Olivier Awards 2016: As It Happened!

By: Apr. 03, 2016

10.04pm: That's it, then - thanks for your company this evening. Thanks to our brilliant roving reporter Natalie O'Donoghue, drenched in Covent Garden's flash storms, who's been keeping us updated throughout the night. Now enjoy some of the photos from the ceremony - and don't forget to let us know whether the awardwinners would have been your choices! See you same time next year.

9.58pm: Next year the awards are going to be held in the actual Royal actual Albert actual Hall. Not sure where they're going to do the outdoor performances - in Hyde Park, maybe?

9.55pm: 'What I Did For Love' from A Chorus Line wraps things up for us.

9.50pm: Kinky Boots wins Best New Musical, and the creative team are more thrilled to meet presenter Shirley Bassey than anything else.


9.40pm: Beverley Knight and Luke Evans are here to present the leading performance awards. Knight has a very foreboding way of announcing. Matt Henry wins for Kinky Boots, and gives a very weepy speech in which he dedicates the award to his leading man and fellow nominee Killian Donnelly.

9.35pm: Time for the In Memoriam section, always very sad.

9.33pm: Perhaps unsurprisingly, Gypsy takes Best Musical Revival.

9.26pm: Rob Brydon and Zoe Wanamaker take to the stage to present, and Brydon makes some jokes about how long this show is taking... They then present Best Supporting Actor in a Musical to David Bedella - his second Olivier! Best Supporting Actress in a Musical goes to Lara Pulver for Gypsy. She gives a lovely speech, paying tribute to Imelda Staunton and Jonathan Kent among others.

9.22pm: OK, so now Michael Ball is singing 'True Colours' with her.

9.17pm: Cyndi Lauper joins the festivities.

9.11pm: Drew McOnie wins Best Theatre Choreographer for his work on In The Heights; Robert Icke wins Best Director for Oresteia at the Almeida.

9.05pm: Ah, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, a somewhat "problematic" musical dealt with beautifully in last year's Open Air Theatre production.

9.03pm: Outstanding Achievement in Music goes to In The Heights!

8.52pm: A quick skit from The Play That Goes Wrong, and we're on to the dance awards, presented by the wonder that is Adam Cooper. Best new dance production goes to Woolf Works by Wayne McGregor at Royal Opera House, with Alessandra Ferri winning outstanding achievement for her performance in that and in Cheri.

8.45pm: Next performance - the revival of Bugsy Malone with 'So You Wanna Be a Boxer'.

8.41pm: Michael Ball calls for the knighthood of the next presenter, Eddie Izzard, who gets an amazing ovation. Nell Gwynn wins Best New Comedy, and writer Jessica Swale accepts the award.

8.35pm: Ah, The Phantom of the Opera wins this year's Audience Award, presented by Wicked's Emma Hatton and Savannah Stevenson. The audience in the Piazza sound like they're rather soggy after the earlier thunderstorm, but they're a hardy bunch.

Then a quick performance from the cast.

8.30pm: In The Heights give us our first performance of the second half.

8.12pm: Right, that's the interval. Time for a breather.

8.03pm: Duelling grand pianos to take us on a whistlestop tour of Olivier Award-winning musicals from the past 40 years.

8pm: Denise Gough wins Best Actress for People, Places and Things - another award to add to her trophy cabinet! She bemoans the lack of racial diversity in the category, and names Noma Dumezweni, Marianne Jean Baptiste and Sharon D Clarke as actresses whose work should be recognised.

7.55pm: And Kenneth Cranham wins Best Actor for his role in The Father. He makes a very emotional speech.

7.50pm: Time for the Shakespeare interlude.

7.43pm: Best New Play...Hangmen!

7.37pm: A quick turn from Bend it Like Beckham, and then it's on to achievement in an affiliate theatre. Juliet Stevenson presents the award to Pat Kinevane and Fishamble for Silent at Soho Theatre.

7.29pm: Mark Gatiss wins Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in Three Days in the Country - and DAME JUDI DENCH wins Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her turn in The Winter's Tale. She says that she's livid to win because now she's lost a bet with her grandson.

7.25pm: Sounds like Michael Ball is indulging in a lot of visual gags this evening. Meanwhile, Tracie Bennett and Emma Williams perform 'If Mountains Were Easy To Climb' - and the thunder and lightning starts in Covent Garden. Our poor dedicated reporter Natalie is getting drenched.

7.19pm: Yep, that was fun. And here's Dame Kiri te Kanawa! Obviously she's presenting the opera awards. Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci at Royal Opera House wins best new opera production, with the ENO chorus winning the outstanding achievement.

7.15pm: Guys and Dolls are going to perform 'Sit Down, You're Rockin' The Boat'. This will be fun.

7.11pm: Mark Henderson wins Best Lighting Design for Gypsy. He's not here, though. Tom Gibbons wins Best Sound Design for People, Places and Things. He is. He thanks his mum and sister, who are watching outside. See, even nominees don't get to bring families with them.

7.10pm: We're having snippets of the plays announced to us by members of the cast.

7pm: Time for a montage of the past 40 years of Olivier Award-winning musicals.

6.54pm: David Gandy and Jessie Buckley (an odd couple, I think?) announce that Best Costume Design goes to Gregg Barnes for Kinky Boots, and that Anna Fleischle wins Best Set Design for Hangmen.

6.49pm: Kinky Boots are performing 'The Sex is in The Heel'. (This song definitely works better when you can see the stage rather than listen to the performances on the radio.) Michael Ball says he wants to be in that show.

6.46pm: Sir Lenny Henry presents Best Entertainment/Family to our friends and guest bloggers Showstopper! The Improvised Musical.

6.42pm: Best Revival of a Play is first up. Julia McKenzie and Jim Carter will present to Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.

6.38pm: Imelda Staunton performs 'Everything's Coming Up Roses' to a standing ovation before Lady Olivier welcomes us all to the evening and introduces presenter Michael Ball.

Ball says he should have played Rose...but he's still too young. BURN.

6.33pm: Here we go!

5.50pm: We can confirm that Dame Shirley Bassey is in attendance this evening.

Make sure you're following us on Twitter @BroadwayWorldUK for all the snaps from the red carpet - Bend it like Beckham's Lauren Samuels has just arrived!

5.45pm: Looking forward to Dreamgirls? If you are - or if you're a fan of Glee - seeing this particular lady on the red carpet may just make your night.

Here's Amber Riley!

5.30pm: We can't watch the Olivier Awards live on the TV in the UK, but you can watch the Covent Garden event live on YouTube now.

Also, here's what will probably be the most adorable Twitter post of the evening.

Ready? Prepare yourself.

5.20pm: From Natalie on the red carpet: "Kinky Boots' @killiandonnelly is rooting for co-star @Mrmatthenry to win Best Actor in a musical!" Of course, both Donnelly and Henry are nominated in the same category this evening!

5.10pm: We're a little bit biased when it comes to Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, because they were guest bloggers for us during their West End run at the end of 2015. They're up for Best Entertainment and Family tonight - good luck, guys!

Of course, we wish the very best of luck to all the nominees - and guests - and everyone packing out the Covent Garden Piazza for the live performances. Have a great evening!

5pm: The arrivals at the red carpet are just beginning. There'll be nominees, presenters and the general great and good turning up very shortly on their way into the ceremony. Expect glamour, glitter and stageyness.

The ceremony itself begins in around an hour and a half - remember it's not live on the telly here in the UK, but we'll have updates and pics throughout the evening!

4.30pm: So this afternoon Xavier tweeted good wishes to Carrie Hope Fletcher, who'll be in place in the Covent Garden Piazza this afternoon and this evening.

Hope you're enjoying our roving reporter Natalie's updates on Twitter - she's live on the red carpet, and will be giving us all the news from the scene all evening. Make sure you're following us - @BroadwayWorldUK.

11.30am: Here's some surprising news - Covent Garden live show presenter Michael Xavier - currently playing Joe Gillis opposite Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard at the ENO - has just tweeted that he has had to withdraw from today's events.

There's nothing from the official Olivier Awards Twitter account yet on who will step in for him, if anyone.

Here's what Xavier had to say:

10am BST: Good morning, all - it's Olivier Awards day! We'll be updating all day - with LIVE coverage from the red carpet from around 5pm before the ceremony itself. Get involved - tweet us @BroadwayWorldUK with your picks and your thoughts, and we'll use the best ones.

We have our reviewer Natalie O'Donoghue reporting from Covent Garden - she'll be tweeting from the @BroadwayWorldUK account, so make sure you've got us followed.

We'll also have exclusive red carpet pictures - we'll feature them in a gallery and on social media as soon as they're snapped.

Enjoy your Olivier Awards day - and keep checking back for updates! At least we can be sure that Best Actress in a Musical nominee Laura Pitt-Pulford will be there...

And so will ceremony host Michael Ball, with a little nod to a previous incarnation of his...


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Did they do it? It's a 50/50 and you decide. And you have a lot of fun getting there too.

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