Sunday, 6 October 2019

10 Long running shows that didn't win Best Musical at the Oliviers


The original production of Chicago in 1979 lost out on the Best Musical Award to Songbook. However the revival did win Best Musical revival in 1998. The original production ran for 600 performances at the Cambridge Theatre. The show was also nominated in two other categories at the 1979 Olivier Awards; Antonia Ellis (Roxie) for Best Actress in a Musical and Ben Cross (Billy Flynn) for Best Actor in a Musical. However The Awards went to Virginia McKenna (The King and I and Anton Rodgers (Songbook).

Starlight Express

This long running show at the Victoria Apollo ran for 7,409 performances over 18 years. The show is currently the ninth longest running West End show in History and remains the Apollo Victoria Theatres longest running show. The musical lost out on the Best Musical Award to 42nd Street in 1984. Lon Satton, who played Poppa in the original London production, was also nominated for Best Actor in a Musical but the award went to Paul Clarkson for The Hired Man.

The London production of Wicked, which is currently in its 13th Year at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, did not get nominated for the award in its opening year. Neither did it receive nominations for any Actors in the company. It was nominated in the Best Director, Lighting Design, Costume Design and Set Design but it failed to pick any up. The Award went to Caroline, Or Change the year Wicked was eligible. The show went on to win 2 Audience choice Olivier Awards. 

Les Miserables 

West End's longest running musical has just closed at the Queens Theatre and will reopen there, now the Sondheim Theatre, later this year. It has run for 13,964 performances for 34 years but lost the Best Musical Award to Me and My Girl. The show was also nominated in two other categories; Colm Wilkinson and Alun Armstrong were both nominated for Best Actor in a Musical but it was picked up by Robert Lindsay (Me and My Girl) and Patti LuPone nominated for Best Actress in a Musical, winning the award. 

Blood Brothers

The original production of Blood Brothers, in 1983, won the Olivier Award for Best Musical. This production closed in the same year with a UK tour following. The show returned to the West End in newly produced version by Bill Kenwright in 1988 but lost out to the award the second time to Candide. The show did however win one Olivier in its West End return, Con O'Neill snapped up the Award for Best Actor in a Musical for the role of Mickey Johnstone. 

This production, which ran for over 12 years at the Dominion Theatre, only picked one nomination in the 2003 Olivier Awards despite winning 5 WhatsOnStage Awards (every award it was nominated for) the same year. Sharon D Clarke was nominated for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical however the Award went to Paul Baker for his role in Taboo. The show did however win an Audience Choice Olivier Award in 2011. 

This show lost out twice on an Olivier Award, once in 1989 and again in 2015. The original production lost out to Return to the Forbidden Planet and the 2014 revival lost to City of Angels. The original production ran at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane for 10 years and the revival played at the Prince Edward Theatre for 2 years. The show did however pick up the awards for Best Actor and Actress in a musical for Jonathon Pryce and Lea Salongas performances. 

Mamma Mia! 

Nominated in the 2000 Awards, the musical is still playing to this day in its third London venue. It has been playing for 20 years and continues to play to packed out houses. The show lost out to Honk!. Siobhán McCarthy was nominated for Best Actress that year also, with Barbra Dickson winning for Spend Spend Spend. Louise Plowright and Jenny Galloway were also nominated for Best Supporting role in a Musical, with Galloway winning. 

The Lion King 

The Disney musical opened in the West End in 1999, following a successful run on Broadway. The show is currently the 8th Longest running West End show in History. The musical lost out on the award to Honk! that year.  In the 1991 Olivier Awards the show was nominated in 8 categories, winning the Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor) and Best Theatre Choreographer (Gareth Fagan) The show is still running at the Lyceum Theatre. 

The original production of Avenue Q ran for five years in London and has had numerous tours since closing in London. It lost out on the 2007 Olivier Award, the national theatre production of Caroline, or Change won that year. The show received no other nominations in any other categories that year but did win a WhatsOnStage Awards for Best Ensemble Performance. 
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