Billy Budd at the Royal Opera House (best new opera production), Ingoma de Mthuthuzeli November (best new dance production), Baby Reindeer at the Bush Theater ( Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliated Theater) and The Children’s Ensemble for their performance in Noye’s Fludde at the Theater Royal Stratford East (Outstanding Achievement in Opera).
Julian Bird, Executive Producer of the Olivier Awards and Managing Director of the Society of London Theater, said: “This is not how we originally planned to celebrate this year’s outstanding Olivier nominees, but like so many others, we have adapted to these challenges. time. I am delighted that we were able to safely put together this program which will hopefully interest and inspire audiences at home while reminding them of the talent and vibrancy of our theater industry.