Olivier Nominations 1999
  • Introduction
  • Winners
  • Best New Play
  • Best New Comedy
  • Best New Musical
  • Outstanding Musical Production
  • Best Entertainment
  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Supporting Performance
  • Best Actor in a Musical
  • Best Actress in a Musical
  • Best Supporting Performance in a Musical
  • Best Director
  • Best Theatre Choreographer
  • Best Costume Designer
  • Best Lighting Designer
  • Best Set Designer
  • Best New Dance Production
  • Outstanding Achievement in Dance
  • Best New Opera Production
  • Outstanding Achievement in Opera

    Introductions Back to the top

    A surprisingly disparate spread of winners was announced at this year s 23rd annual Laurence Olivier Awards, the UK's most prestigious theatre awards. Though the 12 February ceremony was held at the Royal National Theatre, which received a whopping 16 nominations this year, the RNT did not have as dramatic a turnout as some anticipated.

    The RNT's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, directed by Trevor Nunn, choreographed by Susan Stroman and now transferred to the West End's Lyceum Theatre, received nine nominations but took home only four awards on the day, including Outstanding Musical Production, Best Theatre Choreographer (Stroman), Best Set Designer (Anthony Ward) and Best Supporting Performance in a Musical (Shuler Hensley, who won out over, amongst others, his co-star Jimmy Johnston).

    Best Actress in a Musical, for which Oklahoma! female lead Josefina Gabrielle was nominated, went to Sophie Thompson for her performance in the Donmar Warehouse's revival of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods. Best Actor in a Musical, for which Oklahoma! male lead Hugh Jackman was nominated, went to a unique choice - the entire South African cast of Kat & the Kings which ran in the West End at the Vaudeville Theatre. The Cape Town musical was also honoured with the Best New Musical award.

    As far as clean sweeps go, Hollywood star Kevin Spacey can legitimately claim one for his performance in the Almeida revival of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh for which he has now won Best Actor in all the major London theatre awards - the Evening Standard, Critics Circle and Oliviers. Spacey was on hand to accept and applaud the Almeida, director Howard Davies and his company of fellow actors. Commenting on the production's imminent transfer to Broadway, Spacey said: 'As long as we go there with the same company spirit we had here in London, we can't go wrong.'

    The Iceman Cometh earnt another Olivier for Howard Davies who took Best Director over formidable competition from Trevor Nunn (Oklahoma!), Sam Mendes (The Blue Room) and Ian Rickson (The Weir). Davies used the opportunity to lavish praise on his award-winning star. 'Kevin Spacey is a talent to be reckoned with, an incredibly modest man and a team player par excellence,' he said. 'It has been the happiest experience of my professional life to work with this company and Kevin in particular.'

    Eileen Atkins seemed genuinely surprised when she was awarded Best Actress over the likes of Sinead Cusack (who won the honour this year from both the Evening Standard and Critics Circle judges), Judi Dench, Diana Rigg and Nicole Kidman. Recognised for her role in the RSC production of Yasmina Reza's The Unexpected Man, Atkins spoke of her co-star Michael Gambon as 'witty, naughty, very very wicked, sexy' and a 'bliss to work with'.

    Director Sir Peter Hall was recognised with this year's Special Award for his lifetime's achievement, which has included the founding and steering of the RSC and National Theatre as well as the direction of over 30 West End productions in the past 10 years. In accepting the award, Hall thanked his producer Bill Kenwright twice but went on to comment on his famous rift with the impresario whose withdrawal of funding has now spelt the end of Hall's residency at the Piccadilly Theatre. 'We had a right royal row which proves to me that commerce thinks more about the deal than it does about the work,' said Hall.

    Other major awards included Best New Comedy which went to Terry Johnson's Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick at the RNT's Lyttelton, Best Entertainment which went to the Right Size for Do You Come Here Often? at the Vaudeville and Best Supporting Performance which went to Brendan Coyle in Conor McPherson's The Weir at the Royal Court.

    The announcement of the award for Best New Play was withheld until the televised broadcast on Monday night. The winner will be given the award in a surprise presentation over the weekend. The strong favourite is the RNT production of Michael Frayn's Copenhagen which has now transferred to the West End's Duchess. If it wins, it will bring the RNT total up nine awards.

    The ceremony, presented by chat show host Clive Anderson, is televised on BBC2 next Monday, 15 February at 7.30pm in a programme that will combine the awards presentation with the highlights of the year in London theatre. For a full list of this year's nominations, the 1999 Olivier Nominations feature.


    Winners

    Best New Play Back to the top
  • The Weir by Conor McPherson at the Royal Court
  • Best New Comedy Back to the top
    Olivier Awards Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick by Terry Johnson at the RNT Lyttelton
    Best New Musical Back to the top
    Olivier Awards Kat and the Kings at the Vaudeville
    Best Musical Production Back to the top
    Olivier Awards Oklahoma! at the RNT Olivier
    Best Entertainment Back to the top
    Olivier Awards The Right Size in Do You Come Here Often? at the Vaudeville
    Best Actor Back to the top
    Olivier Awards Kevin Spacey, The Iceman Cometh at the Almeida and the Old Vic
    Best Actress Back to the top

    Olivier Awards Eileen Atkins, The Unexpected Man
    Best Supporting Performance Back to the top

    Olivier Awards Brendan Coyle, The Weir
    Best Actor in a Musical Back to the top
    Olivier Awards Entire Cast, Kat and the Kings
    Best Actress in a Musical Back to the top
    Olivier Awards Sophie Thompson, Into the Woods
    Best Supporting Performance in a Musical Back to the top
    Olivier Awards Shuler Hensley, Oklahoma!
    Best Director Back to the top
    Olivier Awards Howard Davies, The Iceman Cometh
    Best Theatre Choreographer Back to the top
    Olivier Awards Susan Stroman, Oklahoma!
    Best Costume Designer Back to the top
    Olivier Awards William Dudley, Amadeus at the Old Vic and London Cuckolds at RNT
    Best Lighting Designer Back to the top
    Olivier Awards Hugh Vanstone, The Blue Room and The Unexpected Man
    Best Set Designer Back to the top
    Olivier Awards Anthony Ward, Oklahoma!
    Best New Dance Production Back to the top
    Olivier Awards Ballett Frankfurt's Enemy in the Figure, Sadler's Wells
    Outstanding Achievement in Dance Back to the top
    Olivier Awards William Forsythe and his company for their Sadler's Wells season Bill T. Jones and his company for We Set Out Early...Visibility Was Poor
    Best New Opera Production Back to the top
    Olivier Awards Welsh National Opera's La Clemenza di Tito at the Shaftesbury
    Outstanding Achievement in Opera Back to the top
    Olivier Awards The Orchestra of the ROH for its consistently outstanding musicianship in Royal Opera's Le Nozze di Figaro at the Shaftesbury, The Bartered Bride and The Golden Cockerel at Sadler's Wells
    Back to the Top Back to the top