The biggest night of the theatrical calendar happened on Sunday night at the Royal Albert Hall. Anyone who is anyone gathered to attend the glitzy Olivier Awards and to see who had won this years most prestigious accolades.
As with any live event there were a few hiccups and oversights. The Olivier Awards Tweeting a picture of Jamie Campbell (who inspired the musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie) and saying it was John McCrea (the actor who plays Jamie in the West End production) and more importantly the omission of Sir Peter Hall (who died in September 2017) from the memorandum section of the show. But the one thing I have seen talked about more than anything is whether or not Hamilton deserved to win the award for Best New Musical.
The nominees for MasterCard Best New Musical were:
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
And the award (rightly so in my opinion) went to Hamilton.
But fans of the show Everybody’s Talking About Jamie took to social media to express their dissatisfaction because Hamilton is not technically a ‘new’ musical as it has been done already on Broadway and in Chicago. Now if we are going to argue this then Young Frankenstein should also be omitted from the running as it has been showing around the world since its Broadway launch in 2007. Also, An American In Paris started off in Paris before transferring to Broadway where it ran before coming to the West End. So really, if we are to say those eligible for the award should be new musicals that originated in the UK, we would only be left with Girl From The North Country and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (which actually started its life in Sheffield before transferring to the West End).
I think rather than rename the Olivier Award ‘Best New Musical To Open In The UK Regardless Of Whether It Had Been In Another Country First’ we just need to see ‘Best New Musical’ to mean that it is new to London.
New British Musicals are great and yes we need more of them but in situations like this one, Hamilton more than deserved to win this and six other accolades at the Olivier Awards.
What do you think? Let me know on social media.
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