The news just came in. Alexandra Burke and Elaine Paige hosted this year’s nominations this afternoon [March 6, 2018]. It was announced that Catherine Tate will host the 42nd annual awards on Sunday April 8 at the Royal Albert Hall. (It will be broadcasted on ITV on the evening of the Oliviers Awards from 10.20 pm.)

Looking at the long list of Olivier nominees, I’m pleased to see that a large majority of these shows are shows I’ve already seen. Some are still my to-do list. However, other shows (plays, operas, musicals, comedies) which I’ve originally put on the sideline are getting a second look now that their on the nominations list. If the Laurence Olivier judges are nominating them, it must mean something, right?

Whilst reading through the names I’ve noticed that some nominees are shared, e.g. Outstanding Achievement in Music (orchestra under Nicholas Skilbeck and music director (Nigel Lilley), so there are two people to one nomination which seems rather unfair – I hope they get an award each. I’ve indicated where this is below.

Having had a glance at the nominations, I’ve created a summary to make it a bit easier to read, as opposed to the long list of awards with the nominations. I’ve provided the shows with the most nominations first, so you can see what they have been awarded. That way you can jump to the show you want to know about quicker. Just click on the show or item you’re interested in below.

So, let’s get this show on the road! This is what the Olivier Awards’ judges decided.

Hamilton Musical, Victoria Palace Theatre has won 13 nomination including Best New Musical, Best Director (Thomas Kail), Best Costume Designer (Paul Tazewell), Best Sound Design (Nevin Steinberg), Best Lighting Design (Howell Binkley), Best Actor in a Musical (Giles Terera and Jamael Westman), Best theatre Choreographer (Andy Blankenbuhler), Outstanding Achievement in Music (Lin-Manuel Miranda), Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Rachel John) and Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Michael Jibson, Jason Pennycooke and Cleve September).



I haven’t seen the musical yet, but I’m looking forward to July when I will be able to sing all the songs that everyone has been going on about. It must be amazing if it was nominated 13 times.

Follies, National Theatre has won 10 nominations (my review here) including Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Tracie Bennett), Outstanding Achievement in Music (orchestra under Nicholas Skilbeck and music director (Nigel Lilley). Best Theatre Choreographer (Bill Dreamer), Best Musical Revival, Best Actress in a Musical (Imelda Staunton and Janie Dee), Best Lightening Design (Paule Constable), Best Costume Design (Vicki Mortimer), Best Set Design (Vicki Mortimer) and Best Director (Dominic Cooke).

As I’ve noted before, I believe the Lilley and Skilbeck should receive their own Olivier Award because orchestra master and music director have different roles and responsibilities. Two awards go to Vicky Mortimer with her design work for Follies. Congratulations! As I recall Follies made me feel very emotional, in a good way. I am so pleased that they are reviving this so audiences who missed it the first time can catch up as well as those who saw it and loved it. (Details still to be officially confirmed.)

Follies has been nominated 10 times. Best actress in a musical - Both Imelda Staunton and Janie Dee have been nominated. (Johan Persson)Follies has been nominated 10 times. Best actress in a musical - Both Imelda Staunton and Janie Dee have been nominated. (Johan Persson)

Follies has been nominated 10 times. Best Actress in a Musical – Both Imelda Staunton and Janie Dee have been nominated. (Johan Persson)

The Ferryman, Royal Court/Gielgud Theatre has won 8 nominations including Best Set Design (Rob Howell), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (John Hodgkinson), Best Actor (Paddy Considine), Best Actress (Laura Donnelly), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Bríd Brennan and Dearbhla Molloy), Best Director (Sam Mendes) and Best New Play.

I am absolutely thrilled for The Ferryman. Although I didn’t see the original cast at the Royal Court theatre, which includes cast member nominations, I can’t recommend the show enough. It’s such an exciting play. Grab a ticket! It ends on May 19. (Read my review here)

The Ferryman - Photo by Johan Persson

The Ferryman has been nominated 8 times, which includes Best Set design by Rob Howell. – Photo by Johan Persson

Angels in America, National Theatre also triumphed with six nominations including Best Revival, Best Lighting Design (Paul Constable), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (James McArdle), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Denise Gough), Best Actor (Andrew Garfield), and Best Director (Marianne Elliott). This was a totally brand new type of play – nothing I had ever seen before. With great actors like Garfield, Gough and McArdle, I knew my entertainment needs were covered. I have my fingers crossed for this loveable production.

Andrew Garfield (Prior) in Angels in America - Millennium Approaches Photo by Helen Maybanks

Angels in American wins six nominations including Andrew Garfield (Prior) for the Best Actor Award / Millennium Approaches. Photo by Helen Maybanks

Bob Dylan’s Girl From The North Country, The Old Vic has won five nominations, which has got me excited as I saw the West End transfer at the Noel Coward Theatre this month. The nominations include Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Sheila Atim), Outstanding Achievement in Music (Bob Dylan), Best Actor in a Musical (Ciaran Hinds), Best Actress in a Musical (Shirley Henderson) and Best New Musical.


Girl From The North Country, The Old Vic has won five nominations

Everyone’s Talking about Jamie, Apollo Theatre has won five nominations. The new musical is still on my to-do list. It was great to see that it recently won awards at The Offies (Off the West Theatre Awards) too, which will give the cast and creative crew some confidence. The nominations include Outstanding Achievement in Music, Best Theatre Choreographer (Kate Prince), Best Actor in a Musical (John McCrea), Best Actress in a Musical (Josie Walker) and Best New Musical.

The Royal Opera House has also been nominated for four/five productions. Baritone Roderick Williams has been nominated for his performance at The Roundhouse of The Return of the Ulysses. Sadly, I never got to see Roderick in action, but I recall many four and five-star reviews from the opera world. Joyce DiDonato and Daniela Barcellona have been nominated for their performances in Semiramide. I managed to see DiDonato and Barcellona perform and they were operatic brilliance. Again, I hope that these are two Olivier Awards available for them, and not a combined one. The Royal Opera has also been nominated for dance productions as well including Best New Dance Production (Flight Pattern) and Outstanding Achievement in Dance (Symphonic Dances). I didn’t see these dance shows, but I have to admit that their dance show prices are unmatched. Some tickets are going for as cheap as £12 to £4.

SEMIRAMIDE. Royal Opera House. Joyce DiDonato is nominated for Outstanding achievement in Opera. Photo is with Lawrence Brownlee. – Overall ROH has won 4-5 nominations.

Network, National Theatre received four nominations including Best New Play and Best Actor for Bryan Cranston. There’s also Best Lighting Design (Jan Versweyveld) and Best Sound Design (Eric Sleichim). Everyday I checked for returns and didn’t succeed until I went down to the National at 8 am on the day of the last performance. It was such an explosive show; brilliant on so many levels. I wrote about my experience of Network in full, here.

A scene from Network with Bryan Cranston. (Photo: Jan Versweyveld.)

No surprises that Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Harold Pinter Theatre received three nominations (read my review here) including Best Actress (Imelda Staunton), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Imogen Poots) and Best Revival. The show was absolutely stomping. I sat in the front row and saw Staunton give it her all. She truly deserves an award for performing brilliantly in this kind of warped play. I loved it!

Imelda Staunton has a second nomination for Best Actor for Who’s Afraid for Virginia Woolf. Here with Conleth Hill (Photo by Johan Persson.)

The musical 42nd Street, Theatre Royal Drury Lane received three nominations including Best Theatre Choreographer (Randy Skinner), Best Musical Revival and Best Costume Design (Roger Kirk). It is still showing at the West End. This is perhaps a sign that I need to see this ASAP.

An American in Paris at the Dominion Theatre won three nominations including Best New musical, Best Set Design (Bob Crowley and 59 productions), and Best Theatre (Christopher Wheeldon). Again, I never got to see this show, but I heard mixed reviews, which put me off. To my surprise, I see that it has won some nominations.

Young Frankenstein at the Garrick Theatre has been nominated three times for Best New Musical, Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Ross Noble) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Lesley Joseph). I’m wasn’t sure about this musical either because some people loved it; others, not so much. I’m beginning to think I should check it out for myself and make up my own mind.

As a massive opera fan, I’m already pleased with the news of the late designer Paul Brown. He created the sets and costumes for the English National Opera’s production of Iolanthe (read my review here). He has been nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. ENO‘s Iolanthe is showing at the London Coliseum. If there is ever a need for a first-timer’s experience of opera, this production is perfect. I have my fingers crossed for Mr. Brown and the ENO team.

IOLANTHE by Gilbert and Sullivan; English National Opera; London Coliseum; London, UK; 8 February 2018; Iolanthe - Samantha Price; Phyllis - Ellie Laugharne; Queen of the Fairies - Yvonne Howard; Strephon - Marcus Farnsworth; The Lord Chancellor - Andrew Shore; Earl of Mountararat - Ben McAteer; Earl of Tolloller - Ben Johnson Celia - Llio Evans; Leila - Joanne Appleby; Private Willis - Barnaby Rea; Page - Richard Leeming; Conductor - Timothy Henty; Director - Cal McCrystal; Designer - Paul Brown; Lighting designer - Tim Mitchell; Choreographer - Lizzi Gee; Photo credit: © CLIVE BARDA/ArenaPAL;

Paul Brown has won nomination for Best Designs (set and costume for ENO’s Iolanthe. Photo credit: © CLIVE BARDA.)

Witness For The Prosecution at London County Hall has been nominated for Best Revival. I still need to see that, but the show has been so popular that it has been extended until 2019.

Eugene O’Neill’s deeply contemplative play, now showing at Wyndham’s Theatre, saw its co-lead Lesley Manville nominated for Best Actress. Long Day’s Journey into Night includes Jeremy Irons as James Tyrone. It’s definitely worth seeing before it ends this weekend. Having interviewed Rory Keenan, who explained the excesses of his role as drunken Jamie. Jr. Tyrone, Long Day’s Journey into Night yields the power of marvellous script writing. (Read my review of the show here.)

Lesley Manville has been nominated for Best Actress in Long Day’s Journey into Night. (Hugo Glendinning)

I am incredibly proud and happy for Mischief Comedy as they have been nominated for Best New Comedy (read my review here.) Four years ago they came on the scene with The Play That Goes Wrong, but every year their fanbase increased with hilarious, ‘ouch-this-is-so-funny, it hurts’ new productions. I am rooting for them to win.

Mischief has been nominated Best New Comedy for the Olivier Awards 2018.

Dry Powder at the Hampstead Theatre has been nominated for Best New Comedy, but they are always sold-out. I’ll never got to see the show.

The ones that got away!

There are shows that also got nominated for the Olivier Awards, which sadly aren’t showing anymore. Congratulations to theatre fans who were clever enough to catch the show while they could. They may come back again. Here they are:

Derren Brown’s Underground at Playhouse Theatre got nominated for Best Entertainment and FamilyInk, Almeida Theatre received three nominations for Best Set Design (Bunny Christie), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Bertie Carvel), Best Director (Rupert Goold) and Best New Play. I never saw Oslo, which was showing at the Harold Pinter Theatre, but it received two nominations including Best New Play and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Peter Polycarpou). I need a time machine! I hope they bring these shows back so I can catch up with them one day. Hamlet, Almeida Theatre got three nominations including Best Revival, Best Actor (Andrew Scott) and Best Sound Design (Tom Gibbons). Everyone kept going on about how great Mr. Scott’s performance was.

The full list of Laurence Olivier Award nominations, please go here.

See you at the Olivier Awards 2018!