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Did you know? Facts about the 2012 Olivier Award winners

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This past Sunday, 15 April 2012, marked the 36th Annual Olivier Awards. Returning for their second year as hosts, West End stars Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton, welcomed guests to the Royal Opera House. As per usual, the ceremony was broadcast live for Brits to tune in on the BBC's Red Button.

Newly implemented was the live stream on olivierawards.com and BBC Radio 2 websites. For the first time, the awards reached international audiences enabling millions to watch Matilda The Musical break Olivier records and Tim Rice receive special honor.

Whatsonstage.com has provided full coverage of theatreland’s most prestigious night, from live tweeting to blogger feedback.

In addition to releasing the full names of winners in each category, we have provided a list of fun facts for your reading pleasure.

Best New Play

Collaborators at the NT Cottesloe

  • This is the first Olivier Award for John Hodge
  • This was his first play
  • Screenplays include Trainspotting
  • Collaborators starred Simon Russell Beale and Alex Jennings. It returns to the National Theatre later this month
  • Best Revival

    Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse

  • Starred Jude Law and Ruth Wilson, directed by Rob Ashford
  • Nominated in four categories tonight, including Best Actor and Best Actress

  • Best Entertainment and Family

    Derren BrownSvengali at the Shaftesbury

  • This is Derren Brown’s second Olivier Award win
  • He first won in 2006 for Something Wicked This Way Comes
  • Stage credits also include Mind Reader – An Evening Of Wonders and Derren Brown – Enigma
  • Svengali returns to the Novello theatre in July
  • Best Actress

    Ruth Wilson for Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse

  • Second Olivier Award win (previously won for A Streetcar Named Desire at the Donmar Warehouse in 2010)
  • Soon to be seen in film adaptation of Anna Karenina
  • Previous stage roles include Philistines (National Theatre) and Through A Glass Darkly (Almeida).
  • Best Actor

    Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller for Frankenstein at the Olivier

  • First time either has won an Olivier Award
  • The pair won the Best Actor Award earlier this year at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards
  • Cumberbatch will soon be seen in the upcoming film The Hobbit
  • Lee Miller's previous on-screen roles include US TV series Eli Stone and Dexter
  • Best Performance in a Supporting Role

    Sheridan Smith for Flare Path at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket

  • This is Sheridan Smith’s second Olivier Award win in two years
  • Her previous win was for her role as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, 2011
  • Smith was first nominated for an Olivier Award for Little Shop Of Horrors at the Menier Chocolate Factory
  • Best Actress in a Musical

    The Matildas for Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge (Cleo Demetriou, Kerry Ingram, Sophia Kiely and Eleanor Worthington Cox)

  • Youngest ever winners (aged 10 to12 years old)
  • The Billy Elliots (aged 13 to 15 years old) shared the 2006 Best Actor in a Musical Award
  • Each actress performs two shows a week
  • Best Actor in a Musical

    Bertie Carvel for Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge

  • This is Carvel’s first Olivier Award win
  • Won in the same category earlier this year at the Theatre Awards UK
  • Previous stage credits include Rope (Almeida), The Pride (Royal Court), Parade (Donmar)
  • This marks the third time the Best Actor in a Musical Award has been awarded to a cross-dressing role (previously: Douglas Hodge in 2009 for La Cage Aux Folles and Michael Ball in 2008 in Hairspray)
  • Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical

    Nigel Harman for Shrek The Musical at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

  • This is Nigel Harman’s first Olivier Award win and nomination
  • He won the Theatregoers’ Choice Award earlier this year for the role
  • Shrek The Musical saw him reunite on stage with his Guys And Dolls co-star Nigel Lindsay
  • His other credits include The Caretaker, The Common Pursuit, Public Property and Three Days Of Rain
  • Best New Musical

    Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge

  • Adapted by Dennis Kelly, songs by Tim Minchin, directed by Matthew Warchus
  • Nominated in 10 categories
  • Opens next year on Broadway
  • Best Musical Revival

    Crazy For You at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

  • This is the third Best Musical Revival Olivier Award for Regent’s Park Open Air in three years
  • Previous won in 2011’s for Into The Woods and in 2010 for Hello, Dolly!
  • Crazy For You starred Sean Palmer and Clare Foster
  • The show is nominated in three Olivier Awards 2012 categories
  • Best Director

    Matthew Warchus for Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge

  • This is the first Olivier Award win for Matthew Warchus
  • Matilda The Musical has been nominated for 10 awards this year, the maximum number of nominations possible
  • Warchus also directed the five-time nominated Ghost The Musical
  • Warchus won a Tony Award in 2009 for God Of Carnage
  • His other work in the West End includes Boeing Boeing and The Norman Conquests.
  • Best Theatre Choreographer

    Peter Darling for Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge

  • This is the second time Peter Darling has won the Best Theatre Choreographer Award
  • He won in 2006 for his work on Billy Elliot The Musical
  • This award was one of 10 nominations for Matilda The Musical
  • Matilda The Musical will open on Broadway next spring
  • Best Lighting Design

    Frankenstein designed by Bruno Poet at the Olivier

  • This was one of three nominations tonight for Frankenstein
  • This is Bruno Poet’s first Olivier Award
  • Poet’s work will be seen in production South Downs and The Browning Version at the Harold Pinter theatre, which begins previews next week
  • XL Video Award for Best Set Design

    Matilda The Musical designed by Rob Howell at the Cambridge

  • This is Rob Howell’s third Olivier Award win
  • The designer previously won in 2000 for the RSC’s Richard III, Troilus And Cressida and Vassa, and in 2006 for the Almeida theatre’s Hedda Gabler
  • This is one of 10 cateogories Matilda The Musicalis nominated for
  • Best Costume Design

    Crazy For You designed by Peter McKintosh at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

  • This is Peter McKintosh’s first Olivier Award
  • He was previously nominated in 2010 for the Regent’s Park Open Air theatre’s Hello, Dolly!
  • His other work includes current productions Noises Off and The 39 Steps
  • Best Sound Design

    Matilda The Musical designed by Simon Baker at the Cambridge

  • This is Simon Baker’s first Olivier Award
  • The Sound Designer has worked on over 70 productions
  • These include West End shows The Lord Of The Rings and Brief Encounter, both of which earned him Olivier Award nominations
  • Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre

    Theatre Royal, Stratford East in association with the Barbican and Traverse Theatre for Roadkill

  • Conceived and directed by Cora Bissett
  • This is the second time the Theatre Royal Stratford East has won the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre
  • The theatre won in 2007 for Pied Piper
  • Best New Opera Production

    English National Opera’s Castor and Pollux at the London Coliseum

  • Castor and Pollux was the first Rameau opera to be staged by the ENO
  • The production marked the London operatic debut of director Barrie Kosky
  • Three out of the four nominees in this category were ENO productions
  • Outstanding Achievement in Opera

    ENO for the breadth and diversity of its artistic programme

  • The ENO was nominated against its own colleagues, Amanda Holden for Castor and Pollux and Richard Jones’ for The Tales Of Hoffmann in this category.
  • Nominated for five awards in total
  • Outstanding Achievement in Dance

    Edward Watson for his performance in The Metamorphosis at the Linbury Studio at the Royal Opera House

  • First win for Edward Watson
  • Principal dancer at the Royal Ballet
  • Currently appearing in Polyphonia / Sweet Violets / Carbon Life at the Royal Opera House
  • Best New Dance Production

    DESH by Akram Khan Company at Sadler’s Wells, choreographed by Akram Khan

  • This is Akram Khan’s first Olivier Award
  • The show was inspired by Khan’s homeland Bangladesh
  • Khan was the only performer in the show
  • DESH featured music by Olivier Award-winning composer Jocelyn Pook
  • BBC Radio 2 Olivier Audience Award

    Les Miserables

  • Thousands of theatregoers voted to determine this award. It’s the only award to be decided by the public
  • They take the award from last year’s winner We Will Rock You
  • The musical celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2010
  • The musical has been seen by over 60 million people in 42 countries
  • - Mackenzie Krammer


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