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Sheila Atim interview: ‘The government could do with empowering people to get in the driving seat, particularly those who otherwise wouldn’t get the chance.’

In April, Olivier Award winning Actor Sheila Atim said that she wanted to see more women ‘who look like her’ winning Olivier awards. Atim also warned that the industry should not “get complacent” about diversity, saying there is “always work to do”.

Atim is positive about developments but also direct about the pressing importance of diversity on and off stage. “I’m seeing a lot more of friends getting great roles and I’m seeing a lot more of my non-white friends in stronger positions to create work,” says Atim, 27.

Sheila Atim at Olivier Awards 2018

We talk about representation, in all its forms, on and off stage. “Representation is the perfect word,” she agrees. “It is not just the representation on stage. The reality is until you get to the top level you are the last person – as the actor – to come on board a project. In terms of how the shots are called and before we get to the casting process, we need to look at shifting the culture of that group,” Atim says.

“There is definitely a momentum building to take control of our own careers, you can look at it as progress,” she says. “Ultimately, I think it is important that those people are in that space and are aware of the disparities. They have a responsibility to create a channel and have a position where they can genuinely call some shots. If I reach that point, I’m not going to sit there by myself. I will try and do that to make sure I facilitate others – you can’t just talk about it – every forward motion has equal and opposite reaction.”

In 2017 Atim starred as Marianne in Conor McPherson’s stunning Bob Dylan musical Girl From The North Country, taking Dylan’s music and giving it a new spin. This year she took home the best actress in a supporting role in a musical Olivier Award for her exquisite performance.

Arinze Kene, Sheila Atim in Girl From The North Country, 2017

She brightens when I ask what that whirlwind was like. I tell her that she owes me an apology for breaking my heart. “I can’t overstate how special that job was and to be able to share it with the people that we shared it with,” she says, cheerfully. “It was like a weird dream that was happening to us all. It felt like one of those moments where I’d say – everything about this is right –everyone gets it – this is it. That is why when people tell me they enjoyed it so much, I still feel moved,” she adds.

We discuss patronage; those privileged few in positions of power who control appointments and decisions. She says: ‘We have to allow people to stand on their own two feet and make sure that everyone’s voices are being heard – this is a larger conversation to do with allyship; you have to allow us to take the steering wheel – otherwise we will remain in a position where we are at someone else’s mercy.”

Now she is starring in an independent film – as shipwrecked twins Viola and Sebastian in a modern screen adaptation of William Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night by Shanty Productions – an independent film production company, co-founded by Rakie Ayola and Adam Smethurst. The play has been adapted for the screen to reflect multicultural Britain today.

Does she see the 400-year-old play as a comedy? “It is a comedy but when I was filming my sections – I was not experiencing comedy,” she exclaims.

Sheila Atim in Shanty Productions Twelfth Night

“There is humour in the conceit of Viola and Sebastian being twins and people thinking that they’re dead, however, the distress they are feeling is very real: Viola thinks her brother is dead and assumes an image of her brother and is worried about her currency of being a woman – that is a really sad story! She has someone who has fallen in love with her but is trying to facilitate a relationship – similarly for Sebastian. It was interesting playing both those characters and seeing the film and being reminded that it is a funny film – it was a great experience. Truly. Around the time we filmed it there had been a lot in the media around the refugee crisis – which this does give nods to. Even now, it feels timely.”

Atim is no stranger to Shakespeare – in 2016 she performed in Phyllida Lloyd‘s acclaimed all-female Shakespeare trilogy at the Donmar. Recently she starred in Othello as Emilia, alongside Mark Rylance, at Shakespeare’s Globe. Does she see herself doing more of the Bard’s work in the future? “I do want to do more,” she says. “However, I feel interspersing Shakespeare with other stuff is great because then it gives me a chance to not get cynical and get back to it,”.

Sheila Atim in Shakespeare Trilogy at the Donmar

“If I stayed in that classical world for too long, though, I wouldn’t be able to marry the good things that come with dealing a piece of work that is 400 years old,” says Atim.

“I don’t believe in loading every production with a concept. I do believe that when you go into a project you have to be very clear about what it is your trying to explore. I think for it to really be worth it – otherwise there is no point in putting on these plays –when I want to be in a Shakespeare play I’m trying to provoke something.”

Atim has been particularly vocal about the importance of a creative curriculum in our state schools. She highlighted this recently when she visited her old school, The Coopers’ Company and Coborn School to speak about the importance of Drama. When I ask her thoughts on new research published that found almost a third of children did not realise that Shakespeare was a playwright and half of secondary pupils have not been to the theatre with school, she says: “I’ll tell you why I find that alarming – not because I think everyone should know who Shakespeare is for any ideological reason. What confuses me about those figures are that Shakespeare is everywhere. There are modern adaptations, films, revivals and we have two fantastic theatres that are dedicated to his work: The RSC and The Globe,”.

“I understand the strain that schools are under – my own school was nearly forced to cut it’s A level drama and music courses because of funding cuts. The message from our current government is one that feels that the arts are a luxury. But art is all around us –the design of a book cover, galleries, music -you can’t escape it. You can try and dress it up and make it for a certain group of people but that is not the case. I find that really worrying because the cultural experience opens up so much for people,” says Atim.

I ask Sheila if there’s anything she’d like to add? “Oh, that’s a good question.”

She thinks for a moment.

“I know that Brexit is coming up but the arts could do with more money, more investment” she says frankly. “The government could do with empowering people to get in the driving seat, particularly those who otherwise wouldn’t get the chance– they can be there and they deserve to be there – charity is great – but we need to allow people to build their own agency. It cannot be forever the case that the arts are waiting for handouts.”

Twelfth Night by Shanty Productions is available to download and watch now on Amazon 

 Olivier Awards 2018 Winners Announced

Olivier-Awards
Olivier Awards

Olivier Awards

  • Hamilton Wins 7 awards including Best New Musical with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Orchestrator Alex Lacamoire winning Outstanding Achievement In Music and Giles Terera and Michael Jibson winning Best Actor and Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical respectively
  • The Ferryman wins 3 awards including Best New Play with Sam Mendes winning Best Director and Laura Donnelly winning Best Actress
  • The National Theatre celebrates 5 Awards including Best Revival for Angels In America and Best Musical Revival for Follies with Bryan Cranston winning Best Actor for his role in Network and Denise Gough winning Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Angels In America
  • Shirley Henderson and Sheila Atim win Best Actress in a Musical and Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical respectively for Girl From The North Country
  • Bertie Carvel wins Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Ink written by James Graham, who wins best Best New Comedy For Labour Of Love

The winners of the Olivier Awards 2018 with Mastercard, the UK’s most prestigious stage honours, were announced tonight (Sunday 8 April 2018) at London’s Royal Albert Hall hosted by Catherine Tate.  The full list of winners is available below and online at OlivierAwards.com.

This year’s ceremony will be broadcast on ITV tonight at 22:20. It will also broadcast worldwide at the same time, outside the UK, on the Olivier Awards Facebook page.  The Oliviers will broadcast in China via iQiyi on Tuesday 10 April.

New American musical Hamilton collected seven Olivier Awards including Best New Musical with composer-lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda and orchestrator Alex Lacamoire winning Outstanding Achievement in Music.  Giles Terera, who plays the part of Aaron Burr, was named Best Actor in a Musical, with Michael Jibson winning Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical for his portrayal of King George III.  The musical, about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, also went on to win Best Lighting Design, Best Sound Design, and Best Theatre Choreographer.

The Ferryman collected three Olivier Awards including Best New Play.  Stage and film director, Sam Mendes, won Best Director with Laura Donnelly winning Best Actress for her role in the Northern Irish drama set during The Troubles.

The National Theatre celebrate five Awards including Best Revival for Angels In America and Best Musical Revival for Follies.  Bryan Cranston won Best Actor for his role in Network and Denise Gough won Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in Angels In America.  The production is currently playing in New York to great acclaim.

Shirley Henderson and Sheila Atim won Best Actress in a Musical and Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical respectively for Girl From The North Country, Conor McPherson’s musical based on the work of Bob Dylan.

Bertie Carvel was named Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Ink, written by James Graham who won Best New Comedy for Labour Of Love.

The Royal Court’s production of Killology won Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre and Dick Whittington won Best Entertainment and Family.

In the dance categories, Best New Dance Production went to Flight Pattern by Crystal Pite for The Royal Ballet at Royal Opera House.  Francesca Velicu won Outstanding Achievement in Dance for her performance in English National Ballet’s production of Pina Bausch’s Le Sacre Du Printemps at Sadler’s Wells.

The Royal Opera House won Best New Opera for Semiramide and Joyce DiDonato and Daniela Barcellona won Outstanding Achievement in Opera for their performances in Semiramide.

David Lan was this year’s recipient of the Special Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution in leading the Young Vic since 2000, his work within the local community around the theatre, and his commitment to internationalism and diversity.

Performances on the night included American musical theatre legend Chita Rivera performing the iconic West Side Story track Somewhere with Andy Karl (Olivier Award 2017 winner for his performance in Groundhog Day), Adam J. Bernard (Olivier Award 2017 winner for his performance in Dreamgirls), and the Arts Educational Schools London Choir, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the production debuting in London.  There was also a unique moment to honour the 50th anniversary of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s iconic musical Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with past stars including Jason Donovan and Linzi Hateley, Lee Mead and Preeya Kalidas, and Joe McElderry and Danielle Hope. There were also performances from nominated musicals including: HamiltonEverybody’s Talking About Jamie; Girl From The North Country, Young Frankenstein, Follies and 42nd Street.

Presenters this year included Alexandra Burke, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Anne-Marie Duff,  Beverley Knight, Chita Rivera, Cuba Gooding Jnr, Frank DiLella, Juliet Stevenson, Meera Syal, Mel Giedroyc, Michael Sheen, Ophelia Lovibond, Patti LuPone, Pearl Mackie and Sergei Polunin.

FULL LIST FOR THE OLIVIER AWARDS 2018 WITH MASTERCARD

AMERICAN AIRLINES BEST NEW PLAY

The Ferryman at Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre and Gielgud Theatre

BEST NEW COMEDY

Labour Of Love at Noël Coward Theatre

BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION

Flight Pattern by Crystal Pite for The Royal Ballet at Royal Opera House

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE

Francesca Velicu for her performance in English National Ballet’s production of Pina Bausch’s Le Sacre Du Printemps at Sadler’s Wells

BEST ENTERTAINMENT AND FAMILY

Dick Whittington at London Palladium

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Vicki Mortimer for Follies at National Theatre – Olivier

DELTA LIVE AWARD FOR BEST SOUND DESIGN

Nevin Steinberg for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Bertie Carvel for Ink at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Denise Gough for Angels In America at National Theatre – Lyttelton

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN AFFILIATE THEATRE

Killology at Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre, a co-production with Sherman Theatre Cardiff

BLUE-I THEATRE TECHNOLOGY AWARD FOR BEST SET DESIGN

Bob Crowley and 59 Productions for An American In Paris at Dominion Theatre

WHITE LIGHT AWARD FOR BEST LIGHTING DESIGN

Howell Binkley for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

BEST ACTOR

Bryan Cranston for Network at National Theatre – Lyttelton

BEST ACTRESS

Laura Donnelly for The Ferryman at Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre and Gielgud Theatre

BEST DIRECTOR

Sam Mendes for The Ferryman at Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre and Gielgud Theatre

BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION

Semiramide at Royal Opera House

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA

Joyce DiDonato and Daniela Barcellona for their performances in Semiramide at Royal Opera House

BEST REVIVAL

Angels In America at National Theatre – Lyttelton

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC

Hamilton – Composer-Lyricist: Lin-Manuel Miranda; Orchestrator: Alex Lacamoire at Victoria Palace Theatre

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER

Andy Blankenbuehler for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

MAGIC RADIO BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL

Follies at National Theatre – Olivier

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Michael Jibson for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Sheila Atim for Girl From The North Country at The Old Vic and the Noël Coward Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Shirley Henderson for Girl From The North Country at The Old Vic and the Noël Coward Theatre

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Giles Terera for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

MASTERCARD BEST NEW MUSICAL

Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

SPECIAL AWARD

David Lan

David Lan announced as special award winner ahead of the Olivier Awards on Sunday 8 April

David Lan January 2018 Credit Johan Persson
David Lan January 2018 Credit Johan Persson

David Lan January 2018 Credit Johan Persson

Former Artistic Director of the Young Vic, director and playwright David Lan will be presented with the Special Award at the Olivier Awards 2018 with Mastercard ceremony on Sunday 8 April at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The award will be presented in recognition of his outstanding contribution in leading the Young Vic since 2000, his work within the local community around the theatre, and his commitment to internationalism and diversity.

Lan stepped down as Artistic Director of The Young Vic earlier this year after leading the Young Vic for almost two decades.  Over the course of his tenure, the Young Vic’s reputation has grown to become one of the most admired theatres in the world. It is known for its extensive and fully integrated outreach program, its engagement with young theatre artists, especially directors and well as playing to an audience acknowledged to be the most diverse in the UK. David wrote the architectural brief for the 2004/6 re-development of the theatre, and led the entire project including a 24 show, 32 city walkabout season.

He has produced the work of some of the most influential theatre makers of our time including Peter Brook, Ivo Van Hove, Benedict Andrews, Susan Stroman, Stephen Daldry and Katie Mitchell and has championed innovative ways of co-producing across the UK and internationally. Lan also is responsible for establishing The Young Vic’s Genesis Directors Program many of whose past members now lead theatres all over the UK. Many Young Vic productions have gone on to great success in the West End and on Broadway (the Olivier Award Winning Yerma opening this March at the Park Avenue Armory, New York), and in other theatres around the world.

In addition, he founded the What Next? Alliance of arts organisations which now has ‘Chapters’ throughout the UK.

The Young Vic has won eleven Olivier Awards under Lan’s tenure including Outstanding Achievement In An Affiliate Theatre in 2004 for his “audacious season” and artistic direction.

Past recipients of the Special Award include Kenneth Branagh, Stephen Sondheim, Judi Dench and Ian McKellen.

Widely recognised as the most prestigious stage honours, this year’s Olivier Awards return to the Royal Albert Hall and will be hosted by Catherine Tate.

Mastercard continues its partnership with Society of London Theatre and its headline sponsorship of the Olivier Awards, bringing cardholders with a passion for theatre closer to the genre they love.

Olivier Awards announces its broadcast & ceremony plans for 2018

Olivier Awards

  • Olivier Awards return to ITV On Sunday 8 April at 22:20
  • Worldwide broadcast (ex-uk) at same time via the Olivier Awards  FACEBOOK PAGE
  • Radio Coverage live by Magic Radio in UK and Sirius XM in Usa
  • Olivier Awards return to China via Iqiyi
  • The successful Red Carpet Live show returns via the Olivier Awards FACEBOOK PAGE
  • Special performances in the ceremony will include:
    • Chita Rivera, in reference to the 60Th Anniversary of her opening West Side Story in London, will perform Somewhere accompanied by last year’s winners, Andy Karl and Adam J. Bernard and The Arts Educational Schools London Choir
    • A unique moment in honour of the 50th anniversary of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s iconic musical Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat  with past stars returning including Jason Donovan and Linzi Hateley, Lee Mead and Preeya Kalidas, and Joe Mcelderry and Danielle Hop
  • Performances from nominated Musicals including: The Cast Of Hamilton; John Mccrea and the cast of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie; Sheila Atim and the cast of Girl From The North Country; Lesley Joseph and the cast of Young Frankenstein; Tracie Bennett from Follies; and the cast of 42nd Street

The Olivier Awards with Mastercard has announced further details about its broadcast and ceremony plans on Sunday 8 April 2018.

The Awards will continue its successful partnerships with ITV and Facebook.  The Biggest Night In British Theatre: The Olivier Awards will broadcast on ITV on Sunday 8 April from 22:20.  It will also broadcast worldwide at the same time, outside the UK, on the Olivier Awards Facebook page.  The Oliviers will broadcast in China via iQiyi on Tuesday 10 April.

The Awards will also continue its partnership with Magic Radio who will broadcast the entire show live on Sunday 8 April, hosted by Alice Arnold and Olivier Award-winner Ruthie Henshall, with build-up on air from 18:00. Sirius XM will broadcast the show via radio in the US.

The Red Carpet Live show will return this year from 16:00 to 17:30, with a special interval Backstage show at 19:00, both shown exclusively on the Olivier Awards Facebook page.

There will be performances from a variety of Olivier-nominated musicals.  The cast of Hamilton, which has a record-breaking thirteen nominations and is the most nominated production in Oliviers history, will open the show with its opening track Alexander Hamilton.

American musical theatre legend Chita Rivera will perform the iconic West Side Story track Somewhere with Andy Karl (Olivier Award 2017 winner for his performance in Groundhog Day), Adam J. Bernard (Olivier Award 2017 winner for his performance in Dreamgirls), and the Arts Educational Schools London Choir, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the production debuting in London.

A unique moment in honour of the 50th anniversary of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s iconic musical Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will take place, with past stars returning including Jason Donovan and Linzi Hateley, Lee Mead and Preeya Kalidas, and Joe McElderry and Danielle Hope.

Performances from nominated musicals will include: the cast of Hamilton; John McCrea and the cast of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie; Sheila Atim and the cast of Girl From The North Country; Lesley Joseph and the cast of Young Frankenstein; Tracie Bennett from Follies; and the cast of 42nd Street.

Widely recognised as the most prestigious stage honours, this year’s Olivier Awards return to the Royal Albert Hall and will be hosted by Catherine Tate.

Mastercard continues its partnership with Society of London Theatre and its headline sponsorship of the Olivier Awards, bringing cardholders with a passion for theatre closer to the genre they love.

Olivier Awards 2018 nominations announced

Olivier Awards
Olivier Awards

Olivier Awards

  • New American musical Hamilton becomes the most nominated production in Oliviers history with 13 nominations
  • The Ferryman, currently running in the West End Before transferring to Broadway, is the most nominated new play with 8 nominations
  • The National Theatre celebrates 22 nominations with musical Follies receiving 10 nominations; the Almeida Theatre receives 7 nominations for Hamlet and James Graham’s new play Ink; The Old Vic receives 5 for new musical Girl From The North Country
  • Sheffield Theatre’s uplifting new British musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, currently playing at the Apollo Theatre, receives 5 nominations

Today, Elaine Paige and Alexandra Burke announced the nominations for the Olivier Awards 2018 with Mastercard, UK’s most prestigious stage honours.  The 2018 awards are set to be an exciting occasion with original new work dominating the categories and a significant number of artists receiving their first ever Olivier nominations.  Catherine Tate will host the Awards at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 8 April and they will be broadcast to the UK and worldwide.

Hamilton’s record-breaking thirteen nominations make it the most nominated production in Oliviers history replacing Harry Potter And The Cursed Child (2017) and Hairspray(2008) who jointly held the record with eleven nominations.  Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tale about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton is nominated in the following categories: 2 nominations in Best Actor in a Musical category, 3 nominations in Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical category, Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical, Mastercard Best New Musical, White Light Award for Best Lighting Design, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Design, Best Director, Best Theatre Choreographer and Outstanding Achievement in Music.

In the play categories, Jez Butterworth’s Northern Irish drama, The Ferryman, leads with 8 nominations including Best Actor, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Actress, 2 nominations in Best Actress in a Supporting Role category, Best New Play, Best Set Design and Best Director.  The National Theatre’s production of Angels In America, currently playing on Broadway, follows with 6 nominations.

Other musicals which have performed strongly include the National Theatre’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies with 10 nominations.  The Old Vic’s production of Conor McPherson’s Girl From The North Country, which features classic songs from Bob Dylan received 5 nominations, and Sheffield Theatre’s new British musical hit Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, currently playing at the Apollo Theatre, also received 5 nominations.

In the Best Actor category, Paddy Considine, Bryan Cranston and Andrew Garfield receive their first Olivier Award nominations for their performances in The Ferryman, Network and Angels In America respectively.  Previous Olivier Award winner, Andrew Scott, receives a nomination for his portrayal of Hamlet.

In the Best Actress category, Northern Irish actress Laura Donnelly, and six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald receive their first nominations for their performances in The Ferryman and Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar And Grill respectively.  Previous Olivier Award winner and this year’s Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actress, Lesley Manville, receives a nomination for her performance in Long Day’s Journey Into Night.  Four times Olivier Award winner Imelda Staunton receives a Best Actress nomination for her role in Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? as well as Best Actress in a Musical for Follies.

The Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre category demonstrates fresh, contemporary new writing in London’s off-West End theatres, and a strong producing relationship between London and other UK-based theatre makers.  The B*easts at Bush Theatre, produced by Something For The Weekend in association with the Bush Theatre; Killology at Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre, a co-production with the Sherman Theatre; The Red Lion at Trafalgar Studios 2, a transfer from Newcastle’s Live Theatre; and The Revlon Girl at Park Theatre, an Independence Shows production in association with Park Theatre, all received nominations.

The Best New Opera Production nominations are La Bohème at Trafalgar Studios 2 produced by King’s Head Theatre, Joe C Brown, In Your Face Theatre and Making Productions, and two nominations for the Royal Opera House with The Exterminating Angel, a co-production with Salzburg Festival, The Metropolitan Opera, New York, and The Royal Danish Opera; and Semiramide, a co-production with Bavarian State Opera.

In Best New Dance Production, Flight Pattern by Crystal Pite at Royal Opera House; Goat by Ben Duke for Rambert Dance Company at Sadler’s Wells; Grand Finale by Hofesh Shechter at Sadler’s Wells; and Tree Of Codes by Wayne McGregor and The Paris Opera Ballet at Sadler’s Wells all receive nominations.

For Outstanding Achievement in Dance, Rocío Molina has been nominated for pushing the boundary of flamenco in Fallen From Heaven (Caída Del Cielo) at Barbican Theatre.  Francesca Velicu has been nominated for her performance in English National Ballet’s production of Pina Bausch’s Le Sacre Du Printemps at Sadler’s Wells, and Zenaida Yanowsky has been nominated for her performance in Liam Scarlett’s Symphonic Dances at Royal Opera House.

Julian Bird, Chief Executive of Society of London Theatre and Executive Producer of the Olivier Awards, said:

“This year’s Olivier nominations reflect a strong and exciting performing arts scene in the UK with fresh, new work coming to the fore.  It is wonderful to see so many first time nominees and we look forward to welcoming everyone to this celebratory occasion on Sunday 8 April”.

Mastercard continues its partnership with Society of London Theatre and its headline sponsorship of the Olivier Awards, bringing cardholders with a passion for theatre closer to the genre they love.  Tickets to theatre’s biggest night are available exclusively for Mastercard cardholders and are available via priceless.com.

Full broadcast details will be announced at a later date.

FULL NOMINATIONS LIST FOR THE OLIVIER AWARDS 2018 WITH MASTERCARD

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Michael Jibson for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Ross Noble for Young Frankenstein at Garrick Theatre

Jason Pennycooke for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Cleve September for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Sheila Atim for Girl From The North Country at The Old Vic

Tracie Bennett for Follies at National Theatre – Olivier

Rachel John for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Lesley Joseph for Young Frankenstein at Garrick Theatre

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – Music and Orchestrations by Dan Gillespie Sells, his debut as a musical theatre composer and orchestrator at Apollo Theatre

Follies – The Orchestra, under the Music Supervision of Nicholas Skilbeck and Music Director Nigel Lilley at National Theatre – Olivier

Girl From The North Country – Music & Lyrics by Bob Dylan, Original Orchestrations & Arrangements by Simon Hale at The Old Vic

Hamilton – Composer-Lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda at Victoria Palace Theatre

BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION

Flight Pattern by Crystal Pite at Royal Opera House

Goat by Ben Duke for Rambert Dance Company at Sadler’s Wells

Grand Finale by Hofesh Shechter at Sadler’s Wells

Tree Of Codes by Wayne McGregor and The Paris Opera Ballet at Sadler’s Wells

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE

Rocío Molina for pushing the boundary of flamenco in Fallen From Heaven (Caída Del Cielo) at Barbican Theatre

Francesca Velicu for her performance in English National Ballet’s production of Pina Bausch’s Le Sacre Du Printemps at Sadler’s Wells

Zenaida Yanowsky for her performance in Liam Scarlett’s Symphonic Dances at Royal Opera House

BEST ENTERTAINMENT AND FAMILY

David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny at Garrick Theatre

Derren Brown: Underground at Playhouse Theatre

Dick Whittington at London Palladium

Five Guys Named Moe at Marble Arch Theatre

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER

Andy Blankenbuehler for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Bill Deamer for Follies at National Theatre – Olivier

Kate Prince for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at Apollo Theatre

Randy Skinner for 42nd Street at Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Christopher Wheeldon for An American In Paris at Dominion Theatre

MAGIC RADIO BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL

42nd Street at Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Follies at National Theatre – Olivier

On The Town at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Ciarán Hinds for Girl From The North Country at The Old Vic

John McCrea for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at Apollo Theatre

Giles Terera for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Jamael Westman for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Janie Dee for Follies at National Theatre – Olivier

Shirley Henderson for Girl From The North Country at The Old Vic

Imelda Staunton for Follies at National Theatre – Olivier

Josie Walker for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at Apollo Theatre

BEST REVIVAL

Angels In America at National Theatre – Lyttelton

Hamlet at Almeida Theatre

Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? at Harold Pinter Theatre

Witness For The Prosecution at London County Hall

BEST NEW COMEDY

Dry Powder at Hampstead Theatre

Labour Of Love at Noël Coward Theatre

Mischief Movie Night at Arts Theatre

The Miser at Garrick Theatre

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN AFFILIATE THEATRE

The B*easts at Bush Theatre

Killology at Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

The Red Lion at Trafalgar Studios 2

The Revlon Girl at Park Theatre

WHITE LIGHT AWARD FOR BEST LIGHTING DESIGN

Howell Binkley for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Paule Constable for Angels In America at National Theatre – Lyttelton

Paule Constable for Follies at National Theatre – Olivier

Jan Versweyveld for Network at National Theatre – Lyttelton

BEST SOUND DESIGN

Tom Gibbons for Hamlet at Almeida Theatre

Gareth Owen for Bat Out Of Hell The Musical at London Coliseum

Eric Sleichim for Network at National Theatre – Lyttelton

Nevin Steinberg for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Hugh Durrant for Dick Whittington at London Palladium

Roger Kirk for 42nd Street at Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Vicki Mortimer for Follies at National Theatre – Olivier

Paul Tazewell for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

BLUE-I THEATRE TECHNOLOGY AWARD FOR BEST SET DESIGN

Bunny Christie for Ink at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

Bob Crowley and 59 Productions for An American In Paris at Dominion Theatre

Rob Howell for The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Vicki Mortimer for Follies at National Theatre – Olivier

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Bertie Carvel for Ink at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

John Hodgkinson for The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

James McArdle for Angels In America at National Theatre – Lyttelton

Peter Polycarpou for Oslo at Harold Pinter Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Bríd Brennan for The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Denise Gough for Angels In America at National Theatre – Lyttelton

Dearbhla Molloy for The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Imogen Poots for Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? at Harold Pinter Theatre

BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION

La Bohème at Trafalgar Studios 2

The Exterminating Angel at Royal Opera House

Semiramide at Royal Opera House

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA

Paul Brown for his set and costume designs for Iolanthe at London Coliseum

Joyce DiDonato and Daniela Barcellona for their performances in Semiramide at Royal Opera House

Roderick Williams for his performance in The Royal Opera’s The Return Of Ulysses at the Roundhouse

BEST ACTOR

Paddy Considine for The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Bryan Cranston for Network at National Theatre – Lyttelton

Andrew Garfield for Angels In America at National Theatre – Lyttelton

Andrew Scott for Hamlet at Almeida Theatre

BEST ACTRESS

Laura Donnelly for The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Lesley Manville for Long Day’s Journey Into Night at Wyndham’s Theatre

Audra McDonald for Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill at Wyndham’s Theatre

Imelda Staunton for Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? at Harold Pinter Theatre

BEST DIRECTOR

Dominic Cooke for Follies at National Theatre – Olivier

Marianne Elliott for Angels In America at National Theatre – Lyttelton

Rupert Goold for Ink at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

Thomas Kail for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Sam Mendes for The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

AMERICAN AIRLINES BEST NEW PLAY

The Ferryman at Gielgud Theatre and Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre

Ink at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

Network at National Theatre – Lyttelton

Oslo at Harold Pinter Theatre

MASTERCARD BEST NEW MUSICAL

An American In Paris at Dominion Theatre

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at Apollo Theatre

Girl From The North Country at The Old Vic

Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre

Young Frankenstein at Garrick Theatre

Olivier Awards with Mastercard to return to Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 8 April 2018

Olivier Awards
Olivier Awards

Olivier Awards

  • Nominations to be streamed live on Tuesday 6 March
  • Submissions for Be Inspired Champions now open
  • Public tickets for the ceremony on sale from 19 January

The Olivier Awards with Mastercard has shared the first details of the 2018 ceremony. The Awards, which are the UK’s most prestigious stage honours, will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 8 April 2018.

The Be Inspired campaign will also return for 2018. Members of the public and industry can nominate those individuals who have motivated others with their love and commitment to theatre. Four “Be Inspired Champions” will attend the ceremony and receive their plaques during the red carpet live show. Nominations can be submitted via bit.ly/2miXOFH

Tickets to theatre’s biggest night are available exclusively for Mastercard cardholders and are available via priceless.com from 19 January.

Broadcast details will be announced shortly.

Since 2011, Mastercard and the Society of London Theatre have worked in partnership to raise the profile of the Olivier Awards and firmly establish London’s status as a centre of theatrical excellence. Through this partnership Mastercard will continue to bring its cardholders with a passion for theatre closer to the genre they love. Throughout the year, cardholders can enjoy once-in-a-lifetime theatre experiences, from intimate Q&As with the stars of the stage, to the chance to sit with the nominees at The Olivier Awards, allowing them to experience the drama, passion and excitement of the theatre up close.

Julian Bird, Chief Executive of SOLT and Executive Producer of the Olivier Awards with Mastercard, said:

“We were thrilled with the response from the public and industry to the inaugural Be Inspired Campaign and are delighted that it will return for 2018. The Olivier Awards are theatre’s biggest platform and so it is important that we celebrate the work and achievements of people across the industry. The ceremony has grown in stature and size over the years but has always remained a celebration of incredible work and the truly collaborative nature of London theatre.”

Nicola Grant, head of marketing and communications, Mastercard UK and Ireland said:

“Our cardholders enjoy unrivalled access to the theatre they love through our partnership with SOLT. Those with a Mastercard can enjoy priceless experiences at the theatre – whether it’s meeting the cast and crew of a West End show, sitting with the nominees at The Olivier Awards, or gaining access to exclusive ticket pre-sales. The 2018 Olivier Awards promises to be an unforgettable night, and we are proud to continue our headline sponsorship.”

To keep up with the latest Olivier Awards 2018 with Mastercard news visit:

OfficialLondonTheatre.com | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

#OlivierAwards

 

Dreamgirls announces release date for Original London cast recording

Amber Riley as Effie White Liisi LaFontaine as Deena Jones Ibinabo Jack as Lorrell Robinson in Dreamgirls
Amber Riley as Effie White Liisi LaFontaine as Deena Jones Ibinabo Jack as Lorrell Robinson in Dreamgirls

Dreamgirls © Greg Williams. Click on the image to book your tickets for Dreamgirls

Following celebrated wins at the 2017 Olivier Awards this week: Best Actress in a Musical for Amber Riley(Effie White); and Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical for Adam J Bernard (Jimmy Early), Sonia Friedman Productions  has confirmed that the highly anticipated Dreamgirls Original London Cast Recording will be released by Sony Masterworks Broadway on Friday 12 May 2017 via Amazon, iTunes, and all usual channels.

This brand new live recording of hit West End musical Dreamgirls, is currently available to pre-order via Amazon

For all digital pre-orders, one track -‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’ – will be made available as an exclusive early digital download on Friday 21 April, three weeks ahead of the album release date. Amber Riley’s show-stopping performance of this song at the Olivier Awards ceremony was broadcast on ITV1 on Tuesday 11 April and is currently available to view via itvplayer.

It has also been confirmed that ‘Listen’, taken from the Original London Cast Recording and performed by Amber Riley and Liisi LaFontaine, will be released as a single on Friday 28 April.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR DREAMGIRLS

Featuring iconic songs from the musical including, ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’Listen’, ‘I Am Changing’, ‘One Night Only’, ‘Steppin To The Bad Side’, Move’ and title track ‘Dreamgirls’, this double-album was recorded live over four performances at the Savoy Theatre in February 2017. With no additional studio re-recordings or musical overdubs it captures the on-stage exhilaration of the Dreamgirls original London cast, 14 piece band and the audience thus retaining the live in-theatre integrity of these special performances.

Produced by Henry Krieger and mixed by Andy Bradfield, the Dreamgirls Original London Cast Recordingfeatures Olivier Award-winner Amber Riley (Best Actress in a Musical) as Effie White, Liisi LaFontaine as Deena Jones and Ibinabo Jack as Lorrell Robinson – making up the soulful singing trio ‘The Dreams’. Joe Aaron Reid plays Curtis Taylor Jr, Adam J. Bernard plays Jimmy Early (a role for which he won the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical), Tyrone Huntley plays C.C. White, Nicholas Baileyplays Marty and Lily Frazer plays Michelle Morris. Further cast includes Michael Afemaré, Jocasta Almgill,Callum Aylott, Hugo Batista, Samara Casteallo, Chloe Chambers, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Joelle Dyson,Kimmy Edwards, Candace Furbert, Nathan Graham, Ashley Luke Lloyd, Gabriel Mokake, Siân Nathaniel-James, Sean Parkins, Kirk Patterson, Ryan Reid, Rohan Richards, Noel Samuels, Durone Stokes and Tosh Wanogho-Maud.

Henry Krieger says of the Original London Cast Recording: “It is my great pleasure to share this ‘alive’ live recording of the West End production of Dreamgirls. Producing this recording and working with our brilliant Musical Supervisor Nick Finlow and studio pros Andy Bradfield and Tris Penna, has been a dream come true. I am thrilled to share the Dreamgirls Original London Cast Recording with those who have loved the production for 35 years as well as with those who are just discovering it now.”

The long-awaited UK premiere of Dreamgirls opened in December 2016 to widespread critical acclaim, 35 years after originally opening on Broadway, and is playing to sold out houses and standing ovations every night at the Savoy Theatre, London. Dreamgirls is Directed and Choreographed by Olivier and Tony Award®-winning Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Disney’s Aladdin and Something Rotten!), with Set Design by Tim Hatley, Costume Design by Gregg Barnes, Lighting Design by Hugh Vanstone, Sound Design by Richard Brooker and Hair Design by Josh Marquette. The Musical Supervisor is Nick Finlow, the Orchestrator is Harold Wheeler, with Additional Material by Willie Reale.

Swarovski is delighted to be the Set and Costume Design partner for Dreamgirls, bringing to life the incredible visions of Tim Hatley and Gregg Barnes. Over one million Swarovski crystals have been incorporated into the production, adorning 275 costumes and 3 crystal curtains.

Dreamgirls transports you to a revolutionary time in American music history. Dreamgirls charts the tumultuous journey of a young female singing trio from Chicago, Illinois called ‘The Dreams’, as they learn the hard lesson that show business is as tough as it is fabulous.

With Book and Lyrics by Tom Eyen and Music by Henry Krieger, the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls, Directed and Choreographed by Michael Bennett, opened in 1981 and subsequently won six Tony Awards®. The original cast recording won two Grammy awards for Best Musical Album and Best Vocal Performance for Jennifer Holliday’s ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.’ In 2006 it was adapted into an Oscar winning motion picture starring Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx.

‘Listen’ is written by Scott Cutler, Henry Krieger, Anne Preven, Beyoncé Knowles.

Liisi LaFontaine, Asmeret Ghebremichael and Marisha Wallace are appearing with the support of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange program between American Equity and UK Equity.

11 Olivier Award Wins for Sonia Friedman Productions

Sonia Friedman
Sonia Friedman

Sonia Friedman

Sonia Friedman is tonight celebrating with her producing partner Colin Callender as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child scoops nine Olivier Awards:

Virgin Atlantic Best New Play
Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre

Best Director
John Tiffany for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre

Best Actor
Jamie Parker for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Noma Dumezweni for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Anthony Boyle for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre

White Light Award for Best Lighting Design
Neil Austin for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre

Best Sound Design
Gareth Fry for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre

Best Costume Design
Katrina Lindsay for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre

Blue-i Theatre Technology Award for Best Set Design
Christine Jones for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre

And two further Oliviers for the Sonia Friedman Productions show Dreamgirls go to:

Best Actress in a Musical
Amber Riley for Dreamgirls at Savoy Theatre

Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical
Adam J Bernard for Dreamgirls at Savoy Theatre

As Sonia Friedman Productions prepares to transfer Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour to the West End, they would also like to congratulate all those involved in the production at National Theatre – Dorfman, including originating producers the National Theatre of Scotland and Live Theatre, for winning the Oliver Award for Best New Comedy.

The Olivier Awards 2017 were held at The Royal Albert Hall in London on Sunday 9 April and the ITV1 highlights broadcast will air on Tuesday 11 April at 8pm.

 

 

A record 31 Olivier award nominations for Sonia Friedman Productions

Sonia Friedman
Sonia Friedman

Sonia Friedman

Sonia Friedman Productions is today celebrating as the full Olivier Awards Nominations list includes a record-breaking 31 potential winners for productions that the company is behind.

Sonia Friedman said:

“I am bowled-over that our work has been recognised with 31 Olivier Award nominations and would like to congratulate everyone SFP has worked with across the year including all of the wonderfully talented writers, actresses, actors, directors, composers, musicians, designers, co-producers and investors as well as my extraordinary and dedicated team at SFP ALL of whom have been integral in making this 2016/2017 season another year of remarkable and record-breaking theatre.”

Full list of SFP nominees:

Virgin Atlantic Best New Play
Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre

Mastercard Best New Musical
Dreamgirls at Savoy Theatre

Magic Radio Best Musical Revival
Funny Girl at Savoy Theatre

Best Revival
The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s Theatre
Travesties at Apollo Theatre

Best New Comedy
Nice Fish at Harold Pinter Theatre

Best Actor
Tom Hollander for Travesties at Apollo Theatre
Jamie Parker for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre

Best Actress
Cherry Jones for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s Theatre

Best Actress in a Musical
Amber Riley for Dreamgirls at Savoy Theatre
Sheridan Smith for Funny Girl at Savoy Theatre

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Anthony Boyle for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
Freddie Fox for Travesties at Apollo Theatre
Brian J. Smith for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s Theatre

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Noma Dumezweni for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
Clare Foster for Travesties at Apollo Theatre
Kate O’Flynn for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s Theatre

Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical
Adam J Bernard for Dreamgirls at Savoy Theatre

Best Director
John Tiffany for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
John Tiffany for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s Theatre

Best Theatre Choreographer
Steven Hoggett for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre

Outstanding Achievement in Music
Dreamgirls – Music by Henry Krieger at Savoy Theatre
Harry Potter And The Cursed Child – Composer and Arranger: Imogen Heap at Palace Theatre

White Light Award for Best Lighting Design
Neil Austin for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
Natasha Katz for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s Theatre

Best Sound Design
Adam Cork for Travesties at Apollo Theatre
Gareth Fry for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre

Best Costume Design
Gregg Barnes for Dreamgirls at Savoy Theatre
Katrina Lindsay for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre

Blue-i Theatre Technology Award for Best Set Design
Bob Crowley for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s Theatre
Christine Jones for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre

As Sonia Friedman Productions prepares to transfer Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour to the West End, they would also like to congratulate all those involved in the production at National Theatre – Dorfman, including originating producers the National Theatre of Scotland and Live Theatre, on their nominations for Best New Comedy and Best Supporting Actress.