Oliviers Blog: A view from the red carpet & Piazza
On a windy and rather dramatically cold evening, a host of theatrical talents made their way via the glamour of the red carpet to the 37th Annual Olivier Awards.
The first to make their way through the barrage of screaming fans (I understate with the word 'fan' - some people were just absolutely bonkers) was the lovely and ever-glamorous Myleene Klass.
After a rather anti-climatic wait for the rest of the stars to arrive, the suave of Damien Lewis filled fans with joy. One of the most anticipated stars of the evening then made their quirky and kooky way on the carpet; Tim Minchin arrived with one of the loudest and most eager screams from his fan base.
We then were treated to the arrival of the charming Daniel Radcliffe and the impeccable musical theatre pair who will forever steal the hearts (and the awards) of fans - the hilarious and unashamedly stagey Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton.
Then suddenly, the uproar reached its climax with the arrival of someone called Helen Mirren. She stole the red carpet. With a barrage of screams, waves and her headshot being thrown in front of her, she briefly acknowledged her army of admirers and glided regally down the carpet.
The excitement of the carpet finally over, I made my way to the Covent Garden Piazza where charming co-hosts Michael Xavier (musical theatre personified) and Claudia Winkleman awaited.
The audience had already been treated to performances from Billy Elliot, Potted Potter and Wicked stars Louise Dearman and Gina Beck, who sang "For Good" before Dearman had the crowd going crazy for her rendition of "The Wizard and I".
Not forgetting performances from Michael Xavier himself, Phantom of the Opera and a cheerful-but-'naughty' turn from from the Matildas.
All in all, the Olivier Awards are becoming a more popular (and stagey) event as the years go by. With the stars and performances aside, the greatest thing I heard last night were people saying "I've never watched any theatre before, but now I will!"
Events like this make theatre accessible for anyone to enjoy and my hope is that in the next few years, the awards become broadcast live on TV and given the full air time that they deserve. After all, there is nothing better than live theatre!
Hayley Holden was a member of our #WOSOliviers 'Tweet team' - to read our coverage from the night click here