Jerry Springer and The Pillowman Win Top Honors at 2004 Olivier Awards

News   Jerry Springer and The Pillowman Win Top Honors at 2004 Olivier Awards The Olivier Awards were announced in a ceremony at London's Park Lane Hilton Hotel on Feb. 22, hosted by popular UK comedian Clive Anderson.
Top: Nigel Lindsay and David Tennant in The Pillowman; Middle: Best Actor in a Musical winner David Bedella in Jerry Springer-The Opera; Bottom: Best Actress in a Musical winner Maria Friedman in Ragtime
Top: Nigel Lindsay and David Tennant in The Pillowman; Middle: Best Actor in a Musical winner David Bedella in Jerry Springer-The Opera; Bottom: Best Actress in a Musical winner Maria Friedman in Ragtime Photo by Top: Ivan Kyncl; Middle and Bottom: Catherine Ashmore

And, with comment already high about the absence of certain seemingly obvious nominations (most notoriously Eve Best for her work in the National Theatre's Mourning Becomes Electra), there were some surprises in the choice of winners.

Not with the triumph of Jerry Springer - The Opera as Best New Musical - which makes an awards hat-trick for the show, already garlanded by the Critics Circle and Evening Standard prizes though David Bedella's win over Michael Brandon in the acting stakes goes against the billing order. The Best Supporting Performance In A Musical went to the entire Springer chorus. A sound design award brought the Broadway-bound tuner's take to an evening-leading 4 wins.

Less predictable though was the Best Actor prize going to Matthew Kelly, until now best-known as a TV presenter, in Of Mice And Men. The show was a point-prover for Kelly, who had been temporarily suspended from his TV show while he underwent criminal investigations. Not only was he found to be innocent and restored to his place on the box, he seems now to have opened up a very decent career as serious actor, which will be aided by his newly minted Olivier.

In what might be considered a minor upset, Michael Frayn's lauded Democracy lost to Martin McDonough's The Pillowman, though it was a wash for the National, which produced both plays.

The awarding of Outstanding Musical Production to Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures at the Donmar Warehouse, was accompanied by wins for lighting and choreography to bring the Chicago-originated revival second only to Jerry Springer in the evening's tally. Judi Dench, who's currently crowning her long career with a wildly acclaimed performance in All's Well That Ends Well at London's Gielgud Theatre was presented with the Society's Special Award for her outstanding contribution to British theatre. The award was presented by actor and incoming Old Vic Artistic Director Kevin Spacey, who serenaded the Oscar-winning star with "I've Got a Crush on You."

Here are the winners of the 2004 Olivier Awards (in boldface):

BEST NEW MUSICAL

Jerry Springer — The Opera music by Richard Thomas, book and lyrics by Stewart Lee & Richard Thomas at the Lyttelton and Cambridge
Ragtime book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, based on the novel by E L Doctorow at the Piccadilly
Thoroughly Modern Millie book by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan, new music by Jeanine Tesori, new lyrics by Dick Scanlan, at the Shaftesbury

BEST NEW PLAY

Democracy by Michael Frayn at the Cottesloe
Elmina's Kitchen by Kwame Kwei-Armah at the Cottesloe
Hitchcock Blonde by Terry Johnson at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court and the Lyric
The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh at the Cottesloe

OUTSTANDING MUSICAL PRODUCTION

High Society music and lyrics by Cole Porter, book by Arthur Kopit at the Open Air
Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the New London
Pacific Overtures music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by John Weidman, additional material by Hugh Wheeler at the Donmar Warehouse
Tell Me On A Sunday music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Don Black at the Gielgud

BEST REVIVAL

Absolutely! (Perhaps) by Luigi Pirandello in a new version by Martin Sherman at Wyndham's
Caligula by Albert Camus in a new translation by David Greig at the Donmar Warehouse
Mourning Becomes Electra by Eugene O'Neill at the Lyttelton
Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck at the Savoy

BEST ENTERTAINMENT

Duckie's C'est Barbican! devised and written by Mark Whitelaw, Ursula Martinez, Christopher Green, Marisa Carnesky, Francesca Baglione and Simon Vincenzi, scored by Ian Hill at The Pit
Fascinating Aida's One Last Flutter at the Comedy
Jus‚ Like That written and created by John Fisher at the Garrick
My Brilliant Divorce by Geraldine Aron at the Apollo
The Rat Pack — Live From Las Vegas by Paul Walden, Mitch Sebastian and Derek Nicol at the Strand

BEST DIRECTOR

Stafford Arima for Ragtime at the Piccadilly
Michael Grandage for Caligula at the Donmar Warehouse
Gary Griffin for Pacific Overtures at the Donmar Warehouse
Stewart Lee for Jerry Springer — The Opera at the Lyttelton and Cambridge

BEST ACTRESS

Eileen Atkins for Honour at the Cottesloe
Helen Mirren for Mourning Becomes Electra at the Lyttelton
Ann Mitchell for Through The Leaves at the Duchess
Kelly Reilly for After Miss Julie at the Donmar Warehouse
Kristin Scott Thomas for Three Sisters at the Playhouse

BEST ACTOR

Roger Allam for Democracy at the Cottesloe
Edmond at the Cottesloe
Greg Hicks for Coriolanus at the Old Vic
Matthew Kelly for Of Mice And Men at the Savoy
Michael Sheen for Caligula at the Donmar Warehouse

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Joe Dixon for The Roman Actor at the Gielgud
Oliver Ford Davies for Absolutely! (Perhaps) at Wyndham's
Paul Hilton for Mourning Becomes Electra at the Lyttelton
Warren Mitchell for The Price at the Apollo

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

David Bedella for Jerry Springer — The Opera at the Lyttelton and Cambridge
Graham Bickley for Ragtime at the Piccadilly
Michael Brandon for Jerry Springer — The Opera at the Lyttelton and Cambridge
Kevyn Morrow for Ragtime at the Piccadilly

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Maria Friedman for Ragtime at the Piccadilly
Amanda Holden for Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Shaftesbury
Alison Jiear for Jerry Springer — The Opera at the Lyttelton and Cambridge
Maureen Lipman for Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Shaftesbury

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Tracie Bennett for High Society at the Open Air
The Chorus of Jerry Springer — The Opera at the Lyttelton and Cambridge
Richard Henders for Pacific Overtures at the Donmar Warehouse
Jerome Pradon for Pacific Overtures at the Donmar Warehouse
Matthew White for Ragtime at the Piccadilly

BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION

Nederlands Dans Theater 2's Dream Play at Sadler's Wells
George Piper Dances‚ Mesmerics at Sadler's Wells
Paul Taylor Dance Company's Promethean Fire at Sadler's Wells
Broken Fall, a George Piper Dances commission in association with The Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE

Carlos Acosta for his Tocororo — A Cuban Tale at Sadler's Wells
Thomas Edur and Agnes Oaks their performances in English National Ballet's 2 Human at Sadler's Wells
Javier De Frutos for his choreography of Rambert Dance Company's Elsa Canasta at Sadler's Wells
The dancers of Rambert Dance Company for their season at Sadler's Wells

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN AN AFFILIATE THEATRE

The Young Vic for an audacious season under the artistic direction of David Lan
Tanika Gupta for Fragile Land at Hampstead Theatre and her adaptation of Hobson's Choice at the Young Vic
The Almeida Theatre for its production of The Lady From The Sea
The Lyric Hammersmith for its production of Pericles

MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER IN AN AFFILIATE THEATRE

Debbie Tucker Green for Born Bad at Hampstead Theatre
Lucy Prebble for The Sugar Syndrome at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court
Tom Hardy for his performance in In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings at Hampstead Theatre
Ruth Negga for her performance in Duck at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court

BEST SET DESIGN

Absolutely! (Perhaps) designed by Franco Zeffirelli at Wyndham's
Hitchcock Blonde designed by William Dudley at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court and the Lyric
Mourning Becomes Electra designed by Bob Crowley at the Lyttelton

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN

Hitchcock Blonde designed by Simon Corder at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court and the Lyric
Pacific Overtures designed by Hugh Vanstone at the Donmar Warehouse
Ragtime designed by Howard Harrison at the Piccadilly

BEST SOUND DESIGN

Jerry Springer — The Opera designed by Mike Walker at the Lyttelton and Cambridge
Pacific Overtures designed by Nick Lidster at the Donmar Warehouse
Ragtime designed by Peter Hylenski for Autograph at the Piccadilly
The Pillowman designed by Paul Arditti at the Cottesloe

BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION

English National Opera's Così Fan Tutte at the Barbican
The Royal Opera's Madama Butterfly at the Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera's Orlando at the Royal Opera House
English National Opera's The Trojans (Parts I and II) at the London Coliseum

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA
Cristina Gallardo-Domas for The Royal Opera's Madama Butterfly at the Royal Opera House
Simon Keenlyside for The Royal Opera's Hamlet and Die Zauberflote at the Royal Opera House
Bejun Mehta for The Royal Opera's Orlando at the Royal Opera House
Felicity Palmer for The Royal Opera's Elektra and Sweeney Todd at the Royal Opera House

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Absolutely! (Perhaps) designed by Raimonda Gaetani at Wyndham's
Pacific Overtures designed by Mara Blumenfeld at the Donmar Warehouse
Power designed by Christopher Oram at the Cottesloe
Thoroughly Modern Millie designed by Martin Pakledinaz at the Shaftesbury

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER

Jenny Arnold for Jerry Springer — The Opera at the Lyttelton and Cambridge
Rob Ashford for Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Shaftesbury
Karen Bruce for Pacific Overtures at the Donmar Warehouse

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