This year, I was lucky enough to attend the annual Laurence Olivier Awards at the Royal Opera House. Check me out!
And apparently I was entirely on trend on the red carpet too; long black dress and gold accessories. I guess it had to happen some day 😉 It is a strange phenomenon though, walking down that red carpet. When you step on it, every head along it turns your way to see if you are anyone of importance and when you’re not this air of disappointment and disinterest wafts your way. I could only laugh about it and quickly dodge celebrities (Pixie Lot, Amanda Abbington, Mark Gatiss, George Maguire to name a few) on my way to the glass of free champagne. Or three. (four)
The view from the nosebleed section wasn’t actually bad! Not all the way up top and fairly in the center of the row, I had a great view of the stage. And they gave us a little goodie bag with a bottle of water, sweets and a candy bar 🙂
Lenny Henry was the host for the night, bringing laughs and scathing remarks about arts funding and the upcoming election. And he wasn’t the only one; many of the winners’ speeches revolved around the cuts in the arts section. Interestingly enough, many of the winners are or come from subsidised plays and shows. Something to consider if you are eligible to vote and enjoy theater and/or musicals.
There were performances from all the nominated musicals and revived musicals which really reminded me how much I love musicals. I don’t go see any often enough! The nominated plays were represented by a host and trailer each and there was a breathtaking dance performance in celebration of Sylvie Guillem’s career (as well as the special award she received!) I missed an opera performance though, despite the two opera categories.
It was a long show, 3,5 hours, but I was never bored during any of it. The joy of the winners is contagious, even high up and far away. It is lovely to see the talent and happiness and fantastic shows. And some very special moments as well (read on)!
This is the full list of the Olivier Awards 2015 winners:
New Play – King Charles III
New Opera – The Mastersingers of Nuremberg
Supporting Actor – Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies
Set Design – Es Devlin, The Nether
Costume Design – Chrisopher Oram, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies
Sound Design – Gareth Owen, Memphis the Musical
Lighting Design – Howard Harrison, City of Angels
Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre – Bull at The Maria, Young Vic
New Comedy – The Play That Goes Wrong, Duchess Theatre
Revival – A View From The Bridge, Young Vic
Best Actor – Mark Strong, A View From the Bridge, Young Vic (completely deserved, but James McAvoy was equally stunning)
Best Actress – Penelope Wilton, Taken At Midnight, Theatre Royal Haymarket (I was rooting for Gillian Anderson!)
This Morning Audience Award – Wicked
New Dance Production – 32 Rue Vandenbranden and Mat EK’s Juliet And Romeo
Entertainment and Family – La Soiree
Theatre Choreographer – Sergio Trujillo, Memphis The Musical
Director – Ivo Van Hove, A View From the Bridge (a little Dutch pride :))
Supporting Actor in a Musical – George Maguire, Sunny Afternoon
Supporting Actress in a Musical – Lorna Want, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Musical Revival – City of Angels, Donmar Warehouse (a personal whoop-whoop, my favourite show this year!)
Actor in a Musical – John Dagleish, Sunny Afternoon
Actress in a Musical – Katie Brayben, Beautiful
Kevin Spacey was honored by Dame Judi Dench, who told a story about how he turned up on her doorstep one night “with a ping-pong table on his head”. One can only imagine… He was awarded an award for his work as director of the Old Vic for the past 10 years; his revival of the theater, his work for The Bridge, his plays and one-man-show he starred in.
In return, he gifted everyone with the biggest surprise of the evening; a rousing rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water with Beverly Knight. Yes, you read that right. You should really have been there, my lord.
The programme book is large, heavy and shiny, and a lovely reminder of the night. As nice as it is to watch it on TV, being in the room was magical and amazing and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I am already picking out a dress for next year!