7 Olivier Award-Nominated Shows You Should See Now
Theatreland’s most prestigious honours, the Olivier Awards, take place on April 7, and this year’s nominees feature an incredible selection of plays and musicals. Here are seven potential award-winners – check them out before the show and decide which one gets your top prize.
The Lehman Trilogy
Up for five awards, including Best New Play and Best Director, Sam Mendes’s remarkable production covers 150 years with just three actors. Simon Russell Beale, Ben Miles, and Adam Godley play numerous characters, telling the story of the Lehman family and demystifying high finance and exploring the history of capitalism. Intimate and epic, informative and entertaining, it’s a bravura triumph.
This original musical has had an inspiring trajectory: from student show at the Edinburgh Fringe through to West End smash. Rightly, the whole ensemble of queens – the six wives of Henry VIII, who take back control of the narrative via slick contemporary numbers – are nominated together, and there are also deserved nods for the playful score and arrangements, sassy choreography, and Tudor-meets-pop royalty costumes.
All About Eve
Ivo van Hove’s stylish stage version of the iconic 1950 movie pits Gillian Anderson against Lily James – as, respectively, fading star Margo Channing and scheming disciple Eve. It’s Anderson who comes out on top where the Oliviers are concerned, nominated for Best Actress. And it’s fantastic to see recognition, too, for Monica Dolan, both sardonic and heart-rending as Margo’s conflicted friend. Bonus: You can enter the front-row Lottery on TodayTix for TK tickets.
Can Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer winner add a Best New Play Olivier to its awards haul? Coming to the West End following a sold-out Donmar Warehouse run, this gripping portrait of factory workers facing redundancy in the Rust Belt town of Reading, Penn., speaks powerfully to our current divisions. The acclaimed Donmar cast, led by Martha Plimpton, Leanne Best, and Clare Perkins, reprise their roles.
Come from Away
This stirring Canadian musical leads the pack with nine Olivier nominations (tied with “Company”) – two more noms than at the Tonys, where it won for Christopher Ashley’s direction. Irene Sankoff and David Hein’s tale of the small Newfoundland town that embraced plane passengers diverted on 9/11, taking strangers into their hearts and homes, offers an example of kindness and hope when we need it most.
Jonathan Church’s 50th-anniversary production of Arthur Miller’s play is up for Best Revival, plus Best Supporting Actor for Adrian Lukis and Best Actor for David Suchet. In a brilliant vaudevillian turn, the latter plays the wily second-hand dealer brought in to appraise two estranged brothers’ family belongings – items that stir up past resentments, choices and sacrifices, set against the backdrop of the Great Depression.
Katori Hall’s Tina Turner bio-musical, directed by Phyllida Lloyd, traces the singer’s life from humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tenn., to her discovery and then abuse by Ike Turner, through to her triumphant solo career. Adrienne Warren, mesmerising belting out indelible songs like “Proud Mary” and “River Deep, Mountain High,” is nominated, as is co-star Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, plus the show’s up for Best New Musical.