London Hairspray Breaks Record With 11 Olivier Award Nominations

By John Nathan
06 Feb 2008

Leanne Jones and Ben James-Ellis in the West End's Hairspray.
Leanne Jones and Ben James-Ellis in the West End's Hairspray.
Photo by Catherine Ashmore

The London production of Hairspray swept this year's Olivier Award nominations with a record-breaking 11 nominations including Best Musical. The show also boasts Best Actress and Actor in a Musical nominations for newcomer Leanne Jones and West End veteran Michael Ball, respectively.

The record for most nominations was previously held by Michael Blakemore's production of Kiss Me, Kate in 2002.

This year the Donmar Warehouse's U.K. premiere of Parade notched up seven nominations, while Lord of the Rings and the short-lived London production of The Drowsy Chaperone each received five.

The Best Actor in a Play will be decided between three title-role Shakespearean performances: Chiwetel Ejiofor's Othello; Patrick Stewart's Macbeth and Ian McKellen's King Lear - with Mark Rylance and John Simm also nominated for their performances in Boeing Boeing and Elling, respectively.



Best Actress in a Play will be battled out between Anne-Marie Duff (Saint Joan), Kelly Reilly (Othello), Kristin Scott Thomas (The Seagull), Fiona Shaw (Happy Days) and Penelope Wilton (John Gabriel Borkman).

The 32nd Laurence Olivier Awards will be presented by actor Richard E. Grant on March 9 in London.

The full list of nominations follows:

Best Actress
Anne-Marie Duff for Saint Joan at the Olivier
Kelly Reilly for Othello at the Donmar Warehouse
Kristin Scott Thomas for The Seagull at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court
Fiona Shaw for Happy Days at the Lyttelton
Penelope Wilton for John Gabriel Borkman at the Donmar Warehouse

Best Actor
Chiwetel Ejiofor for Othello at the Donmar Warehouse
Ian McKellen for King Lear at the New London
Mark Rylance for Boeing-Boeing at the Comedy
John Simm For Elling at the Trafalgar Studios 1
Patrick Stewart for Macbeth at the Gielgud

Best Performance in a Supporting Role
Michelle Fairley for Othello at the Donmar Warehouse
Pam Ferris for The Entertainer at the Old Vic
Conleth Hill for Philistines at the Lyttelton
Rory Kinnear for The Man of Mode at the Oliver

Best Newcomer in a Play
David Dawson for The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby at the Gielgud
Tom Hiddleston for Cymbeline at The Barbican
Tom Hiddleston for Othello at the Donmar Warehouse
Stephen Wight for Dealer's Choice at the Trafalgar Studios 1

Best New Play
A Disappearing Number by Simon McBurney at The Barbican
The Reporter by Nicholas Wright at the Cottesloe
Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre, adapted by Tanya Ronder at the Young Vic
War Horse based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford at the Olivier

Best New Comedy
Absurdia: The Crimson Hotel by Michael Frayn at the Donmar Warehouse
Elling based on a novel by Ingvar Ambjørnsen, stage adaptation by Axel Hellstenius in collaboration with Peter Næss, translated by Nicholas Norris
Rafta Rafta by Ayub Khan-Din based on All in Good Time by Bill Naughton at the Lyttelton
Whipping it Up by Steve Thompson at the New Ambassadors

Best Revival
Boeing-Boeing by Marc Camoletti, translated by Beverley Cross at the Comedy Theatre
Dealer's Choice by Patrick Marber at Trafalgar Studios 1
Macbeth by William Shakespeare at the Gielgud
Saint Joan by Bernard Shaw at the Olivier
The Seagull by Anton Chekhov, a version by Christopher Hampton at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court.

Best New Musical
The Drowsy Chaperone. Music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, book by Bob Martin and Don Mckellar.
Hairspray. Book by Mark O'donnell and Thomas Meehan; music by Marc Shaiman; lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman.
The Lord Of The Rings. Book and lyrics by Shaun Mckenna and Matthew Warchus; music by A.R. Rahman, Värttinä with Christopher Nightingale at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Parade. Book by Alfred Uhry, music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, at the Donmar Warehouse

Best Musical Revival
Fiddler On The Roof. Book by Joseph Stein, music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, at the Savoy
Little Shop of Horrors. Book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken at The Duke of York's and Ambassadors
The Magic Flute - Impempe Yomlingo. Adapted from Mozart by Mark Dornford-May. Words and music by Mandisi Dyantyis, Mbali Kgosidintsi, Pauline Malefane and Nolufefe Mtshabe at the Young Vic

Best Actress in a Musical
Leanne Jones for Hairsrpay at the Shaftesbury
Lara Pulver for Parade at the Donmar Warehouse
Sheridan Smith for Little Shop of Horrors at the Duke of York's and Ambassadors
Summer Strallen for The Drowsy Chaperone at the Novello

Best Actor in a Musical
Michael Ball for Hairspray at the Shaftesbury
Bertie Carvel for Parade at the Donmar Warehouse
Henry Goodman for Fiddler on the Roof at the Savoy
Bob Martin for The Drowsy Chaperone at The Novello

Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical
Tracie Bennett for Hairspray at the Shaftesbury
Elinor Collett for Hairspray at the Shaftesbury
Shaun Escoffery for Parade at the Donmar Warehouse
Alistair McGowan for Little Shop of Horrors at the Duke Of York's and Ambassadors

Best Director
Rob Ashford for Parade at the Donmar Warehouse
Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris for War Horse at the Olivier
Rupert Goold for Macbeth at the Gielgud
Jack O'Brien for Hairspray at the Shaftesbury

Best Theatre Choreographer
Rob Ashford for Parade at the Donmar Warehouse
Jerry Mitchell for Hairspray at the Shaftesbury
Casey Nicholaw for The Drowsy Chaperone at the Novello
Toby Sedgwick for War Horse at the Olivier

Best Lighting Design
Hairspray designed by Kenneth Posner at the Shaftesbury
The Lord of the Rings designed by Paul Pyant at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Macbeth designed by Howard Harrison at the Gielgud
War Horse designed by Paule Constable at the Olivier

Best Set Design
Hairspray designed by David Rockwell at the Shaftesbury
The Lord of the Rings designed by Rob Howell at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Macbeth designed by Anthony Ward and Lorna Heavey at the Gielgud
War Horse designed by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler for Handspring Puppet Company at the Olivier

Best Costume Design
The Drowsy Chaperone designed by Gregg Barnes at the Novello
Hairspray designed by William Ivey Long at the Shaftesbury
The Lord of the Rings designed by Rob Howell at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
The Man of Mode designed by Vicki Mortimer at the Olivier

Best Sound Design
Hairspray designed by Steve C. Kennedy at the Shaftesbury
The Lord of the Rings designed by Simon Baker at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Parade designed by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster for Autograph at the Donmar Warehouse
Saint Joan designed by Paul Arditti and Jocelyn Pook at the Olivier
War Horse designed by Adrian Sutton and John Tams at the Olivier

Outstanding Achievment in an Affiliate Theatre
The Brothers Size at The Maria, Young Vic
Cinderella at Theatre Royal, Stratford East
Gone Too Far at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court
The cast of That Face at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court

Best New Opera Production
English National Opera's Agrippina at The Coliseum
The Royal Opera's La Fille Du Régiment at The Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera's Pelléas Et Mélisande at The Royal Opera House
English National Opera's Turn Of The Screw at The Coliseum

Outstanding Achievement in Opera
Natalie Dessay for her performance in La Fille du Régiment at The Royal Opera House
Gerald Finley for his performance in Pelléas et Mélisande at The Royal Opera House
Angelika Kirchschlager for her performance in Pelléas et Mélisande at The Royal Opera House
David Mcvicar for directing English National Opera's Turn of the Screw and Agrippina at The Coliseum

Best New Dance Production
Fabulous Beast Dance's The Bull at The Barbican
The Royal Ballet's Jewels at The Royal Opera House
Mark Morris Dance Group's Mozart Dances at The Barbican
Northern Ballet Theatre's The Three Musketeers at Sadler’s Wells

Outstanding Achievement in Dance
Savion Glover for his performance in Live for London at Sadler's Wells
Jonathan Goddard for his performances with the Richard Alston Dance Company at Sadler's Wells
The Royal Ballet Company for their performances in Jewels
Wendy Whelan for her performance in the Christopher Wheeldon Company's Fool's Paradise at Sadler's Wells.