The Kinks musical Sunny Afternoon has dominated this year’s Olivier Awards which were presented at London’s Royal Opera House on Sunday night.
The show, written by band founder Ray Davies, which started out at the Hampstead Theatre before transferring for a sell-out run in the West End, won the most awards for any single production and was crowned Best New Musical.
The Young Vic’s A View From The Bridge took home Best Revival, Best Actor for Mark Strong and Best Director for Ivo Van Hove.
Angela Lansbury got her first Olivier for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Blithe Spirit and Penelope Wilton is named Best Actress for Chichester West End transfer Taken At Midnight.
Mike Bartlett took Best New Play for King Charles
III, and Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre with Bull.
Akram Khan performed to mark Sylvie Guillem’s Special Award, which she received from Sir Anthony Dowell
Wicked took the hotly contested This Morning Audience Award.
Judi Dench presented Kevin Spacey with his Special Award before he took to the stage for a special one-off version of
Bridge Over Troubled Water with Beverley Knight, the full Oliviers Orchestra and the 90-strong Arts Educational Choir under Musical Director Larry Blank.
The winners of the Olivier Awards 2015, the most prestigious event in the UK theatrical calendar, were announced in front of a glittering celebrity audience in a ceremony hosted by actor and comedian Lenny Henry.
Hampstead Theatre and the Young Vic were the big winners of the night, winning four awards each.
Hampstead’s Sunny Afternoon was crowned Best New Musical and received acting nods for its stars John Dagleish and George Maguire (Best Actor in a Musical and Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical) who play brothers Ray and Dave Davies in The Kinks musical.
Legendary musician Ray Davies had further cause to celebrate when he recieved the Autograph Sound Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music for the Sunny Afternoon score.
The Young Vic’s wins include the prestigious Best Revival Award for A View From The Bridge, for which Mark Strong won Best Actor and Ivo Van Hove was named Best Director.
Nathaniel Parker won Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of King Henry VIII in Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies at the Aldwych Theatre.
Christopher Oram’s period dress for the Royal Shakespeare Company production, which has just opened on Broadway, also took home Best Costume Design.
The Donmar Warehouse’s sell out production of City Of Angels won the much coveted Magic Radio Best Musical Revival prize, as well as the White Light Award for Best Lighting Design which went to Howard Harrison.
Dame Angela Lansbury received her first ever Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The role of Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit marked the multi-Tony Award winner’s return to the London stage after an absence of nearly 40 years.
Penelope Wilton win for her performance in Taken At Midnight, beat stiff competition from Gillian Anderson, Kristin Scott Thomas and Imelda Staunton.
Beautiful – The Carole King Musical saw Katie Brayben and Lorna Want win the awards for Best Actress in a Musical and Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical for their on-stage portrayals of songwriters Carole King and Cynthia Weil respectively.
Memphis The Musical was awarded two Oliviers in the categories for Best Theatre Choreographer and Best Sound Design, which went to Sergio Trujillo and Gareth Owen.
The XL Video Award for Best Set Design was given to multi-Olivier winning designer Es Devlin for The Nether at the Duke of York’s Theatre.
The Play That Goes Wrong, which originally opened as a one-act show at the Old Red Lion Theatre won Best New Comedy.
La Soirée, which describes itself as a cocktail of cabaret, new burlesque and circus sideshow, received the Best Entertainment and Family Award for its run at the La Soirée Spiegeltent.
In the dance categories, Best New Dance Production was shared by 32 Rue Vandenbranden by Peeping Tom at the Barbican Theatre and Mats Ek’s Juliet And Romeo by the Royal Swedish Ballet at Sadler’s Wells.
The award for Oustanding Achievement in Dance went to Crystal
Pite for her choreography in the productions of The Associates – A Picture Of You Falling, The Tempest Replica and Polaris also at Sadler’s Wells.
Richard Jones was recognised for his direction of The Girl Of The Golden West, The Mastersingers Of Nuremberg and Rodelinda at the London Coliseum in the Outstanding Achievement in Opera category.
English National Opera’s The Mastersingers Of Nuremberg also picked up the award for Best New Opera Production.
This year’s Special Award winners were the groundbreaking classical and contemporary dancer Sylvie Guillem and Kevin Spacey in recognition of his tenure as Artistic Director at The Old Vic Theatre and contribution to the London stage.
*All images Pamela Raith.