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Dean John-Wilson in Disney’s Aladdin, playing at the Prince Edward Theatre (Photo: Deen van Meer)

Dean John-Wilson in Disney's Aladdin, playing at the Prince Edward Theatre (Photo: Deen van Meer)

Olivier headlines you may have missed

Published 6 March 2017

It’s Olivier Awards with Mastercard nominations season – and what a collection of nominees to have in the running for theatre’s biggest accolades!

But behind every list of Olivier Awards with Mastercard nominations lies a myriad of stories, statistics and superb successes, in turn prompting a whole host of other reasons to celebrate; we’ve picked out five of the headline triumphs from this year’s exciting selection.

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child in spellbinding record

Alex Price, Paul Thornley, Noma Dumezweni, Jamie Parker and Poppy Miller in Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Alex Price, Paul Thornley, Noma Dumezweni, Jamie Parker and Poppy Miller in Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

And where else to start other than with one of the theatrical events of the year, a certain Harry Potter And The Cursed Child? In garnering 11 nominations, the dual-part play has rounded off a spectacular inaugural year at the Palace Theatre, tying with the current record holder for most nominated production (2008’s incredible Hairspray) and setting the record for most nominated new play ever in the process.

In attaining nominations for Best Actor, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best New Play, Best Set Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Design, Best Director, Best Theatre Choreographer and Outstanding Achievement in Music, the eighth chapter in J.K. Rowling’s magical series has truly cast a spell over London’s Theatreland.

Bob Crowley to Set own record

Dean John-Wilson in Disney's Aladdin, playing at the Prince Edward Theatre (Photo: Deen van Meer)

Dean John-Wilson in Disney’s Aladdin, playing at the Prince Edward Theatre (Photo: Deen van Meer)

Another, perhaps slightly less accentuated, Olivier Awards nomination record tumbled with Monday’s announcement, in the achievement of the renowned American theatre designer and director Bob Crowley.

In scoring two nominations in the Blue-i Theatre Technology Award for Best Set Design this year, for his work on Disney’s Aladdin and The Glass Menagerie, Crowley moved ahead of the likes of Dame Judi Dench and designer William Dudley to claim the mantle of most nominated person in Olivier Award with Mastercard history, a fitting status on these shores for a figure whose exploits on Broadway include seven Tony Award triumphs. Will he add to his statuette collection on Sunday 9 April? We’ll find out at the Royal Albert Hall.

Theatre proves Sir Ian McKellen’s Land 

Ian McKellen in No Man's Land (Photo: Johan Persson)

Ian McKellen in No Man’s Land (Photo: Johan Persson)

Sir Ian McKellen’s unstoppable reign on the British stage continued with the nominations announcement, marking his 10th Olivier nomination – and theatregoers will be keen to see whether his exemplary performance in Harold Pinter power play No Man’s Land will yield his seventh win, one which would move him level with last year’s record-setter Judi Dench.

Either way, the cherished actor has extended his lead at the top of the billing for most nominated Actor in Olivier Awards with Mastercard history, pulling ahead of the likes of Sir Mark Rylance (eight nominations) and Sir Kenneth Branagh (seven). Will we ever see his like again?

Sonia Friedman Productions score 31 nominations

Kate O'Flynn in The Glass Menagerie at the Edinburgh International Festival (Photo: Johan Persson)

Kate O’Flynn in The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s Theatre (Photo: Johan Persson)

Sonia Friedman Productions certainly have plenty to celebrate these days. Having topped The Stage 100 in January, the hugely successful producer has seen her shows attain a whopping 31 nominations in Monday’s list, with current productions such as Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, Dreamgirls, The Glass Menagerie and Travesties featuring prominently across 19 of the 21 theatrical categories, along with earlier hits Funny Girl and Nice Fish.

Furthering this success is sure to be Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour, nominated for two Oliviers, which heads to the West End in May this year in a Sonia Friedman Productions transfer.

Celebrations of newcomers and veterans alike

Glenda Jackson in King Lear at The Old Vic. Photos by Manuel Harlan

Glenda Jackson in King Lear at The Old Vic (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

As always, the Olivier Awards with Mastercard are set to celebrate the very best of London theatre, including performers young and old; this year’s most experienced nominee is Glenda Jackson in the Best Actress category. At 80 years old, Jackson’s portrayal of the eponymous King Lear at The Old Vic resulted in her first nomination since 1984, the year that Laurence Olivier leant his name to the awards.

Chloe May Jackson as Jenny, Ben Hunter as Danny and Josh Benson as Tommo in The Girls (Photo: Matt Crockett, Dewynters)

Chloe May Jackson as Jenny, Ben Hunter as Danny and Josh Benson as Tommo in The Girls (Photo: Matt Crockett, Dewynters)

Meanwhile, at a more tender 19 years old, Hull teenager Ben Hunter’s star turn in Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s musical The Girls at the Phoenix Theatre has earned the fresh-faced thespian a well-deserved nomination in the Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical category, making him the youngest nominee at this year’s Olivier Awards.

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