The past year has seen some incredible plays and musicals take the West End by storm, and as the 2014 Olivier Awards approach it’s no surprise to see some big name productions and actors topping the list of nominations. With just over two weeks until the winners are announced, we take a look at some of the potential victors.
Mastercard Best New Musical
The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales theatre
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Once at the Phoenix theatre
The Scottsboro Boys at the Young Vic
With a huge production and unbelievable set, it’s great to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory getting the credit it deserves. Undoubtedly one of the most high profile shows of the past year, The Book of Mormon also takes its place in the list of hopeful nominees. It’ll be difficult to see either of these two losing out on the crown, yet Once and The Scottsboro Boys could sneak it after rave reviews.
Best Actor in a Musical
Gavin Creel – The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales theatre
Jared Gertner – The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales theatre
Douglas Hodge – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Kyle Scatliffe – The Scottsboro Boys at the Young Vic
As their shows look to win the top prize, it’s no shock to see the leading roles from said musicals up for their individual performances. The wit and conviction of Creel and Gertner suggest another victory for The Book of Mormon, but Douglas Hodge’s portrait of the iconic Willy Wonka was one of my favourite characterisation I’ve seen on the stage.
Best Actress in a Musical
Rosalie Craig – The Light Princess at the National Theatre, Lyttelton
Zrinka Cvitešić – Once at the Phoenix theatre
Jenna Russell – Merrily We Roll Along at the Harold Pinter theatre
Charlotte Wakefield – The Sound of Music at the Regent’s Park Open Air theatre
2014 sees Merrily We Roll Along nominated for 8 awards thanks to its all-star cast, directorial debut from Maria Friedman and incredible music/lyrics from Stephen Sondheim. Once the Musical adds another nomination to its list as Zrinka Cvitešić looks to claim the victory.
American Airlines Best New Play
1984 at the Almeida theatre
Chimerica at the Almeida theatre & Harold Pinter theatre
The Night Alive at the Donmar Warehouse
Peter and Alice at the Noël Coward theatre
From epic journeys in Chimerica to a spin on a classic tale in Peter and Alice, this years’ plays have stolen the stage. Judy Dench’s role in Peter and Alice also sees her nominate for Best Actress in a Play, as Chimerica hopes to bag one of its 5 nominations, mainly from a production perspective. Orwell’s 1984 comes to the West End in the form of Robert Icke’s rendition, and previous Olivier Award winner, Conor McPherson will be hoping that The Night Alive does as well as The Weir did for him.
Best New Comedy
The Duck House at the Vaudeville theatre
The Full Monty at the Noël Coward theatre
Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense at the Duke of York’s theatre
The Same Deep Water as Me at the Donmar Warehouse
With Ben Miller as the lead, the hilarious political comedy of The Duck House has had audiences in stitches since day one. Screen-to-Stage adaptation, The Full Monty is an entertaining tale whatever your taste and Jeeves & Wooster’s comedy duo of Macfadyen and Mangan made the show. The Same Deep Water As Me may have a battle on its hands, but don’t write it off.
BBC Radio 2 Audience Award
Les Misérables at the Queen’s theatre
Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge theatre
The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s theatre
Wicked at the Apollo Victoria theatre
Four of the best, and it’s no surprise to see these names on the list. Les Mis has seen huge crowds rush to see the show since a boost in recognition after the film of the same name. Matilda’s appeal stretches across every audience member, no matter their age making it one of London’s favourite shows. Phantom’s popularity will last for eternity it seems. One of my favourite shows, it truly deserves its history and acknowledgement. Last but not least, Wicked. A jazz hands spectacular with incredible vocals and a story to fall in love with, Wicked it’s a perfect girly night out. Any of the above deserve to win!
Which shows do you hope take the crown at this years’ Olivier Awards? We think it’s going to be a very hard decision!