Ute Lemper and Ruthie Henshall, the two main stars of Chicago, which scooped Outstanding Musical Production, were both vying for Best Actress in a Musical Award, but Lemper walked away with the trophy. In her acceptance speech, she honoured her co-star saying that, in her heart, they shared the award: 'It really does take two to tango,' said Lemper. 'Thank you, Ruthie.'
The Royal National Theatre swept up again with six awards. Richard Eyre and Ian Holm have achieved a veritable Grand Slam of theatrical awards for their partnership in King Lear. The production has won Eyre Best Director and Holm Best Actor in the Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics Circle Awards this year.
The RNT also won Best New Play for Patrick Marber's Closer . When accepting his award, Marber confessed that he was 'embarrassed' for winning out over his idols who were in competition against him. 'David Hare (Amy's View) and Tom Stoppard (The Invention of Love ) were two of the reasons I became a writer,' he said. 'They've been a constant source of inspiration.'
Zoe Wanamaker won Best Actress for Electra at the Donmar Warehouse, beating out stiff competition from the two West End Dames - Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. The Donmar also scored with its mixed-reception production of The Fix which won Philip Quast Best Actor in a Musical.
And, in a surprise announcement, Culture secretary Chris Smith was on hand to present two Special Awards to Canadian father-son business duo Ed and David Mirvish for their 15-year ownership and restoration of the Old Vic Theatre. Smith took the opportunity to state publicly his ongoing private plea to the Mirvishes for the future of the Old Vic which is now up for sale. 'Please don't rush into a disposal of the Old Vic,' Smith said to David who watched from the audience, 'instead give all the rest of us a chance to come in with suitable, high quality proposals.'
The ceremony - including the remaining two awards - was screened in the UK on BBC2 television on 23 February 1998 at 9pm.
The full list of award winners is as follows. For a complete run-down of all 1998 nominations, see our Olivier Nominations feature.
| Best Actress: || |
photograph by Ivan Kyncl
| Best Actor: || |
photograph by John Haynes
| BBC Award for Best New Play: || |
photograph by Hugo Glendinning
|BEST NEW COMEDY:|
| BEST ENTERTAINMENT: || |
photograph by Ivan Kyncl
| AMERICAN EXPRESS AWARD FOR BEST NEW MUSICAL: || |
photograph by Michael Le Poer Trench
|OUTSTANDING MUSICAL PRODUCTION:|
| BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: || |
| BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: || |
| BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: || |
| BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL: || |
|BEST DIRECTOR:||Richard Eyre for King Lear at the RNT|
|BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER:||Simon McBurney for The Caucasion Chalk Circle at the RNT's Olivier in collaboration with Theatre de Complicite|
|BEST COSTUME DESIGNER:||Tim Goodchild for Three Hours After Marriage at the RSC's Pit|
|BEST LIGHTING DESIGNER:||Rich Fisher for Chips with Everything and Lady in the Dark at the RNT|
|BEST SET DESIGNER:||Tim Goodchild for Three Hours After Marriage at the RSC's Pit|
|BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION:||The Royal Opera's Paul Bunyan at the Shaftesbury|
|OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA:||Paul Daniel for conducting English National Opera's From the House of the Dead at the London Coliseum and for his contribution to ENO|
|BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION:||L'Allegro, Il Penseroso Ed Il Moderato performed by the Mark Morris Dance Group, ENO is association with Dance Umbrella at the London Coliseum|
|OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE:||Lez Brotherston for the set and costume design for Adventures in Motion Pictures' Cinderella at the Piccadilly|