Hosted by two-time Oliver Award winner Michael Ball, the ceremony featured incredible performances from Grammy and Tony Award winner Cyndi Lauper, Michael Feinstein, Joe Stilgoe and Jack Savoretti. For the finale, the awards welcomed back 15 past Olivier Award winners including Maria Friedman, Ruthie Henshall and Jill Halfpenny who performed What I Did For Love from A Chorus Line – winner of Best New Musical at the 1976 awards.
There were also special performances from all the nominated productions in both the MasterCard Best New Musical and Best Musical Revival categories. The ceremony was opened by Imelda Staunton who performed Everything’s Coming Up Roses from Gypsy. Imelda Staunton went on to win Best Actress in a Musical.
Dame Judi Dench received a record eighth Olivier Award for her portrayal of Paulina in the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s production of The Winter’s Tale at the Garrick Theatre. Dame Judi Dench has now won more Olivier Awards for acting than any other performer.
Chichester Festival Theatre’s West End transfer of Gypsy was the big winner on the night. In addition to the Best Actress in a Musical win, the show collected Best Musical Revival, White Light Award For Best Lighting Design and Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical for Lara Pulver. In total the production won four prizes, the most for a single production.
The National Theatre was also celebrating, with its productions picking up four Olivier Awards. Denise Gough won Best Actress for her acclaimed performance in People, Places And Things, the National Theatre’s co-production with Headlong, which is now playing at Wyndham’s Theatre. Best Sound Design went to Tom Gibbons. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom was named Best Revival and Mark Gatiss won Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Three Days In The Country.
The award for Best Actor went to Kenneth Cranham for his performance in Theatre Royal Bath’s West End transfer of The Father, which was written by Florian Zeller and translated by Christopher Hampton. Best Actor was a hotly contested category with nominations for Kenneth Branagh, Benedict Cumberbatch, Adrian Lester and Mark Rylance.
Kinky Boots took home three prizes with Matt Henry collecting Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Lola and Gregg Barnes winning Best Costume Design. The musical, with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, went on to win the coveted award for MasterCard Best New Musical.
In The Heights won three Olivier Awards. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Alex Lacamoire and Bill Sherman won Autograph Sound Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music. Drew McOnie was named Best Theatre Choreographer and David Bedella collected Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical.
The Royal Court Theatre’s production of Hangmen was named Virgin Atlantic Best New Play and Anna Fleischle won Blue-i Theatre Technology Award for Best Set Design. Following its run at the Royal Court, Hangmen transferred to the Wyndham’s Theatre.
The award for Best Entertainment and Family went to Showstopper! The Improvised Musical. Nell Gwynn, which stars Gemma Arterton and was written by Jessica Swale, was named Best New Comedy.
The prize for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre went to Pat Kinevane and Fishamble for Silent at Soho Theatre.
In the dance categories, Best New Dance Production went to Woolf Works which was choreographed by Wayne McGregor. Alessandra Ferri collected Outstanding Achievement in Dance for her performances in Woolf Works and Chéri. Both productions were produced and performed at the Royal Opera House.
The Royal Opera House’s production of Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci was named Best New Opera Production. Outstanding Achievement in Opera went to the English National Opera Chorus and Orchestra for The Force Of Destiny, Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk and The Queen Of Spades,which were all performed at London Coliseum.
The Magic Radio Audience Award, the only award voted for solely by members of the public, was won by The Phantom Of The Opera. The award celebrates London’s long-running productions.
The guests presenting this year’s awards were Uzo Aduba, Zawe Ashton, Dame Shirley Bassey, Matthew Bourne, Rob Brydon, Jessie Buckley, Stephen Campbell Moore, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Adam Cooper, Paul Copley, Noma Dumezweni, Alfred Enoch, Luke Evans, David Gandy, Kit Harington, Emma Hatton, Lenny Henry, Eddie Izzard, Rory Kinnear, Beverley Knight, Lesley Manville, Julia McKenzie, James Norton, Vanessa Redgrave, Amber Riley, Juliet Stevenson, Savannah Stevenson, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Luke Treadaway, Zoë Wanamaker and Dame Barbara Windsor.
On the night the BBC Concert Orchestra performed with orchestrations and original music by conductor Larry Blank, and further orchestrations by Mark Cumberland.
The evening’s show also included a live link to a free public Olivier Awards celebration on the ITV Stage in Covent Garden Piazza hosted by leading West End performers Carrie Hope Fletcher and Daniel Boys, where thousands of theatre-lovers enjoyed West End performances and a live big screen relay of the ceremony.
ITV broadcast extensive highlights at 22:15 shortly following the ceremony. The full ceremony will be broadcast on ITV3 on Monday 4 April at 23:00. The highlights and full ceremony will be available to watch on ITV Hub for 30 days following the broadcasts. This year’s voiceover was provided by Zoë Wanamaker.
Nicola Grant, MasterCard’s UK Head of Marketing, commented: “MasterCard congratulates all Olivier Awards 2016 winners and is hugely proud to support Britain’s most renowned theatre awards in its 40th year. Together we share the passion for recognising and applauding the brightest talents in British theatre.”
Next year the Olivier Awards with MasterCard will be on Sunday 9 April 2017 and in a new venue: the Royal Albert Hall.
OLIVIER AWARDS 2016 WITH MASTERCARD WINNERS
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at National Theatre, Lyttelton
Best Entertainment and Family
Showstopper! The Improvised Musical at Apollo Theatre
Best Costume Design
Gregg Barnes for Kinky Boots at Adelphi Theatre
Blue-i Theatre Technology Award for Best Set Design
Anna Fleischle for Hangmen at Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre and Wyndham’s Theatre
White Light Award For Best Lighting Design
Mark Henderson for Gypsy at Savoy Theatre
Best Sound Design
Tom Gibbons for People, Places And Things at National Theatre, Dorfman
Best New Opera Production
Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci at Royal Opera House
Outstanding Achievement in Opera
English National Opera Chorus and Orchestra for The Force Of Destiny, Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk and The Queen Of Spades at London Coliseum
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Mark Gatiss for Three Days In The Country at National Theatre, Lyttelton
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Dame Judi Dench for The Winter’s Tale at Garrick Theatre
Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre
Pat Kinevane and Fishamble for Silent at Soho Theatre
Virgin Atlantic Best New Play
Hangmen at Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre and Wyndham’s Theatre
Kenneth Cranham for The Father at Wyndham’s Theatre
Denise Gough for People, Places And Things at National Theatre, Dorfman
Magic Radio Audience Award
The Phantom Of The Opera
Best New Comedy
Nell Gwynn at Apollo Theatre
Best New Dance Production
Woolf Works by Wayne McGregor at Royal Opera House
Outstanding Achievement in Dance
Alessandra Ferri for her performances in Chéri and Woolf Works at Royal Opera House
Autograph Sound Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music
In The Heights – Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Orchestrated and Arranged by Alex Lacamoire and Bill Sherman at King’s Cross Theatre
Best Theatre Choreographer
Drew McOnie for In The Heights at King’s Cross Theatre
Robert Icke for Oresteia at Almeida Theatre
Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical
David Bedella for In The Heights at King’s Cross Theatre
Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical
Lara Pulver for Gypsy at Savoy Theatre
Best Musical Revival
Gypsy at Savoy Theatre
Best Actor in a Musical
Matt Henry for Kinky Boots at Adelphi Theatre
Best Actress in a Musical
Imelda Staunton for Gypsy at Savoy Theatre
MasterCard Best New Musical
Kinky Boots at Adelphi Theatre