Olivier Awards 2014: Almeida triumphs with eight awards
The Almeida Theatre’s website describes it as “a small room with an international reputation”, making “bold new work that asks big questions”.
The strategy clearly paid off when the Almeida won eight prestigious Olivier Awards on Sunday night, proving that subsidised theatre can take some risks that are well worth the taking.
At the star-studded ceremony at the Royal Opera House, co-hosted by Gemma Arterton and Stephen Mangan, the Almeida’s revival of Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts and its production of Lucy Kirkwood’s new play Chimerica – both of which transferred to the West End – were the evening’s big winners, taking three and five gongs respectively.
Other winners included The Book of Mormon, which came away with four awards, including Mastercard Best New Musical, and the Phoenix’s production of Once, which took two Oliviers, including the award for Best Actress in a Musical for Zrinka Cvitešić.
Once’s second award – the Autograph Sound Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music – notably went to Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (music and lyrics), who wrote most of the music for the original film and won an Oscar for Best Song in 2008. They were joined by Martin Lowe for composition and arrangements.
Rory Kinnear triumphed over co-nominees Tom Hiddleston, Henry Goodman and Jude Law as Best Actor for his Iago in the National Theatre’s Othello (Olivier), while Lesley Manville beat Hayley Atwell, Anna Chancellor and Dame Judy Dench to win Best Actress for her performance of Helene Alving in Ghosts (Almeida).
Meanwhile, Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense won the resurrected Best Comedy Award, and the Royal Opera House’s own – and first – West End transfer, The Wind in the Willows, bagged the best entertainment and family award.
Now in its 30th year, West End hit Les Misérables also managed to score once again, beating Matilda the Musical, Phantom and Wicked to the radio audience award.
The 38th Olivier Awards ceremony featured Broadway star Bernadette Peters, the opera singer Joseph Calleja and ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus as performers.
The complete Laurence Olivier Awards 2014 winners list:
Rory Kinnear, Othello, National Theatre
Lesley Manville, Ghosts, Almeida Theatre and Trafalgar Studios
Best actor in a supporting role
Jack Lowden, Ghosts, Almeida Theatre and Trafalgar Studios
Best actress in a supporting role
Sharon D Clarke, The Amen Corner, National Theatre
American Airlines best new play
Chimerica, Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre
Best new comedy
Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, Duke of York’s Theatre
Lyndsey Turner, Chimerica, Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre
Best actor in a musical
Gavin Creel, The Book of Mormon, Prince of Wales Theatre
Best actress in a musical
Zrinka Cvitešić, Once, Phoenix Theatre
Best performance in a supporting role in a musical
Stephen Ashfield, The Book of Mormon, Prince of Wales Theatre
Mastercard best new musical
The Book of Mormon, Prince of Wales Theatre
Ghosts, Almeida Theatre and Trafalgar Studios
Best musical revival
Merrily We Roll Along, Harold Pinter Theatre
Best theatre choreographer
Casey Nicholaw, The Book of Mormon, Prince of Wales Theatre
Best entertainment and family
The Wind in the Willows, Duchess Theatre
Autograph sound award for outstanding achievement in music
Once – Martin Lowe, composition and arrangements, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, music and lyrics
White Light award for best lighting design
Tim Lutkin & Finn Ross, Chimerica, Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre
Paul Pyant and Jon Driscoll, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Best sound design
Carolyn Downing, Chimerica, Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre
Gareth Owen, Merrily We Roll Along, Harold Pinter Theatre
Best costume design
Mark Thompson, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Xl video award for best set design
Es Devlin, Chimerica, Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre
Outstanding achievement in an affiliate theatre
Handbagged, Tricycle Theatre
Best new dance production
Eastman – Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Sadler’s Wells, Puz/zle, Sadler’s Wells
Outstanding achievement in dance
Michael Hulls for his body of lighting work including Ballet Boyz – The Talent at Sadler’s Wells
Best new opera production
Les Vêpres Siciliennes, Royal Opera House
Outstanding achievement in opera
English Touring Opera for its brave and challenging touring productions at the Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House
BBC Radio 2 audience award
Les Misérables, Queen’s Theatre