Tonight we celebrated the best of British theatre. And although the whole evening was a joy, some moments stood out among the rest. Here are some of our favourite moments of the night.
The Hottest Cold Open
It needs no introduction, so it got no introduction: the smash hit Hamilton opened the show with its own opening number, Alexander Hamilton, and the auditorium roared its support. With a record-breaking 13 nominations, Hamilton closed out the night with 7 total wins, including Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, and Mastercard Best New Musical.
Extra Steps for Denise’s Speech
Ophelia Lovibond accepted the Best Actress in a Supporting Role statue on behalf of winner Denise Gough (who is busy reprising her winning role on Broadway). Ophelia got all the way to the stage over the applause and intro music without Denise’s acceptance speech! She dutifully tromped back to her seat, in her fab red frock, to get the right piece of paper, which highlighted the work and mission of Era 50:50.
Hostess With the Mostess
Everything about Catherine Tate – the daisy dress, the do-overs and slip-ups (“Theatre Royal Hamilton”, anyone?), the Act 2 apology to those listening live on Magic FM– kept the audience in stitches and the show clipping along. Catherine made sure the show was a blast.
A swarm of Tap Dancers! The company of 42nd Street brought a sea of glitz to the stage, led by Claire Halse. 49 actors means 98 tap shoes – but does anybody want to estimate how many sequins were onstage?
A Quick Jaunt to Sheffield
The cast of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie welcomed the crowd at Royal Albert Hall back from the interval with a burst of energy and those iconic blue school blazers. The audience was dancing in their rows and grooving to that unforgettable chorus, “and you don’t even know it”!
— Olivier Awards (@OlivierAwards) April 8, 2018
A Quick Jaunt to Minnesota
Sheila Atim’s performance of Tight Connection To My Heart, from Girl From The North Country, tugged at all of our hearts. As a quieter moment in the programme, the song stood out. Host Catherine Tate was so moved that she had to rethink all of her less than complimentary opinions about Bob Dylan!
Lacamoire Sings Miranda
Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda couldn’t make it to the ceremony tonight, but he sent his thanks to be delivered by the show’s brilliant Orchestrator, Alex Lacamoire – to the tune of My Favourite Things, from The Sound of Music! So Alex sang Lin’s ode to the UK, expressed his doubts about how his musical about the Yanks’ rebellion would play in King George’s land, and thanked his family for their love and support.
Sheila’s Big Win
We won’t call it an upset, because nobody’s upset about it, but when Girl From the North Country’s Sheila Atim took home the Best Supporting Actress in a Musical award, the audience roared with joyful surprise. Sheila’s speech highlighted the work of Time’s Up and Era 50:50, and included a special and ecstatic shout-out to her mum.
It Was Red and Yellow and Green and Brown and…
The show’s finale was everything we hoped it would be. Jason Donovan, Linzi Hateley, Lee Mead, Preeya Kalidas, Joe McElderry, Danielle Hope and––of course––a chorus of schoolchildren took us all back to Egypt (or maybe Canaan) with a medley from Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. There was confetti, there was belting, and the show closed on a truly high note.