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Hairspray smashes Laurence Olivier Award record

Published April 17, 2008

Laurence Olivier Award nominees Michael Ball (left) and Leanne Jones (right)
Hairspray has broken the Laurence Olivier Award record for the most nominated single production in one year, receiving a staggering 11 nominations across 10 categories. The Donmar Warehouse’s Parade is the second most recognised production, picking up seven of the venue’s total 13 nominations. National Theatre productions received 15 nominations, of which War Horse accounted for six.

Hairspray is nominated for Best New Musical, Best Actress In A Musical (Leanne Jones), Best Actor In A Musical (Michael Ball), Best Performance In A Supporting Role In A Musical (Tracie Bennett and Elinor Collett), Best Director (Jack O’Brien), Best Theatre Choreographer (Jerry Mitchell) and all the design categories. By reaching 11 nominations, it eclipses the previous record of nine held by Carousel (1993), Oklahoma! (1999) and Kiss Me, Kate (2002).

Nominated alongside Hairspray in the much-coveted Best New Musical category are The Drowsy Chaperone, The Lord Of The Rings and Parade, productions that are also present in many of the musical theatre categories.

Last year’s Best Supporting Performance In A Musical nominee and new Maria in The Sound Of Music, Summer Strallen, is nominated for Best Actress In A Musical for her performance in The Drowsy Chaperone. Also nominated in this category are Jones, Lara Pulver (Parade) and Sheridan Smith (Little Shop Of Horrors).

The Best Actor In A Musical category features similar productions, with Parade’s Bertie Carvel, The Drowsy Chaperone’s Bob Martin and Hairspray’s Ball nominated alongside Henry Goodman for his portrayal of Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof.

Best Performance In A Supporting Role In A Musical is dominated by Hairspray’s Bennett and Collett, who share the category with Shaun Escoffery (Parade) and Alistair McGowan (Little Shop Of Horrors).

Patrick Stewart, who has already been victorious at the Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards, faces stiff Shakespearean opposition in the Best Actor category, as Ian McKellen (King Lear) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Othello) are also nominated. John Simm (Elling) and Mark Rylance (Boeing Boeing), who impressed with their comic performances, complete a strong group.

The Best Actress category is similarly strong. Anne-Marie Duff (Saint Joan) and Fiona Shaw (Happy Days),who both appeared at the National, vie for the award with Kelly Reilly (Othello) and Penelope Wilton (John Gabriel Borkman), who both performed at the Donmar Warehouse. The category is completed by Kristin Scott Thomas for her performance in the Royal Court’s The Seagull.

Best Performance In A Supporting Role is contested by multi-Laurence Olivier Award winner Conleth Hill (Philistines), Michelle Fairley (Othello), Pam Ferris (The Entertainer) and Rory Kinnear (The Man Of Mode).

The impressive title of Best New Play will go to one of A Disappearing Number, The Reporter, Vernon God Little or War Horse. Best New Comedy is contested by Absurdia: The Crimson Hotel, Elling, Rafta Rafta and Whipping It Up.

The wealth of new acting talent on the London stage in 2007 has led to a new category being created for this year’s Laurence Olivier Awards. The Best Newcomer In A Play award will be given to David Dawson (Nicholas Nickleby), Stephen Wight (Dealer’s Choice) or Tom Hiddleston (Cymbeline and Othello).

War Horse received six nominationsWar Horse received six nominationsThe Best Director category is split evenly between musicals and plays. First-time director Rob Ashford is nominated for Parade alongside Jack O’Brien (Hairspray), Rupert Goold (Macbeth) and Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris (War Horse). Ashford is also nominated for Best Theatre Choreographer, as is Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray), Casey Nicholaw (The Drowsy Chaperone) and Toby Sedgwick (War Horse).

The winners of the 2008 Laurence Olivier Awards will be announced at a glamorous ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel on 9 March, where the West End’s leading actors, directors, producers and practitioners will come together to celebrate 2007’s record-breaking year of London theatre. The best minute-by-minute coverage of the event will come, of course, from this very website.

MA

Full list of nominations below:

Best Actress
Anne-Marie Duff for SAINT JOAN at the National Olivier
Kelly Reilly for OTHELLO at the Donmar Warehouse
Kristin Scott Thomas for THE SEAGULL at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court
Fiona Shaw for HAPPY DAYS at the National Lyttelton
Penelope Wilton for JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN at the Donmar Warehouse

Best Actor
Chiwetel Ejiofor for OTHELLO at the Donmar Warehouse
Ian McKellen for KING LEAR at the New London
Mark Rylance for BOEING-BOEING at the Comedy
John Simm for ELLING at the Trafalgar Studio 1
Patrick Stewart for MACBETH at the Gielgud

Best Performance In A Supporting Role
Michelle Fairley for OTHELLO at the Donmar Warehouse
Pam Ferris for THE ENTERTAINER at the Old Vic
Conleth Hill for PHILISTINES at the National Lyttelton
Rory Kinnear for THE MAN OF MODE at the National Olivier

Best Newcomer In A Play
David Dawson for THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF NICHOLAS NICKLEBY at the Gielgud
Tom Hiddleston for CYMBELINE at the Barbican
Tom Hiddleston for OTHELLO at the Donmar Warehouse
Stephen Wight for DEALER’S CHOICE at the Trafalgar Studio 1

Best New Play
A DISAPPEARING NUMBER by Simon McBurney at the Barbican
THE REPORTER by Nicholas Wright at the National Cottesloe
VERNON GOD LITTLE by DBC Pierre, adapted by Tanya Ronder at the Young Vic
WAR HORSE based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford at the National Olivier

Best New Comedy
ABSURDIA: THE CRIMSON HOTEL by Michael Frayn at the Donmar Warehouse
ELLING based on a novel by Ingvar Ambjørnsen, stage adaptation by Axel Hellstenius in collaboration with Peter Næss translated by Nicholas Norris, adapted by Simon Bent at the Trafalgar Studio 1
RAFTA RAFTA by Ayub Khan-Din based on All In Good Time by Bill Naughton at the National Lyttelton
WHIPPING IT UP by Steve Thompson at the New Ambassadors (now Ambassadors)

Best Revival
BOEING-BOEING by Marc Camoletti, translated by Beverley Cross at the Comedy
DEALER’S CHOICE by Patrick Marber at Trafalgar Studio 1
MACBETH by William Shakespeare at the Gielgud
SAINT JOAN by Bernard Shaw at the National Olivier
THE SEAGULL by Anton Chekhov, in a version by Christopher Hampton at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court

Best New Musical
THE DROWSY CHAPERONE music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar at the Novello
HAIRSPRAY book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, based upon the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters
THE LORD OF THE RINGS book and lyrics by Shaun McKenna and Matthew Warchus, music by AR Rahman, Värttinä with Christopher Nightingale at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
PARADE book by Alfred Uhry, music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, co-conceived by Harold Prince at the Donmar Warehouse

Best Musical Revival
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF book by Joseph Stein, music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick at the Savoy
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS based on the film by Roger Corman, screenplay by Charles Griffiths, book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken at the Duke of York’s and Ambassadors
THE MAGIC FLUTE – IMPEMPE YOMLINGO adapted from Mozart by Mark Dornford-May, words and music by Mandisi Dyantyis, Mbali Kgosidintsi, Pauline Malefane and Nolufefe Mtshabe at the Young Vic

Best Actress In A Musical
Leanne Jones for HAIRSPRAY at the Shaftesbury
Lara Pulver for PARADE at the Donmar Warehouse
Sheridan Smith for LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at the Duke of York’s and Ambassadors
Summer Strallen for THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at the Novello

Best Actor In A Musical
Michael Ball for HAIRSPRAY at the Shaftesbury
Bertie Carvel for PARADE at the Donmar Warehouse
Henry Goodman for FIDDLER ON THE ROOF at the Savoy
Bob Martin for THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at the Novello

Best Performance In A Supporting Role In A Musical
Tracie Bennett for HAIRSPRAY at the Shaftesbury
Elinor Collett for HAIRSPRAY at the Shaftesbury
Shaun Escoffery for PARADE at the Donmar Warehouse
Alistair McGowan for LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at the Duke of York’s and Ambassadors

Best Director
Rob Ashford for PARADE at the Donmar Warehouse
Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris for WAR HORSE at the National Olivier
Rupert Goold for MACBETH at the Gielgud
Jack O’Brien for HAIRSPRAY at the Shaftesbury

Best Theatre Choreographer
Rob Ashford for PARADE at the Donmar Warehouse
Jerry Mitchell for HAIRSPRAY at the Shaftesbury
Casey Nicholaw for THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at the Novello
Toby Sedgwick for WAR HORSE at the National Olivier

Best Lighting Design
HAIRSPRAY designed by Kenneth Posner at the Shaftesbury
THE LORD OF THE RINGS designed by Paul Pyant at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
MACBETH designed by Howard Harrison at the Gielgud
WAR HORSE designed by Paule Constable at the National Olivier

Best Set Design
HAIRSPRAY designed by David Rockwell at the Shaftesbury
THE LORD OF THE RINGS designed by Rob Howell at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
MACBETH designed by Anthony Ward and Lorna Heavey at the Gielgud
WAR HORSE designed by Rae Smith and Handspring Puppet Company at the National Olivier

Best Costume Design
THE DROWSY CHAPERONE designed by Gregg Barnes at the Novello
HAIRSPRAY designed by William Ivey Long at the Shaftesbury
THE LORD OF THE RINGS designed by Rob Howell at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
THE MAN OF MODE designed by Vicki Mortimer at the National Olivier

Best Sound Design
HAIRSPRAY designed by Steve C Kennedy at the Shaftesbury
THE LORD OF THE RINGS designed by Simon Baker at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
PARADE designed by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster for Autograph at the Donmar Warehouse
SAINT JOAN designed by Paul Arditti with music by Jocelyn Pook at the National Olivier
WAR HORSE designed by Christopher Shutt with music by Adrian Sutton and John Tams at the National Olivier

Outstanding Achievement In An Affiliate Theatre
THE BROTHERS SIZE at the Maria, Young Vic
CINDERELLA at Theatre Royal, Stratford East
GONE TOO FAR at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court
The cast of THAT FACE at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court

Best New Opera Production
English National Opera’s AGRIPPINA at the London Coliseum
The Royal Opera’s LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT at the Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera’s PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE at the Royal Opera House
English National Opera’s TURN OF THE SCREW at the London Coliseum

Outstanding Achievement In Opera
Natalie Dessay for her performance in LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT at the Royal Opera House
Gerald Finley for his performance in PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE at the Royal Opera House
Angelika Kirchschlager for her performance in PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE at the Royal Opera House
David McVicar for directing English National Opera’s TURN OF THE SCREW and AGRIPPINA at the London Coliseum

Best New Dance Production
Fabulous Beast Dance’s THE BULL at the Barbican
The Royal Ballet’s JEWELS at the Royal Opera House
Mark Morris Dance Group’s MOZART DANCES at the Barbican
Northern Ballet Theatre’s THE THREE MUSKETEERS at Sadler’s Wells

Outstanding Achievement In Dance
Savion Glover for his performance in LIVE FOR LONDON at Sadler’s Wells
Jonathan Goddard for his performances with the Richard Alston Dance Company at Sadler’s Wells
The Royal Ballet Company for their performances in JEWELS
Wendy Whelan for her performance in The Christopher Wheeldon Company’s FOOL’S PARADISE at Sadler’s Wells

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