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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?
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Olivier Awards Nominations 2023: Who Will Win & Who Should Win?

First: a great deal of joy in most nominated musical Standing At The Sky’s Edge for its tremendous successes on this year’s nominations list. 

Richard Hawley and Chris Bush’s hit show, about Sheffield communities, has a load of nominations including Best Musical, Best Set Design for Ben Stones and Best Actress in a Musical for Faith Omole.

Standing At The Sky’s Edge

Naturally, much acclaimed My Neighbour Totoro, the stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s 1988 animated film, takes pole position with 9 nominations in categories Best Entertainment or Comedy Play, Best Director, Best Theatre Choreographer, Best Original Score and a Best Actress nod for Mei Mac.

Donmar Warehouse’s production of The Band’s Visit gets 6 nominations and it’s good to see Katie Brayben land Best Actress in a Musical for her solid performance as Tammy Faye

However, the Best Actress category is impossible to call – though it could well be that Patsy Ferran will clinch it for her tremendous performance as Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire. Not backing Jodie Comer is now practically a treasonable offence, but a victory for her will happen at the expense of a subtler performance. 

Paul Mescal has added an Olivier nod for his role in A Streetcar Named Desire to his recent Oscar nomination. 27 actors are first-time Olivier nominees.

Jealous insecurities … Paul Mescal and Anjana Vasan in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photograph: Marc Brenner

Elsewhere, super producer Sonia Friedman is back on top with 17 nominations for her shows including 6 for To Kill A Mockingbird, 3 for Patriots, 1 for Jerusalem and 7 nods for Oklahoma!

On the play front, my guess is that A Streetcar Named Desire will win almost all its categories, My Neighbour Totoro will, in fact, sweep the board and New Diorama’s hit For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide – soon to run in the West End – could land Best New Play. 

For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide


Anyway, let’s have a recap of the nominees plus a guide to who should win each category.

Full list of nominations for Olivier Awards 2023 with Mastercard:

Noël Coward Award for Best Entertainment or Comedy Play

Jack And The Beanstalk at The London Palladium

My Neighbour Totoro at Barbican Theatre

My Son’s A Queer, (But What Can You Do?) at Garrick Theatre & Ambassadors Theatre

One Woman Show at Ambassadors Theatre

Will win: My Neighbour Totoro

Should win: My Neighbour Totoro 

Gillian Lynne Award for Best Theatre Choreographer

Matt Cole for Newsies at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre

Lynne Page for Standing At The Sky’s Edge at National Theatre – Olivier

Kate Prince for Sylvia at The Old Vic

Basil Twist for Puppetry Direction for My Neighbour Totoro at Barbican Theatre

Will win: Matt Cole for Newsies 

Should win: Lynn Page Standing At The Sky’s Edge 

Best Costume Design

Frankie Bradshaw for Blues For An Alabama Sky at National Theatre – Lyttelton

Hugh Durrant for Jack And The Beanstalk at The London Palladium

Jean Paul Gaultier for Jean Paul Gaultier Fashion Freak Show at Roundhouse

Kimie Nakano for My Neighbour Totoro at Barbican Theatre

Will win: Kimie Nakano for My Neighbour is Totoro

Should win: Kimie Nakano for My Neighbour is Totoro

Cunard Best Revival

The Crucible at National Theatre – Olivier

Good at Harold Pinter Theatre

Jerusalem at Apollo Theatre

A Streetcar Named Desire at Almeida Theatre

Will win: A Streetcar Named Desire 

Should win: A Streetcar Named Desire

Magic Radio Best Musical Revival

My Fair Lady at London Coliseum

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! at Young Vic

Sister Act at Eventim Apollo

South Pacific at Sadler’s Wells

Will win: Oklahoma! 

Should win: South Pacific 

d&b audiotechnik Award for Best Sound Design

Bobby Aitken for Standing At The Sky’s Edge at National Theatre – Olivier

Tony Gayle for My Neighbour Totoro at Barbican Theatre

Drew Levy for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! at Young Vic

Ben & Max Ringham for Prima Facie at Harold Pinter Theatre

Will win: Standing At The Sky’s Edge 

Should win: Standing At The Sky’s Edge 

Best Original Score or New Orchestrations

David Yazbek, Jamshied Sharifi & Andrea Grody – Music and Lyrics by David Yazbek, Orchestrations by Jamshied Sharifi & Additional Arrangements by Andrea Grody – The Band’s Visit at Donmar Warehouse

Joe Hisaishi & Will Stuart – Music by Joe Hisaishi & Orchestrations and Arrangements by Will Stuart – My Neighbour Totoro for Barbican Theatre

Daniel Kluger & Nathan Koci – Orchestrations and Arrangements by Daniel Kluger & Additional Vocal Arrangements by Nathan Koci  – Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!  Young Vic

Richard Hawley & Tom Deering – Music and Lyrics by Richard Hawley & Orchestrations by Tom Deering – Standing At The Sky’s Edge at National Theatre – Olivier

Will win: Standing At The Sky’s Edge 

Should win: Standing At The Sky’s Edge 

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Mark Akintimehin, Emmanuel Akwafo, Nnabiko Ejimofor, Darragh Hand, Aruna Jalloh & Kaine Lawrence for For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy at Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at The Royal Court Theatre

Will Keen for Patriots at Almeida Theatre

Elliot Levey for Good at Harold Pinter Theatre

David Moorst for To Kill A Mockingbird at Gielgud Theatre

Sule Rimi for Blues For An Alabama Sky at National Theatre – Lyttelton

Will win: Mark Akintimehin, Emmanuel Akwafo, Nnabiko Ejimofor, Darragh Hand, Aruna Jalloh & Kaine Lawrence for For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide

Should win: Mark Akintimehin, Emmanuel Akwafo, Nnabiko Ejimofor, Darragh Hand, Aruna Jalloh & Kaine Lawrence for For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Rose Ayling-Ellis for As You Like It at @sohoplace

Pamela Nomvete for To Kill A Mockingbird at Gielgud Theatre

Caroline Quentin for Jack Absolute Flies Again at National Theatre – Olivier

Sharon Small for Good at Harold Pinter Theatre

Anjana Vasan for A Streetcar Named Desire at Almeida Theatre

Will win: Anjana Vasan for A Streetcar Named Desire 

Should win: Anjana Vasan for A Streetcar Named Desire 

Blue-i Theatre Technology Award for Best Set Design

Miriam Buether for To Kill A Mockingbird at Gielgud Theatre

Tom Pye for My Neighbour Totoro at Barbican Theatre

Ben Stones for Standing At The Sky’s Edge at National Theatre – Olivier

Mark Walters for Jack And The Beanstalk at The London Palladium

Will win: Tom Pye for My Neighbour Tototoro 

Should win: Tom Pye for My Neighbour Tototoro 

White Light Award for Best Lighting Design

Natasha Chivers for Prima Facie at Harold Pinter Theatre

Lee Curran for A Streetcar Named Desire at Almeida Theatre

Jessica Hung Han Yun for My Neighbour Totoro at Barbican Theatre

Tim Lutkin for The Crucible at National Theatre – Olivier

Will win: Natasha Chivers for Prima Facie 

Should win: Lee Curran for A Streetcar Named Desire 

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical

Beverley Knight for Sylvia The Old Vic

Maimuna Memon for Standing At The Sky’s Edge National Theatre – Olivier

Liza Sadovy for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! at Young Vic

Marisha Wallace for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! at Young Vic

Will win: Beverley Knight for Sylvia The Old Vic 

Should win: Marisha Wallace for Oklahoma! 

Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical

Sharif Afifi for The Band’s Visit at Donmar Warehouse

Peter Polycarpou for The Band’s Visit at Donmar Warehouse

Clive Rowe for Sister Act at Eventim Apollo

Zubin Varla for Tammy Faye at Almeida Theatre

Will win: Sharif Afifi for The Band’s Visit

Should win: Zubin Varla for Tammy Faye 

Best Actor in a Musical

Alon Moni Aboutboul for The Band’s Visit at Donmar Warehouse

Arthur Darvill for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! at Young Vic

Julian Ovenden for South Pacific at Sadler’s Wells

Andrew Rannells for Tammy Faye at Almeida Theatre

Will win: Arthur Darvill for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! at Young Vic

Should win: Julian Ovenden for South Pacific 

Best Actress in a Musical

Katie Brayben for Tammy Faye at Almeida Theatre

Anoushka Lucas for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! at Young Vic

Miri Mesika for The Band’s Visit at Donmar Warehouse

Faith Omole for Standing At The Sky’s Edge at National Theatre – Olivier

Will win: Katie Brayben for Tammy Faye

Should win: Katie Brayben for Tammy Faye

Unusual Rigging Award for Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre

Age Is A Feeling at Soho Theatre

Blackout Songs at Hampstead Theatre Downstairs

The P Word at Bush Theatre

Paradise Now! at Bush Theatre

Two Palestinians Go Dogging at Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at The Royal Court Theatre

Will win: The P Word 

Should win: Age is A Feeling 

Sir Peter Hall Award for Best Director

Rebecca Frecknall for A Streetcar Named Desire at Almeida Theatre

Robert Hastie for Standing At The Sky’s Edge at National Theatre – Olivier

Justin Martin for Prima Facie at Harold Pinter Theatre

Phelim McDermott for My Neighbour Totoro at Barbican Theatre

Bartlett Sher for To Kill A Mockingbird at Gielgud Theatre

Will win: Phelim McDermott for My Neighbour Totoro 

Should win: Rebecca Frecknall for a Streetcar Named Desire 

Best Actress

Jodie Comer for Prima Facie at Harold Pinter Theatre

Patsy Ferran for A Streetcar Named Desire at Almeida Theatre

Mei Mac for My Neighbour Totoro at Barbican Theatre

Janet McTeer for Phaedra at National Theatre – Lyttelton

Nicola Walker for The Corn Is Green at National Theatre – Lyttelton

Will win: Jodie Comer for Prima Facie 

Should win: Mei Mac for My Neighbour Totoro

Best Actor

Tom Hollander for Patriots at Almeida Theatre

Paul Mescal for A Streetcar Named Desire at Almeida Theatre

Rafe Spall for To Kill A Mockingbird at Gielgud Theatre

David Tennant for Good at Harold Pinter Theatre

Giles Terera for Blues For An Alabama Sky at National Theatre – Lyttelton

Will win: Paul Mescal for A Streetcar Named Desire 

Should win: Paul Mescal for A Streetcar Named Desire 

Delta Air Lines Best New Play

For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy at Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at The Royal Court Theatre

Patriots at Almeida Theatre

Prima Facie at Harold Pinter Theatre

To Kill A Mockingbird at Gielgud Theatre

Will win: Prima Facie  

Should win: Patriots 

Mastercard Best New Musical

The Band’s Visit at Donmar Warehouse

Standing At The Sky’s Edge at National Theatre – Olivier

Sylvia at The Old Vic

Tammy Faye at Almeida Theatre

Will win: Standing at the Sky’s Edge 

Should win: Standing at the Sky’s Edge 

And there we have it.

The Olivier Awards will be hosted by Hannah Waddingham and broadcast via ITV and Magic Radio. Further details of the ceremony will be announced soon.