OLIVIERS 2014: Reflections - Best Actor in a Musical
Love or hate Book of Mormon and its potentially offensive lyrics, script and themes, you have to admire the skill of its cast. And the childish, perhaps schoolboy-esque wit of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, its creators (who were nominated for outstanding achievement in music).
Despite strong competition from particularly The Scottsboro Boys' Kyle Scatliffe and indeed from Mormon's own Jared Gertner, I am glad that Gavin Creel took won the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. His portrayal of a naïve, kind of well-intended Mormon missionary was often brilliant. While Gertner's role as his initially bumbling friend provided more overt opportunities for humour, Creel articulated the beautiful absurdities of this story in an endearing and insightful manner, often acting as something of a go-between for the audience and the rest of the cast.
During the famous number I Believe, Creel's performance was outstanding, pairing faultless vocals with sincerity and a highly intelligent sense of irony. This was a truly wonderful performance - and it alone would have made him worthy of an Olivier.
With Stephen Ashfield's glitzy turn as Elder McKinley earning him the Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical, Casey Nicholaw taking the Best Choreography prize and Mormon winning Best New Musical, this hugely successful show has surely further cemented its reputation as being one of the finest shows in the West End - which is saying a lot at the moment.