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Home > News and Features > Headlines > Hairspray, Parade Lead Olivier Noms; War Horse Rides High Among Plays

Hairspray, Parade Lead Olivier Noms; War Horse Rides High Among Plays

©2007 Society of London Theatres

The West End premiere of the Broadway musical Hairspray led nominations for the 32nd annual Laurence Olivier Awards, nabbing a record-breaking 11 in total, including Best New Musical and leading actor and actress in a musical for stars Michael Ball and Leanne Jones. At the same time, the London debut of the Jason Robert Brown musical Parade scored an impressive seven nods, leading the best-ever haul for the tiny Donmar Warehouse, which tallied 13 noms in all.

Completing the best musical lineup are The Lord of the Rings, which went on to feature predictably strongly in the design categories, and The Drowsy Chaperone, a Broadway hit that flopped out in London after only a few months. Stars Summer Strallen and Bob Martin were nommed for their work in the Canadian-spawned show, with Martin the lone London holdover from Drowsy’s Broadway cast.

©2007 Jason Bell
Hairspray stars Leanne Jones and Michael Ball
Among straight plays, the National Theatre's sellout revival of War Horse is up for six Oliviers, including Best New Play, where it faces major competition from A Disappearing Number—the Simon McBurney show for his Complicite troupe that has already won this same prize at both the Evening Standard Theatre Awards in November and last month's Critics' Circle Awards. The Reporter and Vernon God Little complete that category.

In a strong year both for the classics (Shakespeare in particular) and starry revivals, notable omissions included anyone from the cast of the Richard Griffiths/Daniel Radcliffe reappraisal of Equus or the Orlando Bloom/Tim Healy remounting of In Celebration, both West End entries. Instead, the actor in a play category is top-heavy with Bardic turns: Ian McKellen's Lear, Patrick Stewart's Macbeth, and, the odds-on favorite, Chiwetel Ejiofor's Othello. Absent from that shortlist is Simon Russell Beale's Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, which also garnered raves. Mark Rylance from Boeing-Boeing and Elling star John Simm complete the category.

©2007 Simon Annand
Craig Leo (puppeteer) and Luke Treadaway
in War Horse
The actress in a play quintet includes Ejiofor's Othello leading lady, Kelly Reilly, in her Shakespearean debut, as well as Kristin Scott Thomas' Arkadina in The Seagull—the latter in a production that is now said to be headed for Broadway in the fall. Also on tap are Fiona Shaw's Winnie in Happy Days and Penelope Wilton from the Donmar revival of Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman. An early favorite, however, would seem to be Anne-Marie Duff from the National's Saint Joan, simply because she has already won this same prize twice over earlier this season.

The director prize includes two Americans in its shortlist of four: Hairspray's Jack O'Brien and Parade's Rob Ashford, who was also nommed for choreography for a show that in fact marked Ashford's directing debut. They go up against Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, who co-directed War Horse, and critics' darling Rupert Goold, for his New York-bound Macbeth.

Winners will be announced 9 March in a black-tie ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel to be hosted by Richard E. Grant.

Here is a complete list of nominees:

©2007 Johan Persson
Bertie Carvel and Lara Pulver
in Parade
BEST NEW MUSICAL
The Drowsy Chaperone
Hairspray
The Lord of the Rings
Parade

BEST NEW PLAY
A Disappearing Number by Simon McBurney
The Reporter by Nicholas Wright
Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre, adapted by Tanya Ronder
War Horse adapted by Nick Stafford, based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo

BEST NEW COMEDY
Absurdia: The Crimson Hotel by Michael Frayn
Elling adapted by Axel Hellstenius in collaboration with Peter Næss, translated by Nicholas Norris and based on a novel by Ingvar Ambjørnsen
Rafta Rafta by Ayub Khan-Din based on All in Good Time by Bill Naughton
Whipping It Up by Steve Thompson

BEST REVIVAL
Boeing-Boeing by Marc Camoletti, translated by Beverley Cross
Dealer’s Choice by Patrick Marber
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Saint Joan by Bernard Shaw
The Seagull by Anton Chekhov, adapted by Christopher Hampton

BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL
Fiddler on the Roof
Little Shop of Horrors
The Magic Flute- Impempe Yomlingo

BEST ACTRESS
Anne-Marie Duff, Saint Joan
Kelly Reilly, Othello
Kristin Scott Thomas, The Seagull
Fiona Shaw, Happy Days
Penelope Wilton, John Gabriel Borkman

©2007 Johan Persson
Kristin Scott Thomas
in The Seagull
BEST ACTOR
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Othello
Ian McKellen, King Lear
Mark Rylance, Boeing-Boeing
John Simm, Elling
Patrick Stewart, Macbeth

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Michelle Fairley, Othello
Pam Ferris, The Entertainer
Conleth Hill, Philistines
Rory Kinnear, The Man of Mode

BEST NEWCOMER IN A PLAY
David Dawson, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
Tom Hiddleston, Cymbeline
Tom Hiddleston, Othello
Stephen Wight, Dealer’s Choice

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Leanne Jones, Hairspray
Lara Pulver, Parade
Sheridan Smith, Little Shop of Horrors
Summer Strallen, The Drowsy Chaperone

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Michael Ball, Hairspray
Bertie Carvel, Parade
©2007 Catherine Ashmore
Henry Goodman in
Fiddler on the Roof
Henry Goodman for Fiddler on the Roof
Bob Martin, The Drowsy Chaperone

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Tracie Bennett, Hairspray
Elinor Collett, Hairspray
Shaun Escoffery, Parade
Alistair McGowan, Little Shop of Horrors

BEST DIRECTOR
Rob Ashford, Parade
Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, War Horse
Rupert Goold, Macbeth
Jack O’Brien, Hairspray

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER
Rob Ashford, Parade
Jerry Mitchell, Hairspray
Casey Nicholaw, The Drowsy Chaperone
Toby Sedgwick, War Horse

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN
Kenneth Posner for Hairspray
Paul Pyant for The Lord of the Rings
Howard Harrison for Macbeth
Paule Constable for War Horse

BEST SET DESIGN
David Rockwell for Hairspray
Rob Howell for The Lord of the Rings
Anthony Ward and Lorna Heavey for Macbeth
Rae Smith and Handspring Puppet Company for War Horse

©2007 Manuel Harlan
Michael Therriault in
The Lord of the Rings
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Gregg Barnes for The Drowsy Chaperone
William Ivey Long for Hairspray
Rob Howell for The Lord of the Rings
Vicki Mortimer for The Man of Mode

BEST SOUND DESIGN
Steve C. Kennedy for Hairspray
Simon Baker for The Lord of the Rings
Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster for Parade
Paul Arditti with music by Jocelyn Pook for Saint Joan
Christopher Shutt with music by Adrian Sutton and John Tams for War Horse

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVMENT IN AN AFFILIATE THEATRE
The Brothers Size at the Maria, Young Vic
Cinderella at Theatre Royal, Stratford East
Gone Too Far at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court
The cast of That Face at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court

BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION
English National Opera’s Agrippina
The Royal Opera’s La Fille du Régiment
The Royal Opera’s Pelléas et Mélisande
English National Opera’s Turn of the Screw

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA
Natalie Dessay for her performance in La Fille du Régiment
Gerald Finley for his performance in Pelléas et Mélisande
Angelika Kirchschlager for her performance in Pelléas et Mélisande
David McVicar for directing English National Opera’s Turn of the Screw and Agrippina

BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION
Fabulous Beast Dance’s The Bull
The Royal Ballet’s Jewels
Mark Morris Dance Group’s Mozart Dances
Northern Ballet Theatre’s The Three Musketeers

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE
Savion Glover for his performance in Live for London
Jonathan Goddard for his performances with the Richard Alston Dance Company at Sadler’s Wells
The Royal Ballet Company for their performances in Jewels
Wendy Whelan for her performance in The Christopher Wheeldon Company’s Fool’s Paradise



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08 February, 2008
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