The Olivier Awards 2018

Sunday 8th April marked the 2018 Olivier Awards and I was lucky enough to be invited along to a private screening at The Hospital Club in London’s Covent Garden. It was a wonderful honouring of all the incredible new theatre we’ve enjoyed in the UK throughout the past year and it provided a perfect opportunity to unite theatre lovers across the country in celebration. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to share our thoughts live, but I thought I’d jot a few down here.

My favourite part of the Oliviers has and always will be the performances. The opening number featuring the cast from Hamilton was stunning and I must say that it was incredible to see the entirety of the cast – swings and covers included – up on stage. In an evening of theatre appreciation, what a wonderful way to show appreciation to the swings and covers that keep these big shows running! They’re often overlooked but are just as important as our leads. It is always a treat to see performances from shows I’ve yet to tick off my list and those that i’ve missed – as was the case with Girl from the North Country much to my dismay.  I even enjoyed the fantastic performance by 42nd street – a show which I thoroughly disliked whilst being completely blown away by its mesmerising choreography. In fact I was intrigued to see which way best choreo would go between 42nd Street and Hamilton, both would have been very worthy winners.

I was pleased to see a good variety of shows being recognised in the awards. Although I’m a huge Hamilton fan, I’m glad it didn’t sweep. I agreed with many of the decisions, was surprised by a few and a couple disappointed me but thats all part of the fun!! I think my biggest grievance is actually rooted in the nominations – that being the lack of a nomination for Obioma Ugoala as George Washington in Hamilton as he’s blown me away every time.

Some great acceptance speeches topped off the night. Favourite quotes included “I won one of these before, 22 years ago. After about 10 years, this bit on the bottom fell off … I have to say I’m already worried. The build quality hasn’t improved.” from The Ferryman’s Jez Butterworth and “Diversity isn’t a policy, it’s life’ from Hamilton’s Giles Terera. Wise words from two deserving winners. Oh and Alex Lacamoire’s musical rendition of Lin’s Thankyou speech also deserves a shout out!

I’m already looking forward to the 2019 Olivier Awards!! With lots of new productions already in the works and my fingers crossed for a few Broadway transfers it is sure to be an exciting year of theatre! Maybe I’ll have to be quick off the mark and splash out to get myself a ticket to be in the actual room where it happens! This Oliviers taster has got me hooked!

Let me know your thoughts on the winners, performances and even the outfits down in the comments below! Also join me on Twitter and Instagram!

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Much Love




  1. DougInNC

    I share your sentiment “the swings and covers that keep these big shows running.” -Bravo!

    YouTube has provided the West End cast in their Olivier Awards show performance. You saw that cast (more than once) and I saw the original Broadway cast twice as well as the Chicago cast. I’m sure you have watched many online videos of Hamilton performers. So, Theatress, I pose two questions.

    1. Can you resist comparing different casts?
    I will, despite seeing one of them only on YouTube’s Olivier coverage:

    A. I think Jamael Westman would likely be a better A.Ham actor that either that I saw (yes, that includes Lin).
    The Olivier performance showed him light on his feet and strong of voice. Does he sustain that?
    B. Tarinn Callendar as Mulligan/Madison so resembles Okierite Onaodowan from Broadway
    He is “the CA – LL – END – AR clearly meant to be!”
    C. Cleve September as Laurens/Philip is much akin to Anthony Ramos.
    I’d be dying (twice) to see him.
    D. Obioma Ugoala gets your raves for Washington.
    Both my shows had excellent GW performers as well.
    E. Rachelle Ann Go grabbed my attention on YouTube as Eliza
    I’d have to hear ‘Burn’ to know if she leaves me ‘Helpless’ like Phillipa Soo.
    F. I’ll spare you a full-cast accounting, which included seeing ensemble members on YouTube that reminded me of OBC cast members Betsy Struxness and Ariana DeBose (aka The Bullet).

    2. Would you rather a new cast try to mimic the original, put SOME of their own character into the show, or perform the roles in ways that match their own PERSONAL characteristics?

    A. The OBC sought to perfect every element … for each other as much as the audience.
    B. The Chicago cast sought to entertain the audience, focused more on projecting outward from the stage.
    C. The London cast seems true to their own characteristics, with spot-on enunciation of words where the American performers have a greater tendency toward (appropriate) slang pronunciations.

    Well, such a long “comment.” Do I owe rent on this blog space now? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Theatress

      Hi Doug! Thanks for leaving such a fab comment – I’ll let you off on the rent charges on this occasion!!

      1. I find it really difficult to resist comparing casts – I love to see the different ways each actor interprets the roles and their own unique embellishments! I have of course listened to the OBC recording and I’m afraid to say I watched the bootleg after seeing the show in person as well as clips on youtube!
      Firstly, I don’t think the West-End casts performance at the Oliviers showed them at their best – I wish they’d have chosen a song with a bit more to it to really show them off but having said that I still loved it!! I have to say I really do think the London cast is phenomenal.
      A. I completely agree with your thoughts on Jamael and I’m really pleased you thought so highly of him as he seemed a little nervous! He is indeed very light on his feet and really makes the small snippets of choreography A. Ham is included in look easy. He’s very slick and adds a great deal of subtle humour to the role! From watching the OBC bootleg – I’d agree that he outshines Lin.
      B/C. Tarinn does seem very similar to Okierite as to Cleve and Anthony !! I do think they’ve added their own spin to the roles thought which is fab and I think Cleve is particularly brilliant as Philip.
      D. Obi has really stood out to me every time I’ve seen the show! So powerful!!
      E. I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews about Rachelle Ann Go’s Eliza but I personally found her to be brilliant as Eliza. There is no denying that her vocals are sublime but there are mixed feeling on her emotional sides. When I saw the show from the front row it was clear to see that she was sobbing throughout quiet uptown and tears rolled down her cheeks during burn but from the grand circle these small details are missed and she looks a little emotionless which is a real shame!! I think this is where the mixed emotions are coming from – Unfortunately only those fairly close will get the full picture.
      F. Huge fan of the ensemble – the way they move so quickly and gracefully is stunning to watch and I am always amazed by their precision and accuracy!!! They make very complex chores look so easy!!

      2. I much rather see a cast try to put their own spin on the show which I personally feel like the London cast have done well!! I wouldn’t like to see an exact replica and I think it would be insulting to the cast to ask them to do so! Part of the joy of acting is making a character your own and it certainly makes it more exciting to watch!! I would love to see another casts take on the show in person but I don’t think my budget would stretch to the high prices for tickets in the states!!

      I must say I enjoyed your puns dotted throughout that comment!! Hopefully you will get the chance to head over to London and see another take on this incredible musical!

      All the best

      Liked by 1 person

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