Opinion: Reaction to the 2017 Olivier Award nominations

This year’s nominees were announced earlier today by previous Olivier Award winners Matt Henry and Denise Gough. Here is who has been nominated for what and who Love London Love Culture thinks will win… 

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical: Ian Bartholomew (Half a Sixpence), Adam J Bernard (Dreamgirls), Ben Hunter (The Girls) and Andrew Langtree (Groundhog Day) :- All of those nominated are probably worthy winners, but from Love London Love Culture’s point of view, Adam J Bernard deserves to win on the basis of his energy and personality that he throws into his character.

Best New Musical: Dreamgirls, The Girls, Groundhog Day and School of Rock :- as ever, this category is filled with a range of different kinds of musicals, but it is going to be a difficult choice between Dreamgirls and School of Rock. In terms of a heartwarming and genuinely funny show, Love London Love Culture has to back School of Rock!

Outstanding Achievement in Music: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, School of Rock, Jesus Christ Superstar and Dreamgirls:-  a very difficult category to judge, but the use of music in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is particularly effective and atmospheric, drawing in the audience even more into the story so it is a standout winner.

Best New Play: Elegy, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, One Night in Miami, The Flick:-  having seen only Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the vote is obviously going to back this one. It seems that this category is a bit more of an interesting mix than previous years – are the Oliviers trying to branch out from the West End shows?

Best Entertainment and Family:  Cinderella (London Palladium), David Baddiel My Family: Not the Sitcom, Peter Pan (National Theatre) and The Red Shoes (Sadler’s Wells):- once again some surprising choices here. Given the enthusiastic reception that Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes has had, it seems almost a dead certainty to win.

Best Director: Simon Stone (Yerma, Young Vic), John Tiffany (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), John Tiffany (The Glass Menagerie) and Matthew Warchus (Groundhog Day):- although John Tiffany has been nominated twice, given the reception of Yerma at the Young Vic Theatre by both audiences and critics alike it would be a nice surprise as well as a deserved win for Simon Stone.

Best Theatre Choreographer: Matthew Bourne (The Red Shoes), Peter Darling and Ellen Kane (Groundhog Day), Steven Hoggett (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), Drew McOnie (Jesus Christ Superstar):- in this category with so many top names in the mix its almost cruel to have to choose, but if push comes to shove, then it seems likely that Matthew Bourne might just pip the others to the post.

Best Actress in a Play: Glenda Jackson (King Lear), Cherry Jones (The Glass Menagerie), Billie Piper (Yerma) and Ruth Wilson (Hedda Gabler):- given all the critical acclaim to her performance at the Young Vic and her WhatsOnStage win, it seems that Billie Piper will be the one to beat.

Best Actor in a Play: Ed Harris (Buried Child), Tom Hollander (Travesties), Ian McKellen (No Man’s Land) and Jamie Parker (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child):- in this category it has to be said that Tom Hollander’s  extraordinary performance in Travesties and Jamie Parker’s performance  as Harry Potter are both equally worthy of winning this award – for very different reasons.

Best Actor in a Musical: David Fynn (School of Rock), Tyrone Huntley (Jesus Christ Superstar), Andy Karl (Groundhog Day) and Charlie Stemp (Half a Sixpence):- as much as I loved David Fynn’s performance in School of Rock I feel that there is going to be one standout winner: Charlie Stemp – the name everybody is talking about!

Best Actress in a Musical: Glenn Close (Sunset Boulevard), “The Girls” (The Girls), Amber Riley (Dreamgirls) and Sheridan Smith (Funny Girl):- Amber Riley delivers a powerhouse performance in Dreamgirls, but equally Sheridan Smith received great acclaim for her performance. But I’m backing Amber Riley for this one!

Best Revival: The Glass Menagerie, Travesties, Yerma and This House:- it is great to see the Young Vic getting quite a few mentions this year and there is no doubting that Yerma is one of their most successful productions – so once again I think this is one that will stand out from the crowd.

Best New Comedy: The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, Nice Fish, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour and The Truth:- it would be fantastic to see Mischief Theatre rewarded once again for their brilliant work on The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, a show that is consistently funny and delights the audiences from beginning to end.

That is just some of Love London Love Culture’s picks of this year’s nominations. For a full list of nominees visit: http://www.olivierawards.com/nominations/. The Olivier Awards will take place on the 9th April at the Royal Albert Hall.