The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of My Neighbour Totoro was the biggest winner of the evening, winning six awards.

Kimie Nakano won Best Costume Design for her work on My Neighbour Totoro (c)Pamela Raith Photography

The winners of this year’s Olivier Awards have been unveiled, with the RSC’s My Neighbour Totoro, the theatre adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s 1989 coming-of-age anime film, winning six of the nine categories it was nominated in. This includes winning the Sir Peter Hall Award for Best Director, awarded to Phelim McDermott, and the Noël Coward Award for Best Entertainment or Comedy Play. The productions other wins included Tony Gayle for d&b audiotechnik Award for Best Sound Design, Jessica Hun Hang Yun for the White Light Award for Best Lighting Design, Kimie Nakano for Best Costume Design and Tom Pye for the Blue-i Theatre Technology Award for Best Set Design.

Elsewhere, the Almeida Theatre had three productions nominated for awards, with Will Keen winning Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Patriots, and Tammy Faye garnered two acting awards – Katie Brayben for Best Actress in a Musical and Zubin Varla for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical.  The final multi-winning show at the Almeida Theatre was Rebecca Frecknall’s revival of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire. Paul Mescal won Best Actor for his portrayal of Stanley Kowalski and Best Actress in a Supporting Role was awarded to Anjana Vasan for playing Stella. The play also won the esteemed Cunard Best Revival award. 

Jodie Comer, James Bierman and Suzie Miller (c)Pamela Raith Photography

Jodie Comer won Best Actress or her performance in solo drama Prima Facie, which also won the coveted Delta Air Lines Best New Play award.

In the musical categories, Mastercard Best New Musical was awarded to Standing At The Sky’s Edge. Set in a council estate in Sheffield, where it debuted in 2019, the musical transferred to the National Theatre this year. Richard Hawley & Tom Deering also took home the award for Best Original Score or New Orchestrations for this production. 

Beverley Knight, who also performed twice during the ceremony, won the Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her performance as Emmeline Pankhurst in the musical retelling of her daughter Sylvia’s lesser-known story. 

Elsewhere, Dickson Mbi won Outstanding Achievement in Dance for his choreography of Enowate, and Traplord by Ivan Michael Blackstock won Best New Dance Production. In the opera categories, Will Kentridge won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera, for his conception and direction of Sibyl and the TAIT Award for Best New Opera Production went to Alcina. Both productions were staged at the Royal Opera House. 

For the second year in a row, the Bush Theatre was home to the winner of Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre (representing smaller London venues). The winning show was The P Word, the tale of two very different gay Pakistani men navigating modern Britain. 

Hey Duggee The Live Theatre Show, which sees beloved animated character Duggee brought to life, won Best Family Show. 

The ceremony celebrated Sir Derek Jacobi, who was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to theatre throughout his career. 

The star-studded Olivier Awards ceremony featured performances from all the Mastercard Best New Musical nominees – The Band’s Visit, Standing At The Sky’s Edge, Sylvia and Tammy Faye. There were also performances from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! and Sister Act, both nominated for Magic Radio Best Musical Revival, with Oklahoma! winning that award.  

Disney’s Newsies, whose choreographer Matt Cole won the Gillian Lynne Award for Best Theatre Choreographer, and multi-Olivier winner The Book Of Mormon (celebrating 10 years in the West End) also performed.  

The show culminated in a tribute to Special Award recipient Dame Arlene Phillips, with a performance from Grease The Musical – a production she famously choreographed.  

This year’s ceremony was hosted by Hannah Waddingham, with highlights of the show being shown on ITV 1 later that evening.


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