New Musicals Omitted from 2002 Olivier NominationsDate: 17 January 2002
The nominations for the 26th annual Laurence Olivier Awards, London's equivalent of the Tonys and the UK's most prestigious stage awards, are announced today, with a few notable changes to the usual categories and some unusual tussles between stars and their alter egos.
In perhaps the most interesting nomination head-to-head, Lindsay Duncan stands a 50-50 chance of winning this year's Best Actress Award - out of the field of four, two of the contenders are Duncan and Duncan. The actress has been nominated first for the Royal Court's Mouth To Mouth and again, separately, for Private Lives. Lined up against Duncan and Duncan are Victoria Hamilton for A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg and Zoe Wanamaker for Boston Marriage
Meanwhile, in Best Actor, comic duo Sean Foley and Hamish McColl, aka The Right Size, have been nominated jointly for The Play What I Wrote , with fierce competition from Roger Allam (Privates On Parade ), Alan Rickman (Private Lives ) and Simon Russell Beale (Humble Boy ).
Revivals Lead the Count
Three revivals have dominated this year's nominations. In the musical categories, the Broadway transfer of Kiss Me Kate leads with nine nominations, followed by the National production of My Fair Lady with eight. The original stars of both shows - Americans Marin Mazzie and Brent Barrett for the former and Brits Martine McCutcheon, Jonathan Pryce for the latter - are competing in the Best Actress and Best Actor in a Musical categories. And in the Best Supporting Performance in a Musical category, Kiss Me Kate's Nancy Anderson and Michael Berresse are up against each other, as well as My Fair Lady's Nicholas Le Prevost.
Meanwhile, Howard Davies' revival of Noel Coward's Private Lives dominates many of the non-musical categories, with a total of seven nominations. In addition to Best Actor and Actress for Duncan and Rickman, these include Best Supporting Actress (for Emma Fielding), Best Director and Best Set Designer.
Other well-recognised productions, with four nominations a piece, are: Kevin Elyot's Mouth To Mouth and Charlotte Jones' Humble Boy (both up for Best New Play, amongst other awards); the Right Size's The Play What I Wrote (up for Best New Comedy); and Cultural Industry's cult favourite Shockheaded Peter, soon to return for its fifth London season.
Company-wise, the National Theatre has once again achieved the most number of nominations with 17 in total. The Donmar Warehouse and Royal Court theatres have received an impressive nine nominations apiece, while the Royal Shakespeare Company earned four nominations for its London productions, including its acclaimed This England cycle of Shakespeare's history plays.
New Musicals Miss Out
Interestingly, this year's nominations exclude the usual category for Best New Musical, while the remaining Outstanding Musical Production embraces just three productions, all of which are revivals - Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate, Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady and Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific, just recently opened at the National.
In place of that omission, however, are three new categories. Two, for Most Promising Playwright and Most Promising Performer, are aimed at newcomers to London theatre and more specifically - according to awards organisers, the Society of London Theatre - to recognise the contribution of SOLT affiliate members outside the traditional West End. Amongst these are leading London theatres such as the Almeida, Hampstead, Lyric Hammersmith, Young Vic, Tricycle and Royal Court Theatre Upstairs.
The third addition, the Audience Award for Most Popular Show, will be decided by theatregoers selecting their most favourite of the West End's long-running productions. A shortlist of four productions will be announced at the end of January. Those eligible are the 14 West End productions which, as of 1 January 2002, had been running for at least a year and had not announced a closure date.
Awards Ceremony on 15 February 2002
Winners will be announced on Friday, 15 February 2002 at the West End's Victoria Palace Theatre, in a star-studded lunchtime ceremony which will once again be hosted by TV presenter Clive Anderson. The Oliviers will subsequently be broadcast on BBC2 in an edited programme that combines the awards presentation with highlights of the past year in London theatre.
For the first time, the categories will also include one for long-running West End productions, the winner of which will be decided by audiences. This year's awards are sponsored by hotel group Hilton UK and Ireland.
- by Terri Paddock
The full list of nominations, across 23 categories, is as follows:
- Lindsay Duncan for Mouth To Mouth at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court and the Albery
- Roger Allam for Privates On Parade at the Donmar Warehouse
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
- Bríd Brennan for The Little Foxes at the Donmar Warehouse
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
- Desmond Barrit for Henry IV Parts I and II at the Barbican
BEST NEW PLAY
- Boy Gets Girl by Rebecca Gilman at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court
BEST NEW COMEDY
- Boston Marriage by David Mamet at the Donmar Warehouse and now at the New Ambassadors
- The Pub Landlord - My Gaff, My Rules created by Al Murray at the Playhouse
OUTSTANDING MUSICAL PRODUCTION
- Kiss Me Kate music and lyrics by Cole Porter, book by Sam & Bella Spewack at the Victoria Palace
BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL OR ENTERTAINMENT
- Barbara Cook for Mostly Sondheim at the Lyric
BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
- Brent Barrett for Kiss Me Kate at the Victoria Palace
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL
- Nancy Anderson for Kiss Me Kate at the Victoria Palace
- Michael Blakemore for Kiss Me Kate at the Victoria Palace
BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER
- Matthew Bourne for My Fair Lady at the Lyttelton and now at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
BEST SET DESIGNER
- Lez Brotherston for The Little Foxes at the Donmar Warehouse and A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Albery
BEST COSTUME DESIGNER
- Jenny Beavan for Private Lives at the Albery
BEST LIGHTING DESIGNER
- Howard Harrison for Cat On A Hot Tin Roof at the Lyric and Tales From Hollywood at the Donmar Warehouse
MOST PROMISING PLAYWRIGHT
- Grae Cleugh for Fucking Games at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court
MOST PROMISING PERFORMER
- Jack Davenport for The Servant at the Lyric Hammersmith
BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION
- The Royal Opera's Boulevard Solitude at the Royal Opera House
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA
- English National Opera for its commitment to 20th Century work through four major productions: From Morning To Midnight, The Rake's Progress, The Rape Of Lucretia and War And Peace at the London Coliseum
BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION
- Ballett Frankfurt's Eidos: Telos at Sadler's Wells
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE
- Ushio Amagatsu for the concept, direction, choreography and performance of Sankai Juku's Hibiki at Sadler's Wells
AUDIENCE AWARD FOR MOST POPULAR SHOW
To be determined.