Broadway Musical ‘Hamilton’ Dominates Olivier Awards

by Kim Boateng Posted on April 9th, 2018

London, UK: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway historical hip-hop musical “Hamilton” dominated the Laurence Olivier Awards with seven wins, including outstanding achievement in music, best actor in a musical, and best actor in a supporting role in a musical, at the Royal Albert Hall in London Sunday. The Laurence Olivier Awards – UK’s top theatrical awards – is Britain’s equivalent of the Tony Awards.

The musical about the US founding father Alexander Hamilton received thirteen Olivier Awards nominations. The show, which turns an early chapter of US history into a compellingly modern story, opened in London in December after taking New York by storm.

Jamael Westman gained a best-actor nomination in the title role, but lost out to co-star Giles Terera, who plays Hamilton’s nemesis, Aaron Burr. Terera said it had been “the joy of my life” to perform with the most diverse company he’d ever been part of.

“Diversity is not a policy. It is life,” he said.

Michael Jibson took the supporting-actor trophy for playing colonies-losing British monarch King George III in “Hamilton.”

The show – with a score that ranges from pop ballads and R&B to rap battles – also won Oliviers for outstanding achievement in music, sound, lighting and choreography.

The seven wins didn’t beat the awards’ record haul of nine trophies, set last year by “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”

Coming in with three awards was Jez Butterworth’s drama “The Ferryman,” including best new play, best director for Sam Mendes, and best actress for Laura Donnelly.

Bryan Cranston was named best actor in a play for his National Theatre performance as a news anchorman who snaps in “Network.” The former “Breaking Bad” star beat rivals who included Andrew Garfield, for playing a man with AIDS in the British revival of “Angels in America” and Andrew Scott for the title role of “Hamlet.”

Cranston said the play, based on Paddy Chayefsky’s 1970s screenplay, was highly relevant to the “world of post-truth,” fake news and too much information confronting people today.

The trophy for best actress in a musical went to Shirley Henderson for “Girl from the North Country.” Sheila Atim won the supporting-actress in a musical prize for the same production, a Depression-era drama set to the songs of Bob Dylan.

The National Theatre’s production of “Angels in America,” currently running on Broadway, was named best revival of a play. The British production’s Denise Gough was named best supporting actress for her performance as a Mormon woman in an unhappy marriage.

The National’s lush production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies” won the award for best musical revival.

James Graham’s politics-themed “Labour of Love” was named best new comedy. Bertie Carvel took the supporting actor prize for playing media mogul Rupert Murdoch in another play by Graham, “Ink.”

Named for the late British actor Laurence Olivier, the prizes honor achievements in London theater, musicals, dance and opera. Winners in most categories are chosen by a panel of stage professionals and theatergoers.

The Oliviers have become an increasingly glitzy affair in recent years, awarded at a black-tie ceremony studded with musical numbers.

Just as there was during Hollywood’s awards season, there was a somber overtone to the celebrations. Several British stage companies have recently committed to stamping out workplace abuse, after multiple allegations of sexual wrongdoing by powerful men in the entertainment industry.

Some actresses brought guests from feminist groups and organizations working against domestic violence to Sunday’s ceremony in a show of support for the Time’s Up movement.

This is the full list of Laurence Olivier Awards winners.

AMERICAN AIRLINES BEST NEW PLAY
“The Ferryman” at Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre and Gielgud Theatre

BEST NEW COMEDY
“Labour Of Love” at Noël Coward Theatre

BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION
“Flight Pattern” by Crystal Pite for The Royal Ballet at Royal Opera House

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE
Francesca Velicu for her performance in English National Ballet’s production of Pina Bausch’s “Le Sacre Du Printemps” at Sadler’s Wells

BEST ENTERTAINMENT AND FAMILY
“Dick Whittington” at London Palladium

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Vicki Mortimer for “Follies” at National Theatre – Olivier

DELTA LIVE AWARD FOR BEST SOUND DESIGN
Nevin Steinberg for “Hamilton” at Victoria Palace Theatre

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Bertie Carvel for “Ink” at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Denise Gough for “Angels In America” at National Theatre – Lyttelton

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN AFFILIATE THEATRE
“Killology” at Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre, a co-production with Sherman Theatre Cardiff

BLUE-I THEATRE TECHNOLOGY AWARD FOR BEST SET DESIGN
Bob Crowley and 59 Productions for “An American In Paris” at Dominion Theatre

WHITE LIGHT AWARD FOR BEST LIGHTING DESIGN
Howell Binkley for “Hamilton” at Victoria Palace Theatre

BEST ACTOR
Bryan Cranston for “Network” at National Theatre – Lyttelton

BEST ACTRESS
Laura Donnelly for “The Ferryman” at Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre and Gielgud Theatre

BEST DIRECTOR
Sam Mendes for “The Ferryman” at Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre and Gielgud Theatre

BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION
“Semiramide” at Royal Opera House

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA
Joyce DiDonato and Daniela Barcellona for their performances in “Semiramide” at Royal Opera House

BEST REVIVAL
“Angels In America” at National Theatre – Lyttelton

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC
“Hamilton” – Composer-Lyricist: Lin-Manuel Miranda; Orchestrator: Alex Lacamoire at Victoria Palace Theatre

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER
Andy Blankenbuehler for “Hamilton” at Victoria Palace Theatre

MAGIC RADIO BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL
“Follies” at National Theatre – Olivier

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Michael Jibson for “Hamilton” at Victoria Palace Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Sheila Atim for “Girl From The North Country” at The Old Vic and the Noël Coward Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Shirley Henderson for “Girl From The North Country” at The Old Vic and the Noël Coward Theatre

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Giles Terera for “Hamilton” at Victoria Palace Theatre

MASTERCARD BEST NEW MUSICAL
“Hamilton” at Victoria Palace Theatre

SPECIAL AWARD
David Lan

Author

Kim Boateng

Kim Boateng

With a Degree in Environmental Sciences, Kim the self professed jack of all trades and master of some simply "goes there" and brings a level of attention and detail to Nigeria Circle's quest for excellence in investigative journalism that sets her apart. Before journalism she worked in Safety, Quality Assurance and Control in several industries.
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