Olivier Awards 2024: Broadway-bound ‘Sunset Boulevard’ and star Nicole Scherzinger win big

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A bold reinterpretation of the Hollywood film noir musical “Sunset Boulevard” stole the spotlight at this year’s London stage Olivier Awards, taking home seven trophies including best musical revival and best actress for American star Nicole Scherzinger.

The ex-Pussycat Dolls singer took home the coveted award for her portrayal of the fading silver screen star Norma Desmond, alongside her co-star Tom Francis, who won best actor for his role as a struggling screenwriter.

Football-themed state-of-the-nation drama “Dear England”, which examines the impact manager Gareth Southgate had on the nation’s men’s football team during the 2020 European Champion final, was named best new play, while Sarah Snook and Mark Gatiss were among the acting winners.

“Sunset Boulevard” Jamie Lloyd took the directing trophy for the technically innovative production, which melds live video with the onstage action and also won Oliviers for sound and lighting design. 

It’s due to open in New York later this year, and Lloyd predicted it would “take Broadway by storm.”

Other winners

Sarah Snook, winner of the best actress award for “The Picture Of Dorian Gray”, poses for photographers in the winner’s room during the Olivier Awards on 14 April 2024

The prize for best new musical went to “Operation Mincemeat,” a word-of-mouth hit based on an audacious real-life espionage operation that deceived the Nazis during World War II. The show began life in a tiny theatre in 2019 and has moved to progressively larger venues, gathering accolades along the way.

Stranger Things: The First Shadow,” a dazzlingly staged prequel to the Netflix supernatural series, was named best new entertainment or comedy.

Snook – the scheming Shiv Roy in “Succession” – beat a talented field including Sarah Jessica Parker and Sophie Okonedo to be named best actress in a play for “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s cautionary fable in which Snook plays more than two dozen characters.

Mark Gatiss, winner of the best actor award for “The Motive and The Cue”, poses for photographers in the winner’s room during the Olivier Awards on Sunday, 14 April 2024

Will Close, winner of the best actor in a supporting role award for “Dear England” poses for photographers in the winner’s room during the Olivier Awards on 14 April 2024.

Mark Gatiss – co-creator of the BBC TV series “Sherlock” – won the best actor trophy for playing theatre great John Gielgud in “The Motive and the Cue,” beating out Joseph Fiennes and Andrew Scott, who had been the favourite to win for the solo show “Vanya.” The Anton Chekhov adaptation by Simon Stephens took the prize for best revival.

Will Close was named best supporting actor in a play for his performance as footballer Harry Kane in “Dear England.”

Haydn Gwynne, who died in October, was posthumously awarded the best supporting actress prize for her final stage role in “When Winston Went to War with the Wireless,” about the early days of radio in Britain.

Awards for supporting performances in musicals were Amy Trigg for “The Little Big Things” and Jak Malone for “Operation Mincemeat.”

Hannah Waddingham, known for her role in “Ted Lasso,” hosted a lively ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall. She kicked off the event with a powerful rendition of “Anything Goes,” accompanied by the London Community Gospel Choir. 

Throughout the evening, the audience enjoyed performances from various nominated musicals such as “Guys and Dolls,” “Hadestown,” and the popular local production “The Little Big Things.”

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