Last week, the highly-anticipated Olivier Awards returned to the Royal Albert Hall after a three-year COVID-induced hiatus… and the theatre industry could not have been more overjoyed.
What exactly are these awards, we hear you ask? The Laurence Olivier Awards are a glitzy annual affair presented by the Society of London Theatre in order to recognise the very best of professional theatre in London.
And luckily for us, London’s brimming with talent – from the dramatic Life of Pi to the pop-culture phenomenon that is Back to the Future, there are some big names on the list.
Ready to discover the winners for 2022?
The Top Winners
Hiran Abeysekera (Life of Pi) – Best Actor
No surprises here – Sri Lankan actor Hiran Abeysekera snagged one of the top awards for his breathtaking performance in Life of Pi, an emotional tale about survival and friendship.
Following a cargo ship sinking in the middle of the ocean, sixteen-year-old Pi is left fighting for his life on a small boat containing a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and, horrifyingly, a Royal Bengal Tiger. It’s a must-see.
Sheila Atim (Constellations) – Best Actress
Sheila Atim took home the Best Actress award for her wonderful performance in Nick Payne’s revived Constellations.
Constellations’ revolving cast and storylines reflected the infinite possibilities of a relationship, with beekeeper Roland and physicist Marianne meeting at a party and embarking on a relationship that often questions string theory, fate, and the multiverse theory.
Pride and Prejudice* (*Sort Of) – Best Entertainment or Comedy Play
If you think you know Jane Austen’s iconic love story, think again. Pride and Prejudice (sort of) shakes things up completely.
This unapologetic (and all-female) retelling of the literary classic is hilarious – and promises that men, money, and microphones will all be fought over.
Life of Pi – Best New Play
Life of Pi was one of the evening’s biggest winners, with Lolita Chakrabarti’s production of Yann Martel’s book picking up 5 awards.
Why did this play open to rave reviews? We think that it’s because of the intricate puppetry used within the performance. The life-size tiger puppet was designed by Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell and helps to completely transport you to the middle of the ocean.
Back to the Future – Best New Musical
We were ridiculously excited when a Back to the Future musical was announced – and we were even more excited when it lived up to our (admittedly very high) expectations.
The classic 1985 blockbuster has been perfectly transported onto the stage by the movie’s co-writers, Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis.
If you haven’t seen the movie, go and watch it ASAP. But here’s a quick reminder of the plot: Teenager Marty McFly is accidentally transported back to 1955 in a time-travelling DeLorean car. Damage done, Marty must fix the past to save his future.
Rebecca Frecknall (Cabaret) – Best Director
Director Rebecca Frecknall picked up an Olivier Award for her phenomenal production of the Cabaret.
The cult-classic musical is set in 1930s Berlin, as the Nazis were at the peak of their power – meanwhile, the underground jazz scene is absolutely thriving.
The musical explores life at the seedy Kit Kat Klub, following the relationship between American writer Clifford Bradshaw and cabaret performer Sally Bowles.
The Olivier Awards: Full List of Winners
- Best Revival: Constellations
- Best Entertainment or Comedy Play: Pride of Prejudice* (*Sort of)
- Best Musical Revival: Cabaret
- Best Costume Design: Catherine Zuber for Moulin Rouge! The Musical
- Best Sound Design: Nick Lidster for Cabaret
- Best Original Score or New Orchestrations: Get Up Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical
- Best Theatre Choreographer: Kathleen Marshall for Anything Goes
- Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Fred Davis, Daisy Franks, Romina Hytten, Tom Larkin, Habib Nasib Nader, Tom Stacy and Scarlet Wilderink – the seven actors who play the Tiger for Life Of Pi
- Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Liz Carr for The Normal Heart
- Best Set Design: Tim Hatley for design, and Nick Barnes + Finn Caldwell for the puppets in Life Of Pi
- Best Lighting Design: Tim Lutkin and Andrzej Goulding for Life Of Pi
- Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical: Liza Sadovy for Cabaret
- Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical: Elliot Levey for Cabaret
- Outstanding Achievement in Opera: Peter Whelan and the Irish Baroque Orchestra for Bajazet
- Best New Opera Production: Jenůfa by Royal Opera
- Best Actor in a Musical: Eddie Redmayne for Cabaret
- Best Actress in a Musical: Jessie Buckley for Cabaret
- Outstanding Achievement in Dance: Arielle Smith for her choreography of Jolly Folly in Reunion
- Best New Dance Production: Revisor by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young / Kidd Pivot
- Best Actress: Sheila Atim for Constellations
- Best Actor: Hiran Abeysekera for Life Of Pi
- Best Director: Rebecca Frecknall for Cabaret
- Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre: Old Bridge
- Best Family Show: Wolf Witch Giant Fairy
- Best New Play: Life of Pi
- Best New Musical: Back to the Future