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The Olivier Awards should be screened live

Olivier Awards 2014In this world of technology that we live in it is disgraceful that the leading theatre awards – The Olivier Awards – are not screened live for not only the nation to see, but also theatregoers from around the world. It shouldn’t be only a select few that are able to enjoy those special moments as they happen.

On a weekend where television viewers were given the opportunity to watch the annual event of The Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge, the event to animal cruelty that no one seems to want to own up up as too much money is made – The Grand National, where yet again a horse died, and the Golf Masters – screened live from half-way around the world. Of course Sunday was complete with premiership football, which is great if you like football as I do.

For theatregoers, The Olivier Awards – the premier award and event of the year was relegated to the substitutes bench, with a late evening screening of highlights on ITV. Well thanks ITV for doing that!

Wouldn’t it have been great to have been able to see and hear the acceptance speech in full from Dame Angela Lansbury who said she felt “like a million dollars” after winning her first Olivier Award for her first West End role in nearly 40 years. Dame Angela, 89, won best supporting actress for the role of Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit. Sadly, the show’s editors deemed the full speech not worthy of screening in its entirety – such is the nature of ‘highlights’.

Yes of course the Olivier Awards were tweeted around the world – live – or shortly after it actually happened anyway. And then regurgitated in tweets around the world again as news – and probably again for some time to come. Don’t get me wrong, I like Twitter as much as the next person but rather than having a room full of Tweeters – what about a few people with recording equipment?

Some people argue that the event itself isn’t ‘watchable’ as a live event as it needs editing. If that is the case then get the job done professionally and MAKE IT WATCHABLE live – surely it must be possible? Wait a minute… think Tony Awards. Personally I don’t agree with the argument, as if it is watchable live then it can be screened live.

It goes without saying – a hearty congratulations to all who won awards, and also to those who were nominated. It would however, be good for more people to be able to share and celebrate your success with you as it happens.

For those involved in running the Olivier Awards – thank you for what you do but PLEASE can you get this event shown live and given the credit it deserves!

Petition to Screen the Olivier Awards in its entirety or broadcast live

2015’s  winners included Mark Strong, Penelope Wilton, and Angela Lansbury, director Ivo Van Hove and musical legend Ray Davies. Guests on the night included award presenters Judi Dench, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dianna Agron, Anne-Marie Duff, Emilia Fox, David Harewood and Lorna Luft, who were treated to an array of performances from some of this year’s nominated shows including all the MasterCard Best New Musical and Magic Radio Best Musical Revival nominees.

Olivier Awards
Best revival
A View from the Bridge at the Young Vic and Wyndham’s Theatre

Best new comedy
The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre

Outstanding achievement in an affiliate theatre
Bull at the Maria at the Young Vic

Best lighting design
Howard Harrison for City of Angels at the Donmar Warehouse

Best sound design
Gareth Owen for Memphis: The Musical at Shaftesbury Theatre

Best costume design
Christopher Oram for Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies at Aldwych Theatre

Best set design
Es Devlin for The Nether at Duke of York’s theatre

Best actor in a supporting role
Nathaniel Parker for Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies at the Aldwych Theatre

Best actress in a supporting role
Angela Lansbury for Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre

Best new opera production
The Mastersingers of Nuremberg at London Coliseum

Outstanding achievement in opera
Richard Jones for his direction of The Girl of the Golden West, The Mastersingers of Nuremberg and Rodelinda at London Coliseum

Best new play
King Charles III at the Almeida theatre and Wyndham’s Theatre

Special award
Sylvie Guillem

Best actor
Mark Strong for A View from the Bridge at the Young Vic and Wyndham’s Theatre

Best actress
Penelope Wilton for Taken at Midnight at Theatre Royal Haymarket

Audience award
Wicked at the Apollo Victoria theatre

Best new dance production
32 Rue Vandenbranden By Peeping Tom at the Barbican
Mats Ek’s Juliet and Romeo by Royal Swedish Ballet at Sadler’s Wells

Outstanding achievement in dance
Crystal Pite for her choreography in the productions of The Associates – A Picture of You Falling,
The Tempest Replica and Polaris at Sadler’s Wells

Best entertainment and family
La Soirée at La Soirée Spiegeltent

Best theatre choreographer
Sergio Trujillo for Memphis: The Musical at Shaftesbury Theatre

Best director
Ivo Van Hove for A View from the Bridge at the Young Vic and Wyndham’s theatre

Outstanding achievement in music
Ray Davies for Sunny Afternoon at Hampstead theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre

Best actor in a supporting role in a musical
George Maguire for Sunny Afternoon at Hampstead theatre and Harold Pinter theatre

Best actress in a supporting role in a musical
Lorna Want for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at Aldwych Theatre

Best musical revival
City of Angels at Donmar Warehouse

Best actor in a musical
John Dagleish for Sunny Afternoon at Hampstead theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre

Best actress in a musical
Katie Brayben for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at Aldwych Theatre

Best new musical
Sunny Afternoon at Hampstead theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre

Special award
Kevin Spacey

Visit for full details at http://www.olivierawards.com/awards
You can watch highlights from 12th April (for 29 days) on
https://www.itv.com/itvplayer/search/term/Olivier-awards

#OliviersLive

Monday 13th April 2015

Author

  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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