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Olivier Awards 2014

January 28, 2014 

Welcome to this year’s microsite for the 2014 Olivier Awards.

Within this microsite you will find a wealth of information about the 38th annual Olivier Awards, organised each year by the Society of London Theatre to celebrate the very best of West End theatre.


Stephen Mangan and Gemma Arterton

Stephen Mangan and Gemma Arterton, hosts of this year’s awards


This year’s Olivier Awards awards were held on  Sunday 13 April 2014 at the Royal Opera House in London.

The awards were hosted by movie and stage star Gemma Arterton, who will be starring in new musical Made in Dagenham this autumn in the West End, and comedian Stephen Mangan, who is currently starring in Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense at the Duke of York’s Theatre. This year’s voiceover announcements were made by Julie Walters.

Guest presenters  on the night included Michael Ball, Samantha Barks, Kristin Davis, Lesley Garrett, Nigel Harman, Rufus Hound, Beverley Knight, Dame Penelope Keith, Robert Lindsay, Dame Gillian Lynne, Ben Miles, Alistair McGowan, Marianela Núñez, Lesley Sharpe, Mark Strong, Luke Treadaway, Gok Wan, Ruth Wilson and Leigh Zimmerman. More presenters and guests will be announced nearer to the night.


This year’s performers at the Awards included:

Joseph Calleja

Joseph Calleja

Bernadette Peters

Bernadette Peters

  • Broadway star Bernadette Peters accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra.
  • ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus , who reunited to celebrate 15 years of the hit show MAMMA MIA!
  • International opera singer Joseph Calleja, who finished the first half of the evening by singing E lucevan le stelle from Puccini’s Tosca.
  • Best New Musical nominees performed –  including The Book Of Mormon, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Once and The Scottsboro Boys.
  • Audience Award nominees performed – including Les Misérables, Matilda The Musical, The Phantom of the Opera and Wicked.


This year the awards were again broadcast by ITV in the UK, on the evening of the awards. Catch up with ITVPlayer.

Also on the night, the ITV Stage in Covent Garden Piazza presented a free Olivier Awards celebration. Hosted by Myleene Klass and Michael Xavier, the free event  featured live performances from shows including Avenue Q, Les Misérables, Matilda The Musical, Urinetown and Wicked.

Large screens in the Piazza also broadcast the Awards live.

A special BBC Radio 2 programme will air at 6pm on Saturday 18 April 2014. The two-hour highlights programme will be hosted by Claudia Winkleman and feature backstage interviews, special guests and highlights from ceremony.


MasterCard, headline sponsor
Rosewood London, hotel partner
American Airlines, airline partner
MAC cosmetics, make-up partner
Laurent Perrier, champagne partner
Chester Barrie, menswear partner
Audi, car partner
CBS, advertising partner
Fenwick of Bond Street, fashion partner
Acting for Others, official charity
With additional support from Bumble & Bumble, Divine Chocolate, Harpers, Hildon and Newmans

Check back for the latest news, photos and information on the 2014 Olivier Awards.

The Nutcracker – Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House

October 16, 2013 

Peter Wright’s classic Royal Ballet production of The Nutcracker returns to the Royal Opera House this Christmas.

No Christmas in London is complete without a visit to see the Royal Ballet’s magical production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.

The stage sparkles with theatrical magic as a Christmas tree grows before our eyes, toy soldiers come to life to fight the villainous Mouse King and Clara is whisked to the Land of Sweets on a golden sleigh.

Tchaikovsky’s score continues to delight each new generation with some of the best-known melodies in ballet, from the Waltz of the Snowflakes to the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Designed by Julia Trevelyan Oman, this classic production completes any festive season.

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Theatre: Royal Opera House

The Wind in the Willows at the Duchess Theatre

August 12, 2013 

The Royal Ballet’s acclaimed Christmas production of The Wind in the Willows comes to the Duchess Theatre.

This Christmas the Royal Opera House’s hugely popular and critically acclaimed production of Kenneth Grahame’s classic tale The Wind in the Willows comes to the West End’s Duchess Theatre.

Choreographed and directed by Will Tuckett, children will love the adventures of Mole, Ratty, Badger and Toad, brought vividly to live through dance, music, puppetry and design.

A magical score by Martin Ward and beautiful designs by the Quay Brothers create a show that is destined to become an annual Christmas treat in the West End.

“A heart warming charmer for all the family” (Sunday Times)

“A mini modern classic” (Evening Standard)

“Utterly fabulous” (Daily Express)

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Theatre: Duchess Theatre

CMP presents the Royal Opera House production of The Wind In The Willows Directed and choreographed by Will Tuckett at the Duchess Theatre

July 9, 2013 

  • For the first time a Royal Opera House production will transfer commercially into London’s West End
  • Will Tuckett’s much-loved production of The Wind in the Willows will play an eight week Christmas season at The Duchess Theatre
  • Tickets go on sale on Tuesday 9 July at 10am

Director and choreographer Will Tuckett’s critically acclaimed The Wind in the Willows is to be given a commercial transfer into the West End this December marking a significant first for the Royal Opera House.  CMP will be presenting the Royal Opera House production, which is in its tenth anniversary year, for eight weeks at The Duchess Theatre. Tickets go on sale at 10am on Tuesday 9 July.

Alex Beard, Chief Executive Designate of the Royal Opera House said

This is a hugely exciting development for us, seeing one of our much-loved productions transfer into the West End.  The Wind in the Willows was the first small scale Christmas production to be created for the then newly opened Linbury Studio Theatre, and has been so popular that we have brought it back into the repertory three times since those first performances.  Will Tuckett’s production is a wonderful family show and we’re really pleased that more people will have the opportunity to see it just down the road from Covent Garden.”

Tobias Round & Nick Frankfort of CMP said: “We are hugely excited to be able to bring the Royal Opera House’s glorious production of The Wind in the Willows to the West End. Apart from the production representing so beautifully the tremendous quality of work, artistry and imagination that Will Tuckett and his team used to create this classic story, the show is just great fun for the whole family. We hope it will be a perfect fit at the Duchess Theatre over the Christmas Season”.

Based on Kenneth Grahame’s timeless classic, the adventures of four woodland friends are retold through dance, song, music and puppetry: From a dusty old attic a wonderful tale unfolds. The serenity of the river bank is rocked by a speeding car, a galloping caravan, a racing train and criminal deeds cooked up in the depths of the Wild Wood.

The escapades of the reckless Toad and his long-suffering friends Ratty, Mole and Badger are brought to life in a production that has charmed audiences of all ages. Drawing inspiration from the music of Edwardian composer George Butterworth, the action is set to a score by Martin Ward.

Will Tuckett said: When I proposed making The Wind in the Willows ten years ago it felt like quite an experiment. It was my first full-length piece, a newly commissioned score and the first Royal Opera House show made specifically for families. Plus its cast included singers, dancers, actors and puppets; a very different kind of show for the House!  Thankfully audiences have taken the show to their hearts, and I’m absolutely thrilled that this Christmas, The Wind in the Willows is moving into the West End. It’s a tremendously exciting step and it makes me very happy that this work can now be seen by a whole new audience. This is a real honour both for me and the team who created it and we’re really looking forward to seeing the story come alive in the Duchess Theatre.

Through Tuckett’s choreography, with narration written by former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion, and designs from The Quay Brothers and Nicky Gillibrand, the Duchess Theatre will be transformed into the magical world of Grahame’s tale. Full casting will be announced soon.

Recommended for everyone aged 5 and over. 


Book tickets to The Wind in the Willows

Winners of the 2013 Olivier Awards announced

April 28, 2013 

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time scoops 7 awards at this year’s Olivier Awards.

Luke Treadaway wins Best Actor

Luke Treadaway wins Best Actor

At a glamorous event at the Royal Opera House in London, the Society of London Theatre’s annual Olivier Awards were held this evening, Sunday 28 April 2013, hosted by Sheridan Smith and Hugh Bonneville.

The show of the night was undoubtedly the National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, which is now playing at the Apollo Theatre in London. The show, based on Mark Haddon’s acclaimed novel, won 7 awards including best new play, best director for Marianne Elliot, best actor for Luke Treadaway and best supporting actress for Nicola Walker. The show equaled that of last year’s big winner, Matilda the Musical.

The leading musicals of the night were Chichester Festival Theatre’s Sweeney Todd and Top Hat at the Aldwych Theatre, which both won 3 awards. Sweeney Todd won best musical revival, best actor in a musical for Michael Ball and best actress in a musical for Imelda Staunton, and Top Hat scooped best new musical, best theatre choreographer for Bill Deamer and best costume design for Jon Morrell.

Helen Mirren wins Best Actress for The Audience

Helen Mirren wins Best Actress for The Audience

Helen Mirren won a best actress award for her role as The Queen in Peter Morgan’s play The Audience at the Gielgud Theatre, alongside her co-star Richard McCabe, who won best supporting actor.

Billy Elliot The Musical won the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award, voted for by members of the theatregoing public. Other awards included Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre to the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court for its Season of New Writing, Best Revival for A Long Day’s Journey Into Night at the Apollo Theatre, Best Entertainment and Family for Goodnight Mr Tom at the Phoenix Theatre and Leigh Zimmerman won Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her role in A Chorus Line at the London Palladium.

Playwright Michael Frayn and dancer and choreographer Gillian Lynne were presented with Special Awards at the event. Roger Allam gave Michael Frayn his award, and David Suchet and Michael Crawford presented Gillian Lynne with her Special Award.

Olivier hosts Hugh Bonneville and Sheridan Smith

Olivier hosts Hugh Bonneville and Sheridan Smith

Live musical performers included Matthew Morrison, Idina Menzel, Michael Ball, Tim Minchin, Sheridan Smith and Petula Clark, with the casts of Cabaret, A Chorus Line, The Bodyguard and Top Hat included in the night.


View all winners of the Olivier Awards 2013

View a clip of Billy Elliot The Musical – live from the Olivier Awards

Backstage | Olivier Awards 2013

April 28, 2013 

Backstage at the Royal Opera House in London, for this year’s Olivier Awards 2013.

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Red Carpet Arrivals | Olivier Awards 2013

April 28, 2013 

The Red Carpet arrivals at the Royal Opera House in London, for this year’s Olivier Awards 2013.

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Royal Opera House Box Office – What’s On

February 6, 2013 

What’s playing and coming up at Royal Opera House.

The Olivier Awards 2013 with MasterCard to be broadcast by ITV and BBC Radio 2 on Sunday 28 April 2013

January 29, 2013 

• The Olivier Awards 2013 with MasterCard to be broadcast by ITV and BBC Radio 2
• Awards will be co-hosted by Sheridan Smith, with a voiceover from Julia McKenzie
• Public voting now open for the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award
• Free live event for the public returns to the Covent Garden piazza
• Nominations to be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 on Tuesday 26 March

ITV will be the official television broadcast partner for the 37th Olivier Awards with MasterCard, the UK’s highest stage honours, which take place on Sunday 28 April 2013 at the prestigious Royal Opera House.

The agreed broadcast package includes an Olivier Awards ceremony highlights programme broadcast on the night, shortly after the ceremony ends. Exact broadcast time will be confirmed nearer the date. Executive Producer for the Society of London Theatre will be Julian Bird, and Lee Connolly and Fiona Clark for ITV Studios.

As the official Olivier Awards radio partner, BBC Radio 2 will be broadcasting live radio coverage of the ceremony as in previous years. The programme, to be presented by Ken Bruce, will be broadcast from 6pm.

The Olivier Awards are delighted to announce the first details of the line-up for the ceremony, with news that one of the hosts will be double Olivier Award winner, Sheridan Smith (winner in 2011 and 2012). Julia McKenzie, another double Olivier Award winner, will provide this year’s Awards voiceover.

Further details of the Olivier Awards ceremony will be announced nearer the date but will include performances from some of the nominated  musicals, tributes to this year’s Special Award winners and some very special guests. 2013 sees the return of the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award for the Most Popular Show, the only Olivier Award decided entirely by members of the public. Voting was launched on the Elaine Paige on Sunday programme on 27 January and will close on Monday 18 March. Visit www.olivierawards.com to place your vote.

Theatre-loving members of the public are invited to gather in the Covent Garden piazza for a free Olivier Awards celebration, where there will be a relay of the awards ceremony show on big screens as well as live performances on the Radio 2 stage from top West End shows, celebrity hosts, special guests, red carpet fashion tips and much more.

On Tuesday 26 March, for the first time, BBC Radio 2 will broadcast the 2013 Olivier Award nominations live at 11.30am from a theatre industry reception at the Mayfair Theatre at London’s Mayfair Hotel. The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Matilda The Musical, winner of a record seven Olivier Awards in 2012, will perform at the nominations event.

Amphitheatre tickets to The Olivier Awards 2013 with MasterCard are on sale at www.pricelesslondon.co.uk (as of 9am, Tuesday 29 January).
To keep up with the latest Olivier Awards news and engage with the Awards online visit Facebook.com/olivierawards, Twitter and Instagram @OlivierAwards #oliviers.

Journalists and bloggers will be able to share any press photos and video media via the Oliviers live-streaming Wall by tagging content with #oliviers via Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or Tumblr. The Wall launches via the Oliviers website and Facebook on 11 February: www.olivierawards.com/thewall

Release issued by: Society of London Theatre Press Office:


Olivier Awards 2013 – microsite

Olivier Awards official site

New Opera At The Royal Opera House from 2013 to 2020

January 10, 2013 

The Royal Opera’s artistic directors, Antonio Pappano, Music Director, and Kasper Holten, Director of Opera, today outlined their artistic plans for new operas to be presented at the Royal Opera House from 2013 to 2020. More than 15 new operas will be presented, both on the main stage and in the Linbury Studio Theatre. Four composers will also be given an unprecedented challenge to work on an epic operatic event for 2020.

Pappano and Holten talked of The Royal Opera’s plans to extend the established tradition of commissioning British composers, and also include work by leading international artists such as Luca Francesconi, Kaija Saariaho, Georg Friedrich Haas and Unsuk Chin. The aim is to continue relationships with a number of the companies who have already worked at the Royal Opera House, as well as to introduce a whole new roster of national and international co-commissions and collaborations.

More projects will be added to the plans over the next few years, especially for the Linbury Studio Theatre from 2015.

Kasper Holten commented ‘New work is not and should not be at the periphery of our programme, but right at the core of what and who we are. And this is something we do, not because we must, but because it is something that we are passionate about. We hope that opera audiences will share our curiosity and come with us with open minds along this journey. There is not and should not be a guarantee of success for every single piece, only for innovation and risk-taking. But we can guarantee that we will put all the forces of The Royal Opera behind them all, whatever the scale, and whether the new work is aimed at adults or young people. To have a smaller theatre inside a major opera house is a rarity, and the combination of the Linbury Studio Theatre and our large stage gives us a unique platform for developing new work, which will only be strengthened through national and international partnerships.’

Antonio Pappano added: ‘Our efforts are being focused on working with the composers who really excite us, both for the Linbury Studio Theatre and for the main stage. We have worked hard to find the composers we feel have a real flair and passion for opera, and we are very excited about being able to roll out our vision for new work on all scales.’

Alongside the current revival of Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur and the highly anticipated UK premiere of George Benjamin’s Written on Skin, which The Royal Opera has co-commissioned for the main stage, The Royal Opera will produce the UK stage premiere of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest in a production directed by Ramin Gray. Tim Murray conducts the Britten Sinfonia and the cast which includes Ida Falk Winland, Stephanie Marshall, Hilary Summers, Paul Curievici, Benedict Nelson, Simon Wilding and Alan Ewing, who reprises his role as Lady Bracknell from the concert performances at the Barbican last year. The production will be staged in the Linbury Studio Theatre.

There will be a number of new productions created specially for the Linbury Studio Theatre in the 2013/14 Season.

Acclaimed Australian composer Ben Frost adapts Iain Banks’s cult novel The Wasp Factory in a production that he himself directs. This opera has been commissioned by Bregenz Festival’s Art of our Times programme, and is a co-production with the Royal Opera House, Hebbel-am-Ufer, Berlin, Holland Festival and Cork Midsummer Festival.

For Christmas 2013, Julian Philips is composing a new opera for family audiences to a libretto by Edward Kemp, which will be directed by Natalie Abrahami, with designs by Tom Scutt.

We are working with the British electronic pioneer, composer and sound artist Matthew Herbert to make a new piece in 2014 inspired by the Faust story. Running alongside The Royal Opera’s revival of Gounod’s Faust, Matthew’s production integrates cutting-edge technology into the fabric of the musical score.

Composer Luke Bedford and Scottish playwright David Harrower will create a companion piece taking a very different route through the Faust legend. Both works are for the Linbury Studio Theatre.

The Royal Opera will present the first UK performances of renowned Italian composer Luca Francesconi’s Quartett, based on the play by Heiner Müller, which is itself inspired by characters from Les Liaisons dangereuses. Quartett had its world premiere at La Scala, Milan, in 2010 and will be shown in a new version in London by The Royal Opera. The Royal Opera’s new production is co-produced with London Sinfonietta and Opéra de Rouen, and directed by John Fulljames.

During the 2013/14 Season The Royal Opera will launch an annual collaboration with Aldeburgh Music and Opera North to commission first operas from composers who have a flair for operatic creativity that, with careful nurturing, could develop into the composition of major operatic works. The project is supported by Arts Council England as part of a wider programme of work, led by Aldeburgh Music, to celebrate the legacy of Benjamin Britten. In the first year of the project, we will commission two operas that will be produced in Aldeburgh, Leeds and the Linbury Studio Theatre in March 2014. Further commissions will follow in 2015 and 2016.

The Royal Opera’s 2014/15 Season will open with a revival of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole in the main auditorium, followed by a new opera in the Linbury Studio Theatre by Philip Glass, based on Kafka’s The Trial, co-commissioned with Music Theatre Wales and Houston Grand Opera.

A new chamber opera by German/Danish composer Søren Nils Eichberg, working with librettist Hannah Dübgen, is commissioned for 2015 in the Linbury Studio Theatre. The opera is a taut thriller, which asks us to question what we can really trust – which emotions are real and which are virtual.

2015 – 2020
A new opera for children by Mark-Anthony Turnage, to be directed by Katie Mitchell, is scheduled for December 2015, also in the Linbury Studio Theatre.

The new operas already planned for this period include an adaptation of Max Frisch’s play Count Oederland by Judith Weir, working with librettist Ben Power. This is a collaboration with Scottish Opera and Oper Frankfurt, scheduled for performance in the Linbury Studio Theatre. More new work in the Linbury Studio Theatre during this period is being developed and will be added to our plans and announced later.

For the main stage there is a commission from German composer Georg Friedrich Haas, based on Jon Fosse’s novel Morgon og Kveld (Morning and Evening) with libretto by the author. The Royal Opera will be collaborating with Deutsche Oper Berlin on this piece, which will open in London in November 2015 and in Berlin in April 2016.

Thomas Adès’s next large-scale opera, based on Buñuel’s film The Exterminating Angel, is a commission from The Royal Opera and a number of international partners including the Salzburg Festival. The librettist is Tom Cairns, who also directs. The Exterminating Angel will be performed at the Royal Opera House in spring 2017.

Another important main stage commission is currently being negotiated for late spring 2018.

There will be a new main stage opera from Unsuk Chin, who adapts Alice Through the Looking Glass with librettist David Henry Hwang for 2018/19. This follows the extraordinary success of Unsuk’s first opera Alice in Wonderland, which has now been produced around the world.

For the year 2020 The Royal Opera has challenged four leading composers from different countries in Europe to each create a large-scale new opera for 2020. The vision is for four distinct operas, each one in part inspired by the composer’s response to a set of questions developed in collaboration with the philosopher Slavoj Žižek: ‘What preoccupies us today? How can we today stage ourselves? What are the collective myths of our present and future?’

Each composer will work independently of the other teams but in collaboration with The Royal Opera’s artistic leadership.

The four composers invited at this stage are Kaija Saariaho (Finland), Mark-Anthony Turnage (UK), Luca Francesconi (Italy) and Jörg Widmann (Germany).

All four commissions will have their premieres on the main stage during 2020.

New Relationships

From 2013, The Royal Opera is developing some new relationships to enable an increased engagement with emerging composers and librettists.

The Royal Opera will work with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in offering a range of training opportunities for emerging opera-makers including composers, writers and directors. This new relationship will begin with a conference about libretto writing to take place at the Guildhall School in April 2013. Subject to validation, the conference will mark the launch of a new Masters Programme in Opera Making in association with the Royal Opera House and a new doctoral studentship in opera composition, the culmination of which will be a new opera for performance in 2016.

Also in 2013 we will be working with Sound and Music for the first time to deliver a seminar day on Saturday 16 March enabling emerging composers to think about writing for opera.

Opera development

The Royal Opera will continue to make a significant investment in artists and ideas as we develop works towards production. There will be an ongoing programme of opera development, including workshops and readings, some visible for the public, others not, depending on the needs for each project. Projects currently being developed include some of the commissions mentioned above, and work by Chris Mayo, Sasha Siem and Soumik Datta, as well as by digital artists Kleis&Rønsholdt and Tal Rosner.

The Royal Opera House has invited composers David Bruce and Elspeth Brooke to be composers in residence during the 2012/13 Season, with a view to the future development of participatory work and/or opera for young people.

Partnerships with UK opera companies

We are keen to work with as many partners as possible on new work, enabling it to be seen by as wide an audience as possible across the UK.

As well as collaborating in the future with all the large-scale regional companies, The Royal Opera will continue to play a significant role in working with mid-scale touring companies. Plans are in place for Music Theatre Wales to bring their TMA award-winning production of Mark- Anthony Turnage’s Greek and Salvatore Sciarrino’s Luci mie traditrici to the Royal Opera House in autumn 2013 and to return with the Philip Glass co-commission described above. The Opera Group will bring HK Gruber’s Gloria: A Pigtale to the Royal Opera House in 2014. Further projects in collaboration with other UK companies will be added for later seasons.

Press release issued by: Royal Opera House


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