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“Bonkers” Olivier win for Willows

Published 16 April 2014

Director and choreographer Will Tuckett has described the experience of collecting an Olivier Award as “bonkers” after his family production of The Wind In The Willows took home the award for Best Entertainment and Family at the Olivier Awards with MasterCard on Sunday.

Tuckett’s acclaimed adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s classic riverbank adventure saw off fierce competition in an eclectic category that included Derren Brown’s latest show Infamous, Barry Humphries’ Farewell Tour Eat, Pray, Laugh! and Morecambe and Wise comedy Eric And Little Ern.

As the director came backstage after accepting the award, he told Official London Theatre: “I am utterly thrilled. It’s a weird one because it’s a 12-year-old show, it’s just it’s the first time it came into the West End, so that’s really nice.”

Grahame’s tale about the escapades of reckless Toad and his long-suffering friends first premiered at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre more than a decade ago. Since then it has received three revivals at the venue and transferred to the Duchess Theatre, a run that resulted in its Olivier Award win.

Tuckett, who is more accustomed to dancing on stage at the Royal Opera House than making winners’ speeches, described the experience as “odd” before going on to talk about the accolade’s esteemed reputation. “It’s one of the most prestigious awards in the world in terms of what one can win. It’s one of those awards that in the West End, in London and in the UK, you can’t really do better.”

As Tuckett left to continue the celebrations, he told us that he hoped the show would return yet again to entertain London audiences with its unique combination of dance, song, music and puppetry in the future.

The Wind In The Willows wasn’t the only family to triumph on the night. Hit family musical Charlie And The Chocolate Factory took home two awards for its incredible costumes and lighting, and Les Misérables collected the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award.

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