Last night London’s Luvvieland came together for their annual award ceremony, the Oliviers.
Having received 11 nominations across 10 categories, it looked like being Hairspray’s night. And Londonist is happy to confirm what we already knew: the show is a deserved winner of the Best New Musical accolade.
In addition, Leanne Jones (Best Actress in a Musical) rocks as the optimistic teen, Tracy Turnblad; Tracie Bennett (Best Supporting Role in a Musical) is similarly deserving as sizeist station-manager Velma Von Tussle; and Michael Ball (Best Actor in a Musical) who drags up to play Tracy’s mother Edna, is a national treasure. Tickets to hear him sing should be available on the NHS.
“I was hoping for best actress,” Ball’s reported to have said while collecting his award, “Life sucks.”
The gongs for straight roles went to Chiwetel Ejiofor for his Othello at the Donmar, and Kristin Scott Thomas as Arkadina in the Royal Court’s production of Chekhov’s The Seagull. Ejiofor (who you might remember in Love Actually, Kinky Boots, or American Gangster?) fought off competition from other Shakespearean heavyweights: Ian McKellen as King Lear, and Patrick Stewart as Macbeth. Impressive stuff.
Anyone lucky enough to catch either Ejiofor of Scott Thomas in these plays should let us know what they were like. Not many people got the chance. Ejiofor’s Othello (with the lovely Ewan McGregor) ran for just three months in the 250-seater Donmar; Scott Thomas also graced the stage for three months in front of teeny audience of 380 at the Royal Court.
Other prize-winners include Tom Hiddleston (Best Newcomer in a Play) for his role of Posthumus in Cymbeline at the Barbican and Rupert Goold, awarded Best Director for his Macbeth at the Gielgud. Best New Play went to A Disappearing Number at the Barbican, Best New Comedy to Rafta Rafta at the National Theatre, and Best New Dance Production to The Royal Ballet for its revival of George Balanchine’s three-part ballet Jewels.
Finally, Andrew Lloyd Webber received a Society of London Theatre Special Award. For achievements in London Theatreland and across the world, most recently “bringing theatre to new audiences”. Or soapland, as we like to call it.
See the Society of London Theatre website for a full list of the winners.
Image of Edna and Tracy with thanks to AKA Promotions