Olivier Awards Overhaul Judging Process; Producers and Theatre Owners to Vote in Addition to Panel

News   Olivier Awards Overhaul Judging Process; Producers and Theatre Owners to Vote in Addition to Panel
The U.K.'s Laurence Olivier Awards, previously voted for only by a panel of nine members comprising industry professionals and specially appointed members of the public, have confirmed that the judging process is being overhauled.

While the panel will still be in place, votes will also now be thrown open to full members of the Society of London Theatres, the trade body that runs the awards and whose membership includes West End producers, theatre owners and managers of the major commercial and grant-aided theatres in central London. As with Broadway's Tony Awards, but with a smaller pool of voters overall, producers and theatre owners will now be able to vote for their own shows. SOLT members previously voted only on the short list for nominations, not for the winners. After the panel creates a longlist of potential nominees, this is submitted to all SOLT members, who are then able to vote their favorites, which are collated with the panelists' to produce a shortlist. Where the panel previously voted the final winners from this, the panel and SOLT members will do so now.

In a press interview with The Stage, Mark Rubinstein, president of SOLT, commented, "The choice of nominations – the process by which the nominees were chosen – is exactly the same this year as it was last year and has been for several years. What will be different now is that the panel, which has seen all of the shows, and the members – and we are encouraging members to only vote in categories where they have seen all of the nominees – will both have a vote. The thing about the members is they are part of the theatre community and they see a lot of shows so it’s right they should have a voice on who is the winner."

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