A critically acclaimed revival of the musical “Cabaret” and a stage adaptation of the best-selling novel “Life of Pi” were the big winners at the Olivier Awards on Sunday, taking top prizes at Britain’s biggest night of theatre. .
After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, London’s theater community came together for a dazzling ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall.
“Cabaret” had led the nominations with 11 nominations. It won seven awards, including Best Musical Revival and awards for actors Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley.
“This is the dream… This was the role I played as a kid in school, it was what really fueled my passion for theater,” Redmayne said.
“And to be able to do it every night with that extraordinary group of people was amazing.”
“Cabaret” also won best supporting performance for Elliot Levey and Liza Sadovy and best director for Rebecca Frecknall.
Originally produced on Broadway in 1966, with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, “Cabaret” follows the lives of characters tied to a seedy Berlin nightclub during the rise of the Nazis.
Oscar winner Redmayne played the emcee of the Kit Kat Klub and Buckley played Sally Bowles, an English singer with more ambition than talent.
Frecknall said the musical was moving “now with everything that’s going on internationally”.
“The Life of Pi,” based on Yann Martel’s book about a boy stranded in a lifeboat with a tiger, won five awards, including best new play, best actor for Hiran Abeysekera and best supporting actor for all seven. artists who play the show’s puppet tiger. .
“The fact that we’ve been nominated for a puppet character…it’s phenomenal and a historic moment for puppetry,” actor Fred Davis. “Hopefully it will open the door for more puppets in central roles in theater in the future.”
“Back To The Future – The Musical,” based on the hit 1985 sci-fi movie, won best new musical, while “Constellations,” about the relationship between a quantum physicist and a beekeeper, took home the award. for best revival and best actress for Sheila Atim. .
Liz Carr won best supporting actress for “The Normal Heart,” a new production of Larry Kramer’s play about the 1980s New York AIDS crisis.
Like other industries, London’s West End was hit hard by the pandemic when its theaters were forced to close their doors in March 2020.
They started welcoming back audiences last spring, though not all of them and those that did returned with smaller productions and at 50% capacity. Larger productions resumed shows in the summer.
Established in 1976 and named for actor Laurence Olivier, the awards are Britain’s most prestigious theatrical honours. (Reuters)