National takes honours at Olivier stage awards: Theatre picks up 10 'Larrys' as West End is eclipsed. David Lister reports
A founder member of The Independent David Lister joined the paper in 1986 as Assistant Home Editor. He became the paper's arts correspondent in 1988 and is now Arts Editor and writes a column each Saturday. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Monday 18 April 1994
The National's rediscovery of a neglected 1920s American feminist play, Machinal by Sophie Treadwell, won four awards in the ceremony at the Palladium. Fiona Shaw's poignant and compelling performance won her best actress; Stephen Daldry was named best director; the play was best revival; and Rick Fisher won the award for best lighting.
The musical Sweeney Todd, also presented at the National, won four awards: best musical revival, best director for Declan Donnellan, best actress in a musical for Julia McKenzie and best actor in a musical for Alun Armstrong. To add to the theatre's success, Tom Stoppard's Arcadia was named best play and Joseph Mydell won best supporting actor for his role in Perestroika.
In the West End, the producer Thelma Holt's brave decision to stage Much Ado About Nothing was rewarded when Mark Rylance won the best actor award; Griff Rhys Jones won the award for best comedy performance for An Absolute Turkey; A Christmas Carol, adapted and staged by Patrick Stewart, was voted best entertainment.
In the best musical category there was disappointment for Andrew Lloyd Webber whose latest effort, Sunset Boulevard, which re- opens with a new staging this week, was beaten by the witty American show, City of Angels. Ironically the latter had to close early because of poor ticket sales.
Among the other awards, Terry Johnson's Hysteria was best comedy, Helen Burns was best supporting actress for The Last Yankee, and Sara Kestelman best supporting actress in a musical for Cabaret.
Outstanding achievement in opera went to the orchestra of the English National Opera, while the outstanding achievement in dance award went to the London Contemporary Dance Theatre. Best new opera production was The Damnation of Faust; best new dance production was Birmingham Royal Ballet's Choreartium.
- 1 Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 Nineteen-year-old student left gifts for parents before taking her own life
- 4 Deliberately urinating before sex can increase risk of urinary tract infections
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
David Cameron says anyone criticising Eric Pickles' letter to Muslims 'really has a problem'
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...
£25000 - £28000 per annum + 25 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: PHP Web...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in London, Manchester, Br...