It’s that time of year again – following the beginning of the awards season, the Olivier board have announced the nominations for the 2017 awards. Leading the pack is, quite predictably, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but Travesties, The Glass Menagerie, Funny Girl, Dreamgirls and Groundhog Day have all received plenty of nods. Expect some Oscar-level controversy (or rather a stoic British version of controversy) at the ceremony which takes place at the Royal Albert Hall on 9th April.
Take a look at the nominations below, as well as my predictions for the winners!
Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical
- Ian Bartholomew for Half A Sixpence at Noël Coward Theatre
- Adam J Bernard for Dreamgirls at Savoy Theatre
- Ben Hunter for The Girls at Phoenix Theatre
- Andrew Langtree for Groundhog Day at The Old Vic
Who will win? Aside from Amber Riley, Adam J Bernard was the stand out in Dreamgirls. This isn’t the strongest category on the list of nominations, but Bernard is certainly the most applauded on it.
Who should win? It’s Bernard for me too. Hands down the best male performance in the production, and certainly one of the best supporting male performances I’ve seen in the West End this year.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical
- Haydn Gwynne for The Threepenny Opera at National Theatre – Olivier
- Victoria Hamilton-Barritt for Murder Ballad at Arts Theatre
- Rebecca Trehearn for Show Boat at New London Theatre
- Emma Williams for Half A Sixpence at Noël Coward Theatre
Who will win? Given Half a Sixpence’s poor performance in getting nominated, don’t be too surprised to see Emma Williams win this one. She’s had a good run of work, and the Olivier board may decide it’s time to show recognition of that.
Who should win? Shamefully I’ve only seen two of these but, of those, Rebecca Trehearn is hands down the winner, bringing a maturity and gravitas to Show Boat.
Best Theatre Choreographer
- Matthew Bourne for The Red Shoes at Sadler’s Wells
- Peter Darling and Ellen Kane for Groundhog Day at The Old Vic
- Steven Hoggett for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
- Drew McOnie for Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Who will win? Drew McOnie is the man of the moment, and this year includes a roster of productions he is working on. Last year it was his work in Jesus Christ Superstar that helped get the production some incredible reviews.
Who should win? In my mind, Steven Hoggett should be a shoe in. His choreography on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child may not have been the most complex, but what it did do was cleverly set the pace of the production. Who’d have thought dance sequences and wizards would be so well matched?!
Magic Radio Best Musical Revival
- Funny Girl at Savoy Theatre
- Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
- Show Boat at New London Theatre
- Sunset Boulevard at London Coliseum
Who will win? Jesus Christ Superstar was a surprise success over the summer and received some of the best reviews of the year. I’m expecting this to win over the more obvious revivals of Funny Girl and Sunset Boulevard.
Who should win? Show Boat transferred into London from Sheffield and was a little like marmite for many. Still, there’s no questioning the production was completely top notch and it had a flawless cast.
Best Actor in a Musical
- David Fynn for School Of Rock The Musical at New London Theatre
- Tyrone Huntley for Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
- Andy Karl for Groundhog Day at The Old Vic
- Charlie Stemp for Half A Sixpence at Noël Coward Theatre
Who will win? Tyrone Huntley made a big impression in Open Air Theatre’s Jesus Christ Superstar, and given it’s the least commercial production on the list, Huntley is a strong possibility.
Who should win? Andy Karl was crucial to Groundhog Day’s success, and in the hands of a less capable leading the man, the production would have struggled, so my vote goes to Karl.
Best Actress in a Musical
- Glenn Close for Sunset Boulevard at London Coliseum
- “The Girls” – Debbie Chazen, Sophie-Louise Dann, Michele Dotrice, Claire Machin, Claire Moore and Joanna Riding – for The Girls at Phoenix Theatre
- Amber Riley for Dreamgirls at Savoy Theatre
- Sheridan Smith for Funny Girl at Savoy Theatre
Who will win? There was plenty of controversy around Sheridan Smith’s Funny Girl and I’m expecting that to go against her. Instead I wouldn’t be surprised to see fellow Savoy dweller Amber Riley win.
Who should win? Glenn Close returned to Sunset Boulevard in a musical event like no other. And while the production wasn’t perfect, her performance was. Given the production is now almost a year old, it’s unlikely Close will get the recognition for it – especially if she doesn’t pop back over to London for the ceremony.
- The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s Theatre
- This House at Garrick Theatre
- Travesties at Apollo Theatre
- Yerma at Young Vic
Who will win? In this category, The Glass Menagerie and Yerma have potentially been overhyped, and the praise they have received has been more about individual performance, so I’m anticipating a win for Travesties.
Who should win? In a shock turn of events, I’m yet to see any of the nominees, so can’t really comment.
Blue-i Theatre Technology Award for Best Set Design
- Bob Crowley for Disney’s Aladdin at Prince Edward Theatre
- Bob Crowley for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s Theatre
- Rob Howell for Groundhog Day at The Old Vic
- Christine Jones for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
Who will win? It’s a double nomination for Bob Crowley, and I’m expecting him to be successful after much praise for his work on The Glass Menagerie. Let’s just brush past the dire design for Aladdin…
Who should win? I’m yet to see The Glass Menagerie, but from what I’ve seen this is the most deserving of the nominations.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
- Anthony Boyle for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
- Freddie Fox for Travesties at Apollo Theatre
- Brian J. Smith for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s Theatre
- Rafe Spall for Hedda Gabler at National Theatre – Lyttelton
Who will win? Freddie Fox has been singled out as one of the stars of Travesties, so don’t be surprised if his name gets pulled out of the envelope (not that that means anything these days…).
Who should win? I’ve not seen Fox’s performance yet, but it would be a shame for Anthony Boyle to be overlooked, given that he was hands down one of the strongest members of the Harry Potter cast.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
- Melissa Allan, Caroline Deyga, Kirsty Findlay, Karen Fishwick, Kirsty MacLaren, Frances Mayli McCann, Joanne McGuinness and Dawn Sievewright for Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour at National Theatre – Dorfman
- Noma Dumezweni for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
- Clare Foster for Travesties at Apollo Theatre
- Kate O’Flynn for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s Theatre
Who will win? Nona Dumezweni could find herself with this one. There was a fair bit of controversy at her casting and Dumezweni proved the naysayers firmly wrong, garnering some great reviews.
Who should win? The girls from Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour. While the production had plenty of faults, the strength of the cast wasn’t one of them. There is some debate about the presence of all the actresses on the nominations list, but in my opinion this one makes sense.
- Ed Harris for Buried Child at Trafalgar Studios 1
- Tom Hollander for Travesties at Apollo Theatre
- Ian McKellen for No Man’s Land at Wyndham’s Theatre
- Jamie Parker for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
Who will win? Given that the role of Harry Potter in Cursed Child is only just a leading performance, I’m expecting this to be one award the play doesn’t take home. Instead Tom Hollander could find himself getting the gong.
Who should win? Having seen McKellen and Parker, both were solid performances but not award winning. So it’s a Harris vs Hollander race for me.
- Glenda Jackson for King Lear at The Old Vic
- Cherry Jones for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s Theatre
- Billie Piper for Yerma at Young Vic
- Ruth Wilson for Hedda Gabler at National Theatre – Lyttelton
Who will win? I would be very surprised not to see Billie Piper take home the award. There’s been a huge buzz around her performance, and the Young Vic has even scheduled in a return for the production in 2017.
Who should win? Having not seen any of these performances I’m perhaps not the best person to make the call, but part of me would like to see Cherry Jones win because of her dedication to this role.
- Simon Stone for Yerma at Young Vic
- John Tiffany for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
- John Tiffany for The Glass Menagerie at Duke of York’s Theatre
- Matthew Warchus for Groundhog Day at The Old Vic
Who will win? Clearly it is John Tiffany’s year with both Harry Potter and The Glass Menagerie receiving so many nominations. But there’s a big however! Simon Stone’s Yerma has been a surprise hit and so I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets the award.
Who should win? Given Tiffany’s incredible year and double nomination, it would be a shame for him not to take this one home. If I had to make the call, it would be for Harry Potter, which has well and truly broadened the spectrum of what is possible on stage.
Virgin Atlantic Best New Play
- Elegy at Donmar Warehouse
- The Flick at National Theatre – Dorfman
- Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
- One Night In Miami… at Donmar Warehouse
Who will win? Harry Potter, of course! With 11 nominations, no other production has anywhere near that number and so it would be a crying shame for it not to take home the big one.
Who should win? Harry Potter – Sonia Friedman took a massive gamble in bringing this to the stage, and created a production that is the hottest thing to arrive in London in years. And it is actually very good!
Mastercard Best New Musical
- Dreamgirls at Savoy Theatre
- The Girls at Phoenix Theatre
- Groundhog Day at The Old Vic
- School Of Rock The Musical at New London Theatre
Who will win? This is a tough one but given that the press were largely fangirling over the arrival of Dreamgirls, I’m expecting that to win on the night – even if some are querying whether ‘new’ is the right term for something that was created back in 1981.
Who should win? Groundhog Day. It’s becoming increasingly rare for the West End to see new musical material that hasn’t transferred from Broadway. This Old Vic production took a chance and went with it, and the London theatre scene was all the better for its presence.
So what do you reckon? What do you think is missing from the list? Any nominations have you riled up? Pop a comment below and let me know.