WhatsOnStage Logo

Ten of the Best: Quotes from the Oliviers acceptance speeches

WhatsOnStage logo
Here's a selection of our favourite ten quotes from the acceptance speeches at last night's Olivier Awards (transcribed by hand in the Opera House, so please excuse slight derivations):

"My agent told me to breathe if I won and my husband told me not to swear (she exhales very slowly with... shiiiiiiiitttt)."
- Nicola Walker, collecting Best Supporting Actress for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

"Don't swear and breathe. I can't breathe and I so want to swear."
- Helen Mirren, collecting Best Actress for The Audience

"The Queen won a BAFTA this year; she's going to be thrilled to win an Olivier too. And I think she deserves it for the most consistent and committed performance of the 20th century."
- Helen Mirren

"We took risks and we thought we were going to fail. That's a testament to the National and to subsidised theatre. We were allowed to think we might fail – and luckily we did alright."
- Marianne Elliott, collecting Best Director for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

"I may have an American accent but I have dual citizenship so I am British all the way."
- Leigh Zimmerman, collecting Best Supporting Performance in a Musical for A Chorus Line

"Well, I'm not sure I deserve this, but I’ve also got sciatica and I don't deserve that either."
- Michael Ball, collecting Best Actor in a Musical for Sweeney Todd

"My husband keeps me balanced. He was at the first rehearsal and the first performance and when I was arranging tickets for the last night, he said 'no, you're alright, I've seen it'."
- Imelda Staunton, collecting Best Actress in a Musical for Sweeney Todd

"It is a show that has been created in the commercial sector. I can't apologise for that."
- Top Hat producer Kenny Wax, collecting Best New Musical

"Well, you know, this has been quite a good evening. I'm a fan of Match of the Day 2 and nice curry, but this is quite good too."
- playwright Simon Stephens collecting, with novelist Mark Haddon, Best New Play for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, the show's seventh and final award of the night

"Some of our shows are still roaming the world, which is very fortunate. It means you have the odd tin of caviar."
- Gillian Lynne, collecting a Special Award, on working with Andrew Lloyd Webber

"I call him Hugh-Bo" (Photo: Dan Wooller)

And here, for good measure, are a selection of our favourite presenter comments:

"It turns out we do still make something in this country... it's called theatre. We do it better than anyone else and it's exported around the world."
- Damian Lewis

"A leading man: someone to look up to who's also sensitive to your needs. That's what we're all looking for."
- Kim Cattrall announcing the award for Best Actor

"We know it's a turkey, but what magnificent plumage."
- Stephen Fry on Michael Frayn flop Look, Look (as told by producer Michael Codron)

- Lee Evans sinking his teeth into a cake replica of the Olivier statuette before presenting Best Director to Marianne Elliott

"There's the little tinker, a perfect little showbiz wannabe. Come in, Sheridan. Can we have the Latvian vote, please?"
- Hugh Bonneville, via live link to co-host Sheridan Smith in Covent Garden Piazza

"Hugh-Bo, as I like to call him."
- Sheridan Smith on co-host Hugh Bonneville

"It is my belief that it's new writing that is the lifeblood of our theatre... These plays show us to ourselves, and you can't ask more of a piece of art."
- Tom Hiddleston, presenting Best New Play

"It feels like a very long time... since we were allowed alcohol."
- Tim Minchin, presenting Best New Musical


Tagged in this Story