West End Word: Mormons Rule the Oliviers While We Will Rock You Announces the Show Must Go On
This month’s headlines on WhatsOnStage are dominated by the announcement of the Olivier Awards, London’s equivalent of the Tonys.
The big news on our side of the pond this month is the announcement of the 2014 Olivier Award winners, which took place last Sunday at the Royal Opera House. The great and the good of theater (including WhatsOnStage!) were there, and the red carpet was ablaze with flashbulbs thanks to the presence of stars including Martin Freeman, Judi Dench, Tom Hiddleston, Kate Moss, and Hayley Atwell.
As for the all-important statues, The Book of Mormon repeated its WhatsOnStage Awards success by bagging a total haul of four, including Best New Musical. And Off-West End powerhouse the Almeida Theatre celebrated no less than eight victories thanks to its hit productions of Chimerica and Ghosts, both of which transferred to the West End and may well cross the Atlantic in the coming months.
The ceremony, hosted by Stephen Mangan and Gemma Arterton, featured performances from many of the winning shows, including Mormon, plus special appearances by Bernadette Peters, who sang "Losing My Mind" from Sondheim's Follies, and Abba's Benny and Bjorn, who joined the cast of Mamma Mia! for a show-closing medley to mark the show's 15th anniversary.
You can catch up with all our Oliviers coverage — including photos, blogs, analysis, and video highlights — by clicking here.
Elsewhere in London recently, we've enjoyed a glut of big openings including Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Robert Lindsay and Rufus Hound, Other Desert Cities with Martha Plimpton, A View from the Bridge with Mark Strong, and Good People with Imelda Staunton. Notice a theme there? All of them are American shows that have proved successful when transferred or revived over here. Further evidence (if it were needed) of the importance of the TheaterMania/WhatsOnStage relationship.
On the news front, recent top stories include the announcement that Martin Freeman will play Richard III in a new season of Jamie Lloyd productions at Trafalgar Studios, while his Hobbit co-star Richard Armitage will star in a revival of Arthur Miller's The Crucible at the Old Vic this summer. And, as We Will Rock You prepares to close at the Dominion, Queen's Brian May has revealed plans for a sequel with the working title The Show Must Go On.
Finally, we'd love your input on a poll we're running until the end of the month to find our readers' favourite plays and musicals of all time. The aim is to compile a definitive list, which we'll publish on the website next month. Click here to have your say now!