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Sunday in the Park with George revival sweeps board at Oliviers

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A revival of Stephen Sondheim’s 1984 musical Sunday in the Park with George, which began life in the 150-seat Southwark venue The Menier Chocolate Factory, has dominated this year’s Laurence Olivier Awards.

The production, which transferred to West End venue the Wyndham’s Theatre, triumphed in five out of the six categories it was nominated in, picking up Outstanding Musical Production, Best Lighting Design and Best Set Design, as well as Best Actress in a Musical for Jenna Russell and Best Actor in a Musical for Daniel Evans.

All of the West End’s so-called ‘big’ musicals went home empty-handed, with Wicked, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Evita, Avenue Q and The Sound of Music all failing to pick up any awards, despite Spamalot being nominated in seven categories.

In fact, only two shows which are still running in the West End received recognition. Cabaret won Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical for Sheila Hancock and Best Theatre Choreographer for Javier de Frutos, while The 39 Steps was recognised as Best New Comedy.

Meanwhile, David Harrower’s Blackbird was another surprise winner in the category of Best New Play, beating off strong competition from Tom Stoppard’s Rock’n’Roll, The Seafarer by Conor McPherson and Frost/Nixon by Peter Morgan. Tony Kushner’s Caroline, Or Change received the award for Best New Musical.

This year’s Special Award was given to opera singer Sir John Tomlinson “for his definitive interpretations of a wide variety of roles for the bass voice across the operatic repertoire”.

Rosemary Squire, president of the Society of London Theatre, commented: “This year’s Laurence Olivier Awards demonstrate that London theatre offers a wealth of talent across new productions and revivals, unparalleled around the world. The enormous variety of shows in London means that there is something for theatregoers of all ages and interests, proving yet again that the London theatre scene is second to none.”

For more see this week’s print edition of The Stage.

The results in full are:

Best Lighting Design: Natasha Chivers and Mike Robertson – Sunday in the Park with George, Wyndham’s.

Best Sound Design: Gareth Fry – Waves, Cottesloe.

Best Theatre Choreographer: Javier De Frutos – Cabaret, Lyric.

Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical: Sheila Hancock – Cabaret, Lyric.

Best Costume Design: Alison Chitty – The Voysey Inheritance, Lyttelton.

Best Set Design: David Farley and Timothy Bird – Sunday in the Park with George, Wyndham’s.

Best New Dance Production: The Royal Ballet’s Chroma, Royal Opera House.

Outstanding Achievement in Dance: Carlos Acosta for his programme of work and his performances at Sadler’s Wells.

Best Actress: Tamsin Greig – Much Ado About Nothing, Novello.

Best Actor: Rufus Sewell – Rock ‘n’ Roll, Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court and the Duke of York’s.

Outstanding Musical Production: Sunday in the Park with George music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine, Wyndham’s.

The Society’s Special Award: Sir John Tomlinson.

Outstanding Achievement or Performance in an Affiliate Theatre: Pied Piper at Theatre Royal, Stratford East.

Best Director: Dominic Cooke – The Crucible, Gielgud.

Best New Opera Production: English National Opera’s Jenufa, London Coliseum.

Outstanding Achievement in Opera: Amanda Roocroft – English National Opera’s Jenufa, London Coliseum.

Best Performance in a Supporting Role: Jim Norton – The Seafarer, Cottesloe.

Best Revival: The Crucible by Arthur Miller, Gielgud.

Best New Comedy: John Buchan’s The 39 Steps, adapted by Patrick Barlow from an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon at the Criterion.

Best New Play: Blackbird by David Harrower at the Albery.

Best Actor in a Musical: Daniel Evans – Sunday in the Park with George, Wyndham’s.

Best Actress in a Musical: Jenna Russell – Sunday in the Park with George, Wyndham’s.

Best New Musical: Caroline, or Change, book and lyrics by Tony Kushner, music by Jeanine Tesori at the Lyttelton.

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