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The Olivier Awards. It’s not all that.

Olivier Awards 2019
Jason Manford

Jason Manford

THERE are many good reasons why The Olivier Awards with Mastercard are theatre’s biggest night.

Central to most of them are the performances by actors from your favourite west end shows having the time of their lives and at the height of their theatre powers, who demand the attention of the audience.

The cast of The Lion King performed. Why? Who cares really.

Sometimes you just have to enjoy the moment without ruining it by asking too many questions. Here, Come From Away, The Inheritance, and Company triumphed. Each took away four prizes at the ceremony, hosted by Jason Manford. Manford fronted the occasion once before, in 2017.

Let’s never speak of Catherine Tate.

Miraculously, Manford did a good enough job. On a purely technical level, it was going well until he bungled a musical number with Janie Dee and plugged Kander & Ebb musical Curtains, which he is starring in. It broke up the show’s momentum badly, in fact.

Anyway, Company picked up awards for best supporting actor and actress, best musical revival and best set design. A brilliant and brave Sondheim reinvention that deserved all the awards.

Kyle Soller - The Inheritance

Kyle Soller – The Inheritance

The Inheritance, though, my favourite show of 2018 and a marvel of a play that dealt with the bitter legacy of the AIDS epidemic, won best new play, as well as awards for best actor and director, and lighting design.

As luck would have it, during the interval I made my way down to the Arena bar and bumped into critic Ann Treneman. We had a glass of Chardonnay. Out the corner of my eye I saw Company producer Chris Harper and director Marianne Elliott. This was the first show that I really followed religiously from Launch to Opening Night, to Benefit Performance, to closing week. It was emotional, readers.

I was thrilled that Flesh and Bone won and equally elated that Monica Dolan, picked up her first ever Olivier Award, winning Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in All About Eve. Also, Sally Cookson won ‘Best Entertainment and Family’ for A Monster Calls. Proving ‘The Palladium Panto’ isn’t invincible.

Elsewhere, choreographer and director Sir Matthew Bourne was presented with a Special Award by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, (no Charlie) in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to dance.

But that’s just about your lot, though, as the rest of the occasion moved with all the unpredictable thrill and dynamism of a tax return.

Would I go again?

No.

It was far too long. I was hot in a tux; thank goodness for the Vodka Martini down the road at the Baglioni Hotel.

But if you’re a theatre lover, it was solid enough Sunday night entertainment.

Also, nice of Tom Hiddleston to show up.

If anyone summed it up best, however, it was Company Production Manager Igor, collecting on behalf of Bunny Christie (Best Set Design): “It was this or Countryfile.”

#OlivierAwards

FULL LIST OF OLIVIER AWARDS 2019 WITH MASTERCARD WINNERS

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Jonathan Bailey for Company at Gielgud Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Patti LuPone for Company at Gielgud Theatre

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC
Come From Away – Book, Music and Lyrics: David Hein and Irene Sankoff; Music
Supervisor, Arrangements: Ian Eisendrath; Orchestrations: August Eriksmoen; Musical
Director/UK Music Supervisor: Alan Berry; and the band of Come From Away at Phoenix
Theatre

BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION
Blkdog by Botis Seva at Sadler’s Wells

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE
Akram Khan for his performance in Xenos at Sadler’s Wells

BEST ENTERTAINMENT AND FAMILY
A Monster Calls at The Old Vic

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER
Kelly Devine for Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre

MAGIC RADIO BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL
Company at Gielgud Theatre

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith for Tina – The Tina Turner Musical at Aldwych Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Sharon D. Clarke for Caroline, Or Change at Playhouse Theatre

CUNARD BEST REVIVAL
Summer And Smoke at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York's Theatre

BEST NEW COMEDY
Home, I’m Darling at National Theatre – Dorfman and Duke of York’s Theatre

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN AFFILIATE THEATRE
Flesh And Bone at Soho Theatre

WHITE LIGHT AWARD FOR BEST LIGHTING DESIGN
Jon Clark for The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre

ROYAL ALBERT HALL AWARD FOR BEST SOUND DESIGN
Gareth Owen for Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Catherine Zuber for The King And I at The London Palladium

BLUE-I THEATRE TECHNOLOGY AWARD FOR BEST SET DESIGN
Bunny Christie for Company at Gielgud Theatre

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Chris Walley for The Lieutenant Of Inishmore at Noël Coward Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Monica Dolan for All About Eve at Noël Coward Theatre

BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION
Katya Kabanova at Royal Opera House

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA
The ensemble of Porgy And Bess at London Coliseum

BEST ACTOR
Kyle Soller for The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre

BEST ACTRESS
Patsy Ferran for Summer And Smoke at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

SIR PETER HALL AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR
Stephen Daldry for The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre

AMERICAN AIRLINES BEST NEW PLAY
The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre

MASTERCARD BEST NEW MUSICAL
Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre

SOCIETY OF LONDON THEATRE SPECIAL AWARD

Sir Matthew Bourne

Jason Manford To Host Olivier Awards

Jason Manford
Jason Manford

Jason Manford

Jason Manford has been announced as the host of the Olivier Awards 2019 with Mastercard. Having previously hosted in 2017, the much loved comedian, actor and singer will return to the Royal Albert Hall for the glittering ceremony on Sunday 7 April.

Jason Manford is an award-winning comedian, broadcaster and actor. As well as frequent television appearances on shows like 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Live At The Apollo, Jason boasts numerous stage credits, including the multi-Olivier Award-winning production of Sweeney Todd, an acclaimed UK tour of The Producers, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It was recently announced that Jason will be starring in a new touring production of the Kander and Ebb musical Curtains from October this year.

Jason Manford said:

‘I’m absolutely chuffed to bits to be back hosting the Olivier Awards at the Royal Albert Hall. Having worked in theatres all across the country doing both stand-up and musicals for the last 20 years, I know the hard work that goes into putting on a show. It’s a privilege to host this star-studded evening and to celebrate the very best of all areas of British theatrical talent.’

Nominations for the Olivier Awards 2019 with Mastercard will be revealed on Tuesday 5 March at 1pm, via Facebook Premiere on the Olivier Awards website.

The Olivier Awards ceremony will be broadcast via official media partners ITV, Magic Radio and Facebook. Full details to be announced soon.

OlivierAwards.com | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

#OlivierAwards

Lara Pulver and Stephen Mangan join the cast of Guys and Dolls at the Royal Albert Hall

Lara Pulver
Lara Pulver

Lara Pulver

  • Lara Pulver and Stephen Mangan join Adrian Lester, Jason Manford and Meow Meow in the cast of Guys and Dolls at The Royal Albert Hall
  • The production will be the first ever presentation of The Musical at the venue and runs for three performances only between 19 – 20 October 2018
Stephen Mangan

Stephen Mangan

It was today announced that Lara Pulver, Stephen Mangan, Sharon D. Clarke and Paul Nicholas will join the cast of Guys and Dolls at theRoyal Albert Hall. Pulver who recently won an Olivier Award for her performance in Gypsy, and is known for her roles in Sherlock and Spooks, will play Sarah Brown. Stephen Mangan, who was in the West End earlier this year in an anniversary production of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, joins the cast as the narrator. Clarke, most recently on stage in acclaimed Caroline, or Change, will take the role of General Cartwright and Nicholas will be Arvide Abernathy. They join previously announced cast including Adrian LesterJason Manford, Meow Meow, Clive Rowe and Joe Stilgoe. Guys and Dolls will come to the iconic London venue for three performances between 19 – 20 October, directed and choreographed byStephen Mear (Gypsy, Hello Dolly!, Mary Poppins) and featuring the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. This will be the first time it has ever been presented in its entirety at the venue.

The production marks a return to musicals for Adrian Lester who stars as Sky Masterson, having previously won an Olivier Award for his performance in Sam Mendes’ Company at the Donmar Warehouse and received critical acclaim for his role in the National Theatre’s Sweeney Todd. One of the UK’s leading stand ups, Jason Manford returns to the Albert Hall stage having hosted the Olivier Awards there in 2017 to take on the role of Nathan Detroit. Clive Rowe reprises his Olivier Award-winning role as Nicely Nicely Johnson, international cabaret sensation Meow Meow will play the role of Miss Adelaide and acclaimed jazz singer and pianist Joe Stilgoe will play Benny Southstreet.

This sizzling, New York tale of gamblers, gangsters and nightclub singers – plus one missionary – features some of Broadway’s greatest show-stoppers, including ‘Luck Be a Lady’, ‘Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat’ and ‘My Time of Day’.

The cast also includes Stephane Anelli, Dan Burton, Cory English, Julian Forsyth, Nia Jermin, Alexis Owen Hobbs, Sévan Stephan, Matthew Whennell-Clark, Davide Fienauri, Stevie Hutchinson, Ross McLaren, Ebony Molina, Jo Morris, Cris Penfold, Jak Skelly, Rachel Stanley and Alexandra Waite-Roberts.

Lara Pulver has recently been part of BBC Two’s The City and the City and Channel 4’s Electric Dreams: The World of Phillip K. Dick. In 2008 she was Olivier Award nominated for her role in Parade (West End) and went on to win the Best Supporting Actress Olivier for her role in sell-out and critical hit Gypsy (National Theatre/ West End) in 2015. On screen she is best known for her roles in Spooks, True Blood, Sherlock and Underworld.

Stephen Mangan is an English stage and film actor well known for his role in the BAFTA-winning British sitcom Green Wing and the BBC’s Episodes. He can currently be seen starring in Hang Ups, a show he has written and produced for Channel 4.  He was on stage earlier this year in the Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party in the West End as well as appearing in Sky’s comedy Bliss and BBC One’s The Split. Mangan’s extensive theatre career includes work with Cheek by Jowl, The Old Vic (The Norman Conquests) as well performing in the West End (Jeeves and Wooster) and on Broadway (The Norman Conquests) where he received a Tony Award-nomination. His film credits include Rush, BreatheBilly Elliot and Festival.

Olivier Award-winner Sharon D. Clarke was critically-hailed for her performance of the role of Caroline Thibodeaux in Caroline, or Change which comes to the West End later this year. Clarke has enjoyed a long established stage career with credits including Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and The Amen Corner (National Theatre), Ghost The Musical (Piccadilly Theatre), The Life (Southwark Playhouse) and Porgy and Bess (Regents Park Open Air Theatre). On TV, Clarke is known for playing Lola Griffin in BBC’s Holby City and was recently announced as a new character in Doctor Who.

Paul Nicholas became a household favourite in the celebrated sitcom Just Good Friends and is also known for his work as Gavin in EastEnders.  He has worked extensively on stage with musical theatre credits including Barnum, 42nd StreetSinging In The RainDr Doolittle, A Christmas Carol,Pirates Of PenzanceTale Of Two Cities, Fiddler On The Roof and Dear World.

Adrian Lester is best known for the BBC’s Hustle and his performance as Othello at the National Theatre in 2013, which won him Best Actor at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. His musical-theatre credits include Sweeney Todd (also at the National) and his Olivier-winning performance in Sam Mendes’ production of Company at the Donmar Warehouse and in the West End.

Jason Manford made his name as a leading stand-up, before embarking on a theatrical career. A stage debut in Sweeney Todd, opposite Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton, led to a starring role in The Producers and a year-long run in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Meow Meow’s award-winning solo works have been curated by David Bowie, Pina Bausch, and Mikhail Baryshnikov as well as numerous international arts festivals. She initiated the role of the Maîtresse in the Gielgud Theatre adaptation of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg in the West End and appeared as Titania in Emma Rice’s revolutionary A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe).

Clive Rowe, who is known for his work in musical theatre was recognised with an MBE in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list. His extensive theatre credits include his Olivier Award-winning performance in Guys and Dolls (National Theatre), The Light Princess, Carousel (for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award), Fuente OvejunaCaroline, or ChangeThe Villains OperaMoneyCandidePeter Pan (National Theatre), Kiss Me, Kate (Chichester and Old Vic Theatre) and The Ladykillers (West End and UK Tour).

Joe Stilgoe is an internationally acclaimed singer, pianist and songwriter. He has toured all around the world with his band and as a solo act, having appeared in jazz clubs from New York to Berlin to Kuala Lumpur, including sell-out runs at Ronnie Scott’s.

Stephen Mear won Olivier Awards for his choreography of Mary Poppins (with Matthew Bourne) and Hello, Dolly!, and has been celebrated for his work on West End shows Singin’ in the Rain, Sweet Charity and the acclaimed revival of Gypsy, starring Imelda Staunton.

The cast also includes:  Cory EnglishAlexis Owen HobbsNia JerminMatthew Whennell-ClarkSévan StephanDan Burton;Stephane AnnelliJulian Forsyth.

This production is presented by the Hall and Fiery Angel Entertainment, with musical direction from James McKeon and design by Morgan Large.

Tickets are on sale now, from www.royalalberthall.com