9 Award-Winning Shows to Celebrate Awards Season
With the BAFTAs and the Oscars right around the corner, we’re already deep into the glitziest and glammest time of year – awards season. These early months are meant for celebrating the best of the best, and right now there’s plenty of award-winning theatre in London just waiting to win you over as well.
The Oliviers and the Tonys will be here before you know it so hurry to get caught up with these acclaimed masterpieces.
This joyful and moving new play is a debut work from Natasha Gordon, earning her the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright. Before premiering on the West End, the critically adored play sold out its run at the National Theatre.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
The magical phenomenon sells out seats every night at the Palace Theatre and is the current record-holder for most Olivier Awards ever earned by a West End production, winning a total of nine awards when it premiered in 2017. The spellbinding play also enchanted theatre critics in New York earning six Tony Awards for its 2018 Broadway premiere.
The improvised musical “Showstopper!” may have a completely different book and score for every single performance but that didn’t stop it from earning the 2016 Olivier Award for Best Entertainment and Family Show. The performers have been making up musicals on the spot in and around the West End and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for 11 years, earning them the Mervyn Stutter Spirit of the Fringe Award.
Come From Away
For almost two years “Come From Away” has been gripping Broadway audiences after winning a Tony Award and several honours from the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. The captivating musical, based on true events, is now playing in the West End to spread the inspiring story of one small Canadian community who welcomed strangers during the dark hours of 9/11.
Similar to the average Oscar-winning film, the most critically successful works are often those with darkly compelling historical and political narratives. David Ireland’s new play “Cyprus Avenue” is a biting and disturbing satire whose prior productions have earned Best New Play at the Irish Times Theatre Awards and the 2017 James Tait Black Prize for Drama.
The Book of Mormon
Ever since “The Book of Mormon” swept the Tony Awards with a total of nine wins in 2011 and earned four Olivier Awards for its West End premiere in 2014, the hilarious musical has been delighting both critics and audiences alike. Its writing team also has many statues to their credit. The show was conceived by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the writing team behind the 16-time Emmy Award-winning show “South Park,” and their co-creator Robert Lopez, the youngest EGOT winner (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony) in history. (He’s also EGOTed twice.)
The longest running musical in the West End is also one of most honoured. The first production of this classic story earned eight Tony Awards in 1987, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score. This year, the two-time Olivier winner for Audience Award for Most Popular Show is getting a whole new look. The old production is moving out of the Queen’s Theatre, and the latest touring production with a new cast are moving in.
Matilda the Musical
Tim Minchin’s darkly comic musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book won seven Olivier Awards including Best New Musical when it premiered in 2012, tying only with “Hamilton” for the highest number of Oliviers won by a musical. Its Broadway transfer also earned five Tony Awards, and the magical show is still delighting audiences in the West End years later.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The innovative production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” won seven Olivier Awards and five Tony Awards when it premiered in London and New York respectively. The adaptation of Mark Haddon’s bestselling novel of the same name held the record amount of Oliviers (tied with “Matilda”) until “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” came along with nine wins.