Jersey Boys, Carnage, Tyzack, Jacobi, Roger, Stewart and More Are Olivier Winners

News   Jersey Boys, Carnage, Tyzack, Jacobi, Roger, Stewart and More Are Olivier Winners The Tony Award-winning Jersey Boys — about the lives and careers of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons — was named Best New Musical at the 33rd annual Olivier Awards, which were presented March 8 in a ceremony at London's Grosvenor House.

Elena Roger in Piaf.
Elena Roger in Piaf. Photo by Johan Persson

The National Theatre of Scotland's production of Gregory Burke's Black Watch took four awards in all, including Best New Play, Best Director and Best Theatre Choreographer. Black Watch, which premiered at the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, has since toured internationally, including a season at St Ann's Warehouse in New York in October 2008. It won Olivier Awards for its season at the Barbican Theatre in June 2008.

The Donmar Warehouse also won four awards, including those for Margaret Tyzack and Derek Jacobi, who won top acting honors for the Donmar productions of, respectively, The Chalk Garden and Twelfth Night. The Donmar had received 13 Olivier nominations, the most of any individual theatre company.

The Menier Chocolate Factory's West End transfer of La Cage aux Folles won awards for Best Musical Revival and for Douglas Hodge, who was named Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Albin/Zaza (he has been succeeded by Graham Norton in the role). The RSC's Histories cycle, seen at London's Roundhouse, won three awards, for Best Revival, Best Costume Design and the new category of Best Company Performance, while Patrick Stewart won the award for Best Performance in a Supporting role for his performance as Claudius and the ghost of Hamlet's father in the RSC production of Hamlet. The National Theatre went away empty-handed, except for one award for its import from Chicago (and later Broadway) of Steppenwolf's production of August: Osage County, which won Best Set Design for Todd Rosenthal.

Also acclaimed were Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage (now previewing on Broadway as well as touring the U.K.), which was named Best New Comedy; the variety burlesque show La Clique at the London Hippodrome, which won the Olivier for Best Entertainment; Elena Roger, who was named Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in the title role of the Donmar Warehouse production of Piaf that subsequently transferred to the West End's Vaudeville; and Lesli Margherita, who took the award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a musical for her appearance in Zorro (shuttering March 14 at the Garrick Theatre).

The Society's Special Award, which recognizes outstanding contribution to theatre, was presented to Sir Alan Ayckbourn by Kevin Spacey (whose Old Vic Theatre last year revived The Norman Conquests in a production that is now Broadway-bound) and Liza Goddard. The Olivier ceremony was hosted by James Nesbit, with other awards being presented by Imelda Staunton, Ian Lavender, Andrea Corr, Sadie Frost, Dominic Cooper, Sheridan Smith, David Hare, Pete Postlethwaite, Jason Donovan, Tom Chambers, Gareth Gates, Anton du Beke, Kevin Spacey, Jodie Prenger, Sian Phillips, Gillian Anderson, Rosalind Plowright and David Morrissey.

In between the award presentations, there were live performances from the companies of Sunset Boulevard, La Cage aux Folles, Piaf, Zorro, The Lion King, West Side Story, La Clique, Jersey Boys and Mamma Mia! There was also a tribute to Harold Pinter, presented by David Hare.

In a press statement, Nica Burns, president of the Society of London Theatre commented, "This year's Laurence Olivier Awards are shared amongst a record-breaking number of productions reflecting an outstanding year both on stage and at the box office. There was fierce competition for each nomination: congratulations to the supremely talented winners. London's theatre is a jewel in the crown of our capital city and its success is a reason to cheer in these uncertain times."

Of the 20 theatre categories (there are also an additional four awards presented, two each for dance and opera productions), only five were for productions or performances in shows still running: La Clique, La Cage aux Folles (though actor Douglas Hodge is no longer giving his award-winning performance in that production), Jersey Boys and Zorro.

The full list of nominees and winners, listed first and picked out in bold, appears below.

Best Actress
Margaret Tyzack for The Chalk Garden (Donmar Warehouse)
Deanna Dunagan for August: Osage County (National Theatre's Lyttelton)
Lindsay Duncan for That Face (Duke of York's)
Penelope Wilton for The Chalk Garden (Donmar Warehouse)

Best Actor
Derek Jacobi for Twelfth Night (Donmar at Wyndham's)
David Bradley for No Man's Land (Duke of York's)
Michael Gambon for No Man's Land (Duke of York's)
Adam Godley for Rain Man (Apollo)

Best Performance in a Supporting Role
Patrick Stewart for Hamlet (RSC at the Novello)
Oliver Ford Davies for Hamlet (RSC at the Novello)
Kevin R McNally for Ivanov (Donmar at Wyndham's)
Paul Ritter for The Norman Conquests (Old Vic)

Best Company Performance
The Histories, directed by Michael Boyd (RSC at the Roundhouse)
August: Osage County, directed by Anna D Shapiro (National's Lyttelton)
The Histories, directed by Michael Boyd (RSC at the Roundhouse)
The Norman Conquests, directed by Matthew Warchus (Old Vic)
Sunset Boulevard, directed by Craig Revel Horwood (Comedy)

Best New Play
Black Watch by Gregory Burke (Barbican Theatre)
August: Osage County by Tracy Letts (National's Lyttelton)
The Pitmen Painters by Lee Hall (National's Cottesloe)
That Face by Polly Stenham (Duke of York's)

Best New Comedy
God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton (Gielgud)
Fat Pig by Neil LaBute (Comedy Theatre)
The Female of the Species by Joanna Murray-Smith (Vaudeville)

Best Revival
The Histories, directed by Michael Boyd (RSC at the Roundhouse)
The Chalk Garden, directed by Michael Grandage (Donmar Warehouse)
The Histories, directed by Michael Boyd (RSC at the Roundhouse)
The Norman Conquests, directed by Matthew Warchus (Old Vic)

Best Entertainment
La Clique (Hippodrome)
Noel Coward's Brief Encounter (Cinema Haymarket)
Maria Friedman: Re-Arranged (Trafalgar Studios 1)

Best New Musical
Jersey Boys --The Story Of Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons, book by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe (Prince Edward)
Zorro, book and lyrics by Stephen Clark, music by The Gipsy Kings, original story by Stephen Clark & Helen Edmundson, music co-composed and adapted by John Cameron (Garrick)

Best Musical Revival
La Cage Aux Folles, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, book by Harvey Fierstein, based on the play La Cage Aux Folles by Jean Poiret (Playhouse Theatre)
Piaf by Pam Gems (Donmar Warehouse, then Vaudeville)
Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard, book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, based on the Billy Wilder film (Comedy Theatre)
West Side Story, based on a conception by Jerome Robbins, book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, entire original production directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins (Sadler's Wells)

Best Actress in a Musical
Elena Roger for Piaf (Donmar Warehouse, then Vaudeville)
Sofia Escobar for West Side Story (Sadler's Wells)
Kathryn Evans for Sunset Boulevard (Comedy)
Ruthie Henshall for Marguerite (Haymarket)
Emma Williams for Zorro (Garrick Theatre)

Best Actor in a Musical
Douglas Hodge for La Cage Aux Folles (Playhouse)
Denis Lawson for La Cage Aux Folles (Playhouse)
Ryan Molloy for Jersey Boys – The Story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (Prince Edward)
Matt Rawle for Zorro (Garrick)

Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical
Lesli Margherita for Zorro (Garrick)
Alexander Hanson for Marguerite (Theatre Royal, Haymarket)
Katherine Kingsley for Piaf (Donmar Warehouse, then Vaudeville)
Jason Pennycooke for La Cage Aux Folles (Playhouse)
Dave Willetts for Sunset Boulevard (Comedy)

Best Director
John Tiffany for Black Watch (Barbican Theatre)
Terry Johnson for La Cage Aux Folles (Playhouse)
Des McAnuff for Jersey Boys – The Story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (Prince Edward)
Emma Rice for Brief Encounter (Cinema Haymarket)

Best Theatre Choreographer
Steven Hoggett for Black Watch (Barbican Theatre)
Rafael Amargo for Zorro (Garrick)
Lynne Page for La Cage Aux Folles (Playhouse)
Kate Prince for Into the Hoods (Novello) Sergio Trujillo for Jersey Boys – The Story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (Prince Edward)

Best Lighting Design
The Chalk Garden designed by Paule Constable (Donmar Warehouse)
Ivanov designed by Paule Constable (Donmar at Wyndham's)
No Man's Land designed by Neil Austin (Duke of York's)
Piaf designed by Neil Austin (Donmar Warehouse, then Vaudeville)

Best Set Design
August: Osage County designed by Todd Rosenthal (National's Lyttelton)
Brief Encounter designed by Neil Murray, projections by Gemma Carrington and Jon Driscoll (Cinema Haymarket)
The Histories designed by Tom Piper (RSC at Roundhouse)
The Lover and the Collection designed by Soutra Gilmour (Comedy)
Marguerite designed by Paul Brown (Haymarket)

Best Costume Design
The Histories designed by Tom Piper and Emma Williams (RSC at Roundhouse)
La Cage Aux Folles designed by Matthew Wright (Playhouse)
The Norman Conquests designed by Rob Howell (Old Vic)
Twelfth Night designed by Christopher Oram (Donmar at Wyndham's)

Best Sound Design
Black Watch designed by Gareth Fry (Barbican Theatre)
Brief Encounter designed by Simon Baker (Cinema Haymarket)
Jersey Boys – the Story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons designed by Steve Canyon Kennedy (Prince Edward)
Piaf designed by Christopher Shutt, Max & Ben Ringham (Donmar Warehouse then Vaudeville)

Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre
The Royal Court Theatre's production of The Pride (Jerwood Theatre Upstairs)
The ensemble cast of Oxford Street (Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court)
Clive Rowe for his performance in Mother Goose (Hackney Empire)
Jo Newbery for the design of Scarborough (Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court)

Note: There are four additional categories, for Best New Opera Production, Outstanding Achievement in Opera, Best New Dance Production and Outstanding Achievement in Dance.

Philip Bulcock, Ryan Molloy, Stephen Ashfield and Glenn Carter in London's <i>Jersey Boys.</i>
Philip Bulcock, Ryan Molloy, Stephen Ashfield and Glenn Carter in London's Jersey Boys. Photo by Brinkoff &amp; Mogenburg
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