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Nell Gwynn and The Winter’s Tale Amongst Olivier Award Winners

Monday, 4th Apr 2016

Nell Gwynn - Olivier winner

You might have heard that the Laurence Olivier Awards took place this weekend, with Michael Ball hosting the ceremony at the Royal Opera House, and whilst the big news is Judi Dench picking up her eighth Olivier (a record), it is clear by looking at the results that no particular show dominated the proceedings; instead the awards are spread amongst a wealth of productions.

So whilst there are shows that won multiple awards (the King’s Cross Theatre had a good night with two wins for In The Heights and a further win for Best Theatre Choreographer), the rest was quite evenly spread.

So what awards stand-out and will ensure plenty of attention as they continue their performances in the West End? For starters there’s Nell Gwynn, the production starring Gemma Arterton at the Apollo Theatre, which earned the award for Best New Comedy, and that award in itself will ensure it continues to draw in the crowds right up to its end date on 30th April.

Nell Gwynn was the real life mistress to King Charles II and her story takes audiences at the Apollo Theatre back to the 17th century. She is a performer whose new role on the stage at Drury Lane is a controversial one as it is a time in which women aren’t accepted in such a role.

The well received show was penned by Jennifer Swale and is directed by Christopher Luscombe.

Judie Dench, meanwhile, won the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her work in The Winter’s Tale, which appeared at the Garrick Theatre last year. Whilst the show has since closed, it was a part of the ongoing Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company season at the venue, which is currently showing The Painkiller whilst The Entertainer and Romeo & Juliet are yet to come.

Other winners last night include Kenneth Cranham for The Father, Denise Gough for People, Places And Things and Mark Gatiss for the Three Days In The Country, whilst hangmen at the Wyndham’s Theatre won Best New Play.

A full list of winners can be found at the Olivier Awards’ official site.

Chris Packer
Chris Packer Chris Packer has been writing about the West End for many years and wishes this knowledge would help him win some pub quizzes. When he’s not writing about the newest shows he’s probably watching films or anticipating the latest releases.