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BLOG : Olivier Awards 2016 – A Very Biased Overview

Monday 04 April 2016

By Harriet Wilson

The Oliver Awards, 2016. What a night! Whilst I could be objective, fair and diplomatic about the awards, I have decided instead to be openly biased. So, here is my very biased overview of the Oliver Awards 2016 (all in order of personal interest).

Overall Impression
I was really pleased with the Oliver winners this year – I agree with nearly every award, which is always exciting. It has been lovely to see Gypsy and Kinky Boots do so well, and I was equally chuffed at the achievements of Nell Gwynn, Showstopper, and other fantastic productions. What with Judi Dench setting a new record by collecting her EIGHTH Olivier Award, it was quite the event!

The Five Most Exciting Ones
Best New Musical: Kinky Boots (the Adelphi Theatre)
 -It absolutely had to be Kinky Boots. This show has hit the West End with style and, with a recording of the current cast having been released on the 1st April, it is only going to get more and more popular. An extremely exciting win.

Best Musical Revival: Gypsy (the Savoy Theatre)
 -Could it have been anything else? What a production – another very well-deserved award.

Best New Comedy: Nell Gwynn (the Apollo Theatre)
 -Nell Gwynn is the definitive comedy in the West End at the moment. It is sort of like The Importance of Being Earnest; you could quite accurately call it “a trivial play for serious people” - another fabulous show.

Best Actor In A Musical: Matt Henry For Kinky Boots (the Adelphi Theatre)
 -Matt Henry is simply wonderful. He owns the character of Lola, performing with absolute conviction, power, and energy. WELL DONE!

Best Actress In A Musical: Imelda Staunton For Gypsy (the Savoy Theatre)
 -Well, this was as close to inevitable as you get – and for good reason. Whilst not really a surprise, it was still an exciting award in my very biased opinion.


Five More Pretty Exciting Ones
Best Entertainment And Family: Showstopper! The Improvised Musical (the Apollo Theatre)
 -I adore the idea of Showstopper – but the flawless execution of the idea is even more impressive. Everybody should see a Showstopper … or two …

Best Actress: Denise Gough For People, Places And Things (The National Theatre, Dorfman)
 -Whilst part of me was rooting for Gemma Arterton (for Nell Gwynn) to win this, Denise Gough's performance really is unparalleled, and I think that she thoroughly deserved this award. Her mastery over the art of acting is an absolute pleasure to watch.

You can read my People, Places And Things review here.

Best Actress In A Supporting Role In A Musical: Lara Pulver For Gypsy (the Savoy Theatre)
 -Another cast-related win for Gyspy! Three cheers!

Best Costume Design: Gregg Barnes For Kinky Boots (the Adelphi Theatre)
 -Could it have been anything else? The boots!

Best New Play: Hangmen (Jerwood Theatre Downstairs At The Royal Court and Wyndham's Theatre)
 -I'd have been happy if People, Places and Things had won this award, but I am even happier that Hangmen did. Both shows were / are fantastic pieces of theatre, but Hangmen, for me, was the best.

Go On Then – Another Five
Best Set Design: Anna Fleischle For Hangmen (Jerwood Theatre Downstairs At The Royal Court And Wyndham's Theatre)
 -The set of Hangmen was one of the highlights of the show; I am very glad that it has been recognised.

Best Lighting Design: Mark Henderson For Gypsy (the Savoy Theatre)
 -Whilst I loved the lighting of Gypsy, I am inclined to think that the lighting for People, Places and Things as well as for Oresteia (both shows being other nominees) was a little more exciting, and original.

Best Sound Design: Tom Gibbons For People, Places And Things (the National Theatre, Dorfman)
 -Another win for People, Places and Things – what a show! And the sound design was extremely impressive; I loved how immersive it was.

Best Director: Robert Icke For Oresteia (Almeida Theatre)
 -I was quite surprised by this one. Oresteia was a wonderful show but, looking at the other nominees (The Winter's Tale; Hangmen; Gypsy) I certainly wouldn't have expected it to win.

Best Actress In A Supporting Role: Judi Dench For The Winter's Tale (the Garrick Theatre)
 -Judi Dench picked up her EIGHTH Olivier this year – a new record!

 

For the full list of Olivier Awards 2016 winners, check out LTD's news article!

tags: History, Best Of British, Limited Run, Our Picks


By Harriet Wilson

Please note: Opinions expressed on the londontheatredirect.com blog are those of the relevant contributors, not of London Theatre Direct Ltd, its owners or staff. London Theatre Direct Ltd is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by contributors.

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