Young Vic and Sunny Afternoon win big at 2015 Olivier Awards

Young Vic's A View from the Bridge wins a hat-trick at the Olivier Awards (Credit: Jan Versweyveld)

Young Vic’s A View from the Bridge wins a hat-trick at the Olivier Awards (Credit: Jan Versweyveld)

This year’s Olivier Awards have seen The Young Vic take away four prizes, picking up the award for outstanding achievement in an affiliate theatre for its production of Bull, and scoring a hat-trick for A View from the Bridge winning best revival, best director for Ivo van Hove and best actor for Mark Strong.

Accepting his award, Strong reflected on how A View from the Bridge had drawn in young audience members: ‘What has been amazing is the young people who came to see it, they all wanted to talk about what they were seeing. A 12-year-old boy asked me what is the purpose of theatre – I’ve never been in a production people wanted to talk about more.’

Kinks jukebox musical Sunny Afternoon dominated the musical categories, taking four out of five awards it was nominated for, winning: outstanding achievement in music, best actor in a supporting role in a musical for George Maguire, best actor in a musical for John Dagleish, and the title for best new musical.

Sunny Afternoon was the big musical winner of the evening (Credit: Alastair Muir)

Sunny Afternoon was the big musical winner of the evening (Credit: Alastair Muir)

Despite receiving 17 nominations between them, both Memphis the Musical and Beautiful – The Carole King Musical took home just two prizes each – best sound design and best theatre choreographer for Memphis, and Beautiful’s actresses taking best actress in a supporting role in a musical for Lorna Want and best actress in a musical for Katie Brayben.

Other highlights of the evening included the presentation of the best actress in a supporting role award to Angela Lansbury. Receiving her first Olivier Award aged 89 to a standing ovation, the actress said: ‘I’m creeping up to 90 and feeling like a million dollars because I’m in London.’ Lansbury’s role in Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre is her first in the West End in 40 years. In celebration of his tenure as artistic director at the Old Vic, Kevin Spacey was presented with a special award by Judi Dench. Spacey is due to step down from his role this autumn, to be succeeded by Matthew Warchus.

Olivier Award winners 2015

Best revival
A View from the Bridge at the Young Vic and Wyndham’s Theatre

Best actor in a supporting role
Nathaniel Parker for Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies at the Aldwych Theatre

Best actress in a supporting role
Angela Lansbury for Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre

Best entertainment and family
La Soiree at La Soiree Spiegeltent

Best lighting design
Howard Harrison for City of Angels at the Donmar Warehouse

Best sound design
Gareth Owen for Memphis the Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre

Best costume design
Christopher Oram for Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies at the Aldwych Theatre

Best set design
Es Devlin for The Nether at the Duke of York’s Theatre

Best new dance production
32 Rue Vandenbranden by Peeping Tom at the Barbican;
Mats Ek’s Juliet and Romeo by Royal Swedish Ballet at Sadler’s Wells

Outstanding achievement in dance
Crystal Pite for her choreography in the productions of The Associates – A Picture Of You Falling, The Tempest Replica and Polaris at Sadler’s Wells

Best new play
King Charles III at the Almeida Theatre and Wyndham’s Theatre

Best actor
Mark Strong for A View from the Bridge at the Young Vic and Wyndham’s Theatre

Best actress
Penelope Wilton for Taken At Midnight at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

Audience award
Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre

Best new comedy
The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre

Best musical revival
City of Angels at the Donmar Warehouse

Outstanding achievement in an affiliate theatre
Bull at the Maria at the Young Vic

Best theatre choreographer
Sergio Trujillo for Memphis The Musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre

Best director
Ivo van Hove for A View from the Bridge at the Young Vic and Wyndham’s Theatre

Outstanding achievement in music
Ray Davies for Sunny Afternoon at Hampstead Theatre and the Harold Pinter Theatre

Best actor in a supporting role in a musical
George Maguire for Sunny Afternoon at Hampstead Theatre and the Harold Pinter Theatre

Best actress in a supporting role in a musical
Lorna Want for Beautiful – The Carole King Musical at the Aldwych Theatre

Best actor in a musical
John Dagleish for Sunny Afternoon at Hampstead Theatre and the Harold Pinter Theatre

Best actress in a musical
Katie Brayben for Beautiful – The Carole King Musical at the Aldwych Theatre

Best new musical
Sunny Afternoon at Hampstead Theatre and the Harold Pinter Theatre

Matthew Warchus to succeed Spacey at The Old Vic

The Old Vic appoints a new artistic director (Credit: Jim Linwood)

The Old Vic appoints a new artistic director (Credit: Jim Linwood)

The Old Vic has announced that Matthew Warchus will succeed Kevin Spacey when steps down as the theatre’s artistic director in autumn 2015.

Warchus is currently working as The Old Vic’s artistic associate. In 2008 he directed outgoing artistic director Spacey and Jeff Goldblum in Speed-the-Plow. He has worked on over 70 productions in London and Broadway including Matilda the Musical.

Nick Clarry, chairman of The Old Vic Theatre Trust said of Warchus’s appointment: ‘We are delighted to have appointed an artistic director with the talent and track record of Matthew Warchus. This is a key appointment for The Old Vic, building on the many achievements of Kevin Spacey since 2004.

‘We believe that the next few years will be a very exciting time. Our goals are to continue to develop our artistic programme under Matthew’s leadership, to continue with our outreach work, to establish an endowment fund, and then to redevelop our historic building after the bicentenary in 2018.’

Kevin Spacey said he ‘couldn’t be happier’ with Warchus’s appointment. ‘Matthew is a thoughtful, intuitive and highly creative director and he has rightly been applauded for his work, in particular the quality and diversity of his portfolio. I know he loves our theatre and I am delighted for our staff, our audiences and for our acting and production communities that he will be its next guardian.’

Matthew Warchus said: ‘I am excited and honoured to be following Kevin’s galvanising tenure at this wonderful building. He has re-established The Old Vic as a globally important theatre and I look forward to continuing to develop it as a hub of invigorating creativity.’

Kevin Spacey foundation launches partnership with Regent’s College London

Kevin SpaceyThe Kevin Spacey Foundation (KSF) has announced details of a new partnership with Regent’s College London, through which students will be offered the chance of a scholarship, and an opportunity to work with Old Vic artistic director Kevin Spacey in
masterclasses as part of their course.

Spacey said of the new partnership: ‘I am delighted that my foundation is working with Regent’s College to offer scholarships to this exciting degree course. I believe it will be life changing for the recipients, ensuring they get the chance to discover their creativity and
experience a higher education that might not  otherwise be available to them.’

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