As Rod Stewart once said, tonight’s the night. The most anticipated awards ceremony in the theatrical calendar, the Olivier Awards takes place at the Royal Albert Hall later today. Hamilton have broken all records with 13 nominations and the National Theatre production of Follies isn’t far behind with 10. The Ferryman has 8 nominations and both Girl From The North Country and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie have 5.
The Olivier Awards are always a star studded event and whilst there is always talk the following day about who deserved to win verses those who did, it is a day to celebrate theatre in general, which can only be a good thing.
So ahead of the show today, here are some of my thoughts and predictions on some of the nominees for this year. I haven’t talked about them all as that would be far too long a blog and also there are some categories I don’t feel I know the nominees/shows well enough to judge.
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
With three out of the four nominees in this category being members of the cast of Hamilton, there is a pretty good chance that one of them (Michael Jibson, Jason Pennycooke or Cleve September) will walk away with the award but they have tough competition from comedian Ross Noble who is nominated for his portrayal as Igor in Young Frankenstein. I think Jason Pennycooke deserves to win every award going as he is brilliant in everything he does so I would love to see him win. I think Ross Noble might walk away with it though.
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Whilst I didn’t actually love Follies at the National Theatre, this is one category where I would love to see the show win as Tracie Bennett was incredible and deserves this trophy. Up against her is Sheila Atim (Girl From The North Country), Rachel John (Hamilton) and Lesley Joseph (Young Frankenstein) and to be honest it could go to any one of them.
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Follies, Girl From The North Country and Hamilton battle it out in this category and I think it a close call as to who will win. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is the hot new British musical but as much as there is a massive hype around the show, it isn’t really the music that everyone seems to be talking about and so I don’t think it should win in this category. Girl From The North Country could pip Hamilton to the post but I’m pretty sure Hamilton will win this one. Because, the music is outstanding.
BEST ENTERTAINMENT AND FAMILY
Without a doubt, I would love to see David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny win here. It’s such a great show and in terms of family and entertainment I think this is the best out of the bunch. However, Dick Whittington at the Palladium would be the most unexpected win and I can’t help but think it might take it (other nominees Derren Brown and Five Guys Named Moe) just to cause some controversy!
BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER
Andy Blankenbuehler needs to win for Hamilton here. I went to see the show, not being overly excited about it but it was the choreography that blew me away and won me over. Other nominees are Bill Deamer for Follies, Kate Prince for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Randy Skinner for 42nd Street and Christopher Wheeldon for An American In Paris. I can’t see any show other than Hamilton winning in this category but who knows what the judges have decided!
MAGIC RADIO BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL
Odd to only have three nominations in this category 42nd Street, Follies and On The Town but I would love to see On The Town win here. I feel it may go to Follies though.
BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Nominees here are Ciarán Hinds for Girl From The North Country, John McCrea for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Giles Terera for Hamilton and Jamael Westman for Hamilton. This could go to any one of these. I wouldn’t like to place a bet on it but if I had to choose I think it might go to Giles Terera for Hamilton.
BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton are both up for Follies here alongside Shirley Henderson for Girl From The North Country and Josie Walker for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. I’d love to see Janie Dee win but it could very well be Imelda, or Josie Walker.
Surely the winner here is without question Angels In America? Against Hamlet at the Almeida , Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? and Witness For The Prosecution there can only possibly be one winner… can’t there?
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Denise Gough is another one who deserves to win every award going because she is incredible at everything she does, so I hope she wins here for Angela In America. But as she won an Olivier in 2016 for People, Places and Things they might decide to recognise someone else here instead. Other nominees are Bríd Brennan and Dearbhla Molloy for The Ferryman and Imogen Poots for Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
I like to see Andrew Garfield win here for Angels In America. But he’s up against Paddy Considine for The Ferryman, Bryan Cranston for Network and Andrew Scott for Hamlet. It could go to Andrew Scott perhaps.
Laura Donnelly for The Ferryman, Lesley Manville for Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Audra McDonald for Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill and Imelda Staunton for Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? I wasn’t blown away by Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill but I think Audra McDonald could walk away with this trophy.
AMERICAN AIRLINES BEST NEW PLAY
It’s got to be The Ferryman hasn’t it? Against Ink and Oslo and Network surely The Ferryman wins here. But it could go to Network.
MASTERCARD BEST NEW MUSICAL
I loved An American In Paris but I think Hamilton is obviously going to win Best New Musical. Young Frankenstein should have been in the Best Comedy category I think and not here as it doesn’t stand a chance against the other nominees. I don’t love the music in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and it is more of a play with songs I would say so shouldn’t pick up this award and Girl From The North Country I don’t quite think can over power Hamilton here.
So that’s some of my thoughts, hopes and predictions. But as well all know with the Olivier Awards, you never know what surprises they have in store for us so we will just have to wait and see what happens!
What ever the outcome, it doesn’t matter who wins, its enough of an accolade just to be nominated!