Olivier Awards 2022: Cabaret and Life Of Pi dominate as West End celebrates the return of theater | Ents & Arts News


Cabaret star Eddie Redmayne said performing in the West End revival of the musical was “the dream performance experience” on the night the show won the most awards at the prestigious Olivier Awards.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, he said: “For us it was kind of a dream performance experience because you could see the faces of every member of the audience and after all those few years of being locked up, it ‘was like theater in its most connected and present form.’

The critically acclaimed revival of the 1966 musical won seven of the eleven categories in which it was nominated, including Best Musical Revival and acting awards for Redmayne who plays the emcee and his co-star Jessie Buckley who plays Sally Bowles.

See the full list of winners here

Eddie Redmayne won Best Actor in a Musical at the Olivier Awards
Jessie Buckley at the Olives
Jessie Buckley won Best Actress in a Music Award

Continuing its dominance, Cabaret also produced winners of acting and actress roles in a musical, Elliot Levey and Liza Sadovy.

Elsewhere, Lolita Chakrabarti’s stage adaptation of the best-selling novel Life Of Pi scooped five awards, with Hiran Abeysekera scooping Best Actor in a Play, and – in a historic first for the Olivier Awards – the seven performers who play the puppet tiger were collectively awarded Best Supporting Actor in a Play.

The theater’s post-pandemic recovery has been helped in large part by the star power the West End has managed to attract since reopening last May, such as singer Lily Allen. Nominated for best actress in a play, she makes her theatrical debut in 2:22: A Ghost Story, a show about to head into its third West End run.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Allen told Sky News the experience made her “feel even more like an impostor in the music business than I do”, but she said she was happy if the fact to have his name attached to the show helped increase ticket sales.

“The theater world was on its knees and everyone was so scared because, you know, if somebody contracted [Covid] the totality [production] would crumble and you could really feel it palpably in everyone I worked with. So it was great to be able to make ticket sales.”

David Harbor and Lily Allen
David Harbor and Lily Allen, who told Sky News she was proud to help her show sell tickets after the pandemic

In a year of nostalgia-laden musical delights, Back to the Future won Best New Musical, taking home theatrical direction for the movie Frozen and jukebox musical The Drifters Girl.

Singer Beverley Knight, who stars in the latter, said that as the industry had endured some of the toughest years in British theater history, she finally felt like “theater is back “.

“As entertainers we are constantly testing ourselves… we are always as careful as humanly possible without detracting from the enjoyment of the public… you know the NHS is the heart of the nation, we are the soul, there is no there’s no two ways about it.”

Red Mill!  played at the huge awards show.  Photo: Christie Goodwin
Red Mill! performed at the awards ceremony. Photo: Christie Goodwin

It wasn’t just about the awards – the Royal Albert Hall was buzzing with performances from all the nominated musicals, with acts like Disney’s Frozen, Spring Awakening and Red Mill! Musical comedy.

There was also a tribute to beloved composer Stephen Sondheim, whose work included West Side Story, Into The Woods and Company, who died in November aged 91, with the swings and one-liners from the nominated shows performing alongside a drama choir. ArtsEd school.

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