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Olivier Awards predictions 2024: who will win, who should win

Is Sunset Boulevard a lock across the board? Does Little Big Things have a chance?

Sheridan Smith, Nicole Scherzinger, Sarah Snook, James Norton and Andrew Scott are among the big names whose West End work during the past 12 months has today won them Olivier nominations.

Sunset Boulevard, starring Scherzinger, leads the pack with 11 nominations for Jamie Lloyd’s radical revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical.

No big surprises here this year, folks: it’s been an exceptional year for shows, from the excellent A Strange Loop to the wonderful Sondheim Old Friends concert. 

Yet the vast majority of the awards class show up dutifully while claiming to loathe it. 

Before we go on, 100% of the nominees for the Sir Peter Hall Award for Best Director are men Stephen Daldry & Justin Martin for Stranger Things: The First Shadow, Rupert Goold for Dear England, Jamie Lloyd for Sunset Boulevard and Sam Mendes for The Motive & The Cue

Yup, a recent ‘The Women in Theatre survey’found that only 6% of respondents believe there has been an increase in opportunities for women in the sector since a previous survey in 2021.

Alas, despite the dominance of men in every profession in theatre, there seems to be no strategy to address it. 

Still, bravo to Rufus Norris for The National Theatre’s 15 nominations in total, including three of the four best new play nods for The Motive and the Cue, Till The Stars Come Down and Dear England.

But I have to say that Jamie Lloyd’s richly powerful and unashamedly alien melodrama Sunset Boulevard, Andrew Scott’s one-man Vanya and the brilliant Operation Mincemeat gets my support — and I suspect that of Olivier Award voters as well.

Certainly, I am delighted that Haydn Gwynne has been posthumously nominated for her role in When Winston Went To War With The Wireless at Donmar Warehouse, too. 

Anyway, here are my predictions for the biggest night in British Theatre.

The Olivier Awards 2024 with Mastercard will be on April 14 at the Royal Albert Hall.

Full list of nominations (plus who will win, who should win)

Noël Coward Award for Best New Entertainment or Comedy Play

Accidental Death Of An Anarchist by Dario Fo & Franca Rame, adapted by Tom Basden at the Lyric Hammersmith & Theatre Royal Haymarket

Should win: Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends, music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim at the Gielgud Theatre

Will win: Stranger Things: The First Shadow by Kate Trefry at the Phoenix Theatre

Vardy V Rooney: The Wagatha Christie Trial, adapted by Liv Hennessy at the Ambassadors Theatre

Best Family Show

Bluey’s Big Play by Joe Brumm at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

Dinosaur World Live by Derek Bond at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Should win: The House With Chicken Legs, book by Sophie Anderson, adapted by Oliver Lansley at

Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall

Will win: The Smeds And The Smoos, book by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler, adapted by Tall

Stories at the Lyric Theatre

Gillian Lynne Award for Best Theatre Choreographer

Will win: Fabian Aloise for Sunset Boulevard at the Savoy Theatre

Ellen Kane & Hannes Langolf for Dear England at  the National Theatre – Olivier & Prince Edward Theatre

Arlene Phillips with James Cousins for Guys & Dolls at the Bridge Theatre

Mark Smith for The Little Big Things at @sohoplace

Should win: Susan Stroman for Crazy For You at the Gillian Lynne Theatre

Mithridate Award for Best Costume Design

Bunny Christie & Deborah Andrews for Guys & Dolls at the Bridge Theatre

Ryan Dawson Laight for La Cage Aux Folles at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Should win / will win: Hugh Durrant for Peter Pan at The London Palladium

Marg Horwell for The Picture Of Dorian Gray at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

Cunard Best Revival

The Effect by Lucy Prebble at the National Theatre – Lyttelton

Macbeth by William Shakespeare at the Donmar Warehouse

Should win: Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell at the Duke Of York’s Theatre

Will win: Vanya by Anton Chekhov, adapted by Simon Stephens at the Duke Of York’s Theatre

Best Musical Revival

Groundhog Day, music & lyrics by Tim Minchin, book by Danny Rubin at The Old Vic

Should win: Guys & Dolls, music & lyrics by Frank Loesser, book by Jo Swerling & Abe Burrows at the Bridge Theatre

Hadestown, music, lyrics & book by Anaïs Mitchell at the Lyric Theatre

Will win: Sunset Boulevard, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics & book by Don Black & Christopher Hampton at the Savoy Theatre

d&b audiotechnik Award for Best Sound Design

Paul Arditti for Stranger Things: The First Shadow at the Phoenix Theatre

Will win: Dan Balfour & Tom Gibbins for Dear England at the National Theatre – Olivier & Prince Edward Theatre

Adam Fisher for Sunset Boulevard at the Savoy Theatre

Should win:Gareth Fry for Macbeth at the Donmar Warehouse

Outstanding Musical Contribution

Tom Brady for Musical Supervision & Arrangements and Charlie Rosen for Orchestrations for Guys & Dolls at the Bridge Theatre

Matt Brind for Musical Supervision, Arrangements & Orchestrations for Just For One Day at The Old Vic

Should win: Steve Sidwell for Orchestrations & Joe Bunker for Musical Direction for Operation Mincemeat at the Fortune Theatre

Will win: Alan Williams for Musical Supervision & Musical Direction for Sunset Boulevard at the Savoy Theatre

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Will Close for Dear England at the National Theatre – Olivier & Prince Edward Theatre

Should win: Paul Hilton for An Enemy Of The People at the Duke Of York’s Theatre

Will win: Giles Terera for Clyde’s at the Donmar Warehouse

Luke Thompson for A Little Life at the Harold Pinter Theatre & Savoy Theatre

Zubin Varla for A Little Life at the Harold Pinter Theatre & Savoy Theatre

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Lorraine Ashbourne for Till The Stars Come Down at the National Theatre – Dorfman

Priyanga Burford for An Enemy Of The People at the Duke Of York’s Theatre

Should win / will win: Haydn Gwynne for When Winston Went To War With The Wireless at the Donmar Warehouse

Gina McKee for Dear England at the National Theatre – Olivier

Tanya Reynolds for A Mirror at the Almeida Theatre & Trafalgar Theatre

Blue-i Theatre Technology Award for Best Set Design

Will win: Miriam Buether for Set Design & 59 Productions for Video Design for Stranger Things: The First Shadow at the Phoenix Theatre

Should win: Bunny Christie for Set Design for Guys & Dolls at the Bridge Theatre

Es Devlin for Set Design & Ash J Woodward for Video Design for Dear England at the National Theatre – Olivier & Prince Edward Theatre

Soutra Gilmour for Set Design and Nathan Amzi & Joe Ransom for Video Design for Sunset Boulevard at the Savoy Theatre

White Light Award for Best Lighting Design

Jon Clark for Dear England at the National Theatre – Olivier & Prince Edward Theatre

Jon Clark for Stranger Things: The First Shadow at the Phoenix Theatre

Paule Constable for Guys & Dolls at the Bridge Theatre

Should win / Will win: Jack Knowles for Sunset Boulevard at the Savoy Theatre

Best Actress in a Supporting Role In a Musical

Should win: Grace Hodgett Young for Sunset Boulevard at the Savoy Theatre

Zoë Roberts for Operation Mincemeat at the Fortune Theatre

Will win: Amy Trigg for The Little Big Things at @sohoplace

Eleanor Worthington-Cox for Next To Normal at the Donmar Warehouse

Best Actor in a Supporting Role In a Musical

Jak Malone for Operation Mincemeat at the Fortune Theatre

Cedric Neal for Guys & Dolls at the Bridge Theatre

Should win / Will winDavid Thaxton for Sunset Boulevard at the Savoy Theatre

Jack Wolfe for Next To Normal at the Donmar Warehouse

TAIT Award for Best New Opera Production

Should win: Blue by the English National Opera at the London Coliseum

Innocence by the Royal Opera at the Royal Opera House

Picture A Day Like This by the Royal Opera at the Royal Opera House – Linbury Theatre

Will win: The Rhinegold by the English National Opera at the London Coliseum

Outstanding Achievement in Opera

Antonio Pappano for his role as Musical Director of the Royal Opera House

Should win: Belarus Free Theatre Company for King Stakh’s Wild Hunt at the Barbican Theatre

Will win: Marina Abramović for her concept and design of 7 Deaths Of Maria Callas at the London Coliseum

Best Actor in a Musical

David Cumming for Operation Mincemeat at the Fortune Theatre

Should win: Tom Francis for Sunset Boulevard at the Savoy Theatre

Daniel Mays for Guys & Dolls at the Bridge Theatre

Will win: Charlie Stemp for Crazy For You at the Gillian Lynne Theatre

Best Actress in a Musical

Should win: Natasha Hodgson for Operation Mincemeat at the Fortune Theatre

Caissie Levy for Next To Normal at the Donmar Warehouse

Will win: Nicole Scherzinger for Sunset Boulevard at the Savoy Theatre

Marisha Wallace for Guys & Dolls at the Bridge Theatre

Unusual Rigging Award for Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre

Will win: Blue Mist by Mohamed-Zain Dada at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Should win: A Playlist For The Revolution by AJ Yi at the Bush Theatre

Sleepova by Matilda Feyişayo at the Bush Theatre

The Swell by Isley Lynn at the Orange Tree Theatre

The Time Machine: A Comedy by Steven Canny and John Nicholson at the Park Theatre

Sir Peter Hall Award for Best Director

Stephen Daldry & Justin Martin for Stranger Things: The First Shadow at the Phoenix Theatre

Rupert Goold for Dear England at the National Theatre – Olivier & Prince Edward Theatre

Will win: Jamie Lloyd for Sunset Boulevard at the Savoy Theatre

Should win: Sam Mendes for The Motive And The Cue at the National Theatre – Lyttelton & Noël Coward Theatre

Best Actress

Should win: Laura Donnelly for The Hills Of California at the Harold Pinter Theatre

Sophie Okonedo for Medea at @sohoplace

Will win: Sarah Jessica Parker for Plaza Suite at the Savoy Theatre

Sheridan Smith for Shirley Valentine at the Duke Of York’s Theatre

Sarah Snook for The Picture Of Dorian Gray at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

Best Actor

Joseph Fiennes for Dear England at the National Theatre – Olivier & Prince Edward Theatre

Mark Gatiss for The Motive And The Cue at the National Theatre – Lyttelton & Noël Coward Theatre

James Norton for A Little Life at the Harold Pinter Theatre & Savoy Theatre

Should win / Will win: Andrew Scott for Vanya at the Duke Of York’s Theatre

David Tennant for Macbeth at the Donmar Warehouse

The Londoner Award for Best New Play

Dear England by James Graham at the National Theatre – Olivier & Prince Edward Theatre

The Hills Of California by Jez Butterworth at the Harold Pinter Theatre

Will win: The Motive And The Cue by Jack Thorne at the National Theatre – Lyttelton & Noël Coward Theatre

Should win: Till The Stars Come Down by Beth Steel at the National Theatre – Dorfman

Mastercard Best New Musical

The Little Big Things, music by Nick Butcher, lyrics by Nick Butcher & Tom Ling, book by Joe White at @sohoplace

Next To Normal, music by Tom Kitt, book & lyrics by Brian Yorkey at the Donmar Warehouse

Will win: Operation Mincemeat, music, lyrics & book by David Cumming, Felix Hagan, Natasha Hodgson & Zoë Roberts at the Fortune Theatre

Should win: A Strange Loop, music, lyrics & book by Michael R. Jackson at the Barbican Theatre

Is Sunset Boulevard a lock across the board? Does Little Big Things have a chance?