It’s normally a major highlight in the theatre calendar but the fallout of the coronavirus emergency has now extended to the Olivier Awards ceremony, planned for 5 April 2020 at the Royal Albert Hall, but now cancelled. The hope is alternative arrangements will be made to ‘properly honour and announce this year’s winners’.
A statement explained that following the government’s new advice on social distancing yesterday, and the subsequent closing of many theatres and public venues, the Society of London Theatre no longer felt that it was feasible to host the ceremony that the organisation had planned to deliver.
As the Royal Albert Hall had also announced closure until further notice, the difficult decision had been made that the event would not be going ahead.
The statement continued: “The Society of London Theatre would like to thank all nominees, shows, producers, theatres, sponsors, suppliers and creatives for their ongoing support. We are working through plans on how to properly honour and announce this year’s winners, and will release further information soon.
“All tickets will be refunded, and the Royal Albert Hall will be in touch with ticketholders, who are asked to be patient during this process.”
It's with deep regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Olivier Awards 2020 with Mastercard. We're working through plans on how to properly honour & announce this yearâs winners, & will release further info soon ð#OlivierAwards— Olivier Awards (@OlivierAwards) March 17, 2020
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& Juliet, the new British musical using the pop songs of Swedish hitmaker Max Martin to retell Shakespeare’s classic love story, had nine nominations – including Best New Musical, Best Actress in a Musical, Best Set Design and Best Costume Design.
Trevor Nunn’s revival of the 1964 musical Fiddler On The Roof, which opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory before transferring to the West End last year, was nominated eight times, with a Best Director nod for Nunn, as well as acting nominations for Andy Nyman and Judy Kuhn. There were also seven nominations for new musical Dear Evan Hansen, which opened on Broadway in 2016, and six for the Richard Eyre-directed revival of Mary Poppins currently running at the Prince Edward Theatre.
Petula Clark, last Olivier-nominated in 1981, received a Best Supporting Actress in a Musical nomination for her role as the Bird Woman in Mary Poppins. She was joined in the musical acting categories by several first-time nominees, including Miriam-Teak Lee for & Juliet, Zizi Strallen for Mary Poppins, Sam Tutty for Dear Evan Hansen and Jac Yarrow for Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
For more a full list of musical theatre nominations, click here.