EDIT: I prepared this blogpost on the day the nominations came out with the intention of filling it in on the day of the awards (today), and I haven't looked at it since then, so I'm really curious to get in there and find out just what I was so angry about back on nominations day...
Best actor in a supporting role in a musical
Jonathan Bailey for Company at Gielgud Theatre
Clive Carter for Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre
Richard Fleeshman for Company at Gielgud Theatre
Robert Hands for Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre
Can I just say how utterly delighted I am that Richard Fleeshman is recognised in this category, I know everyone thinks Jonathan Bailey is going to walk it and I guess I'm not mad about that (unless I was mad about it a month ago?), but Fleeshman was doing great work too and it's nice that he stood out for it. I think it's bold but weird to try recognising individuals for Come From Away because it's such a true ensemble piece and not a single cast member was letting the side down, so it's going to be a Company victory (for Bailey, let's face it).
Best actress in a supporting role in a musical
Patti LuPone for Company at Gielgud Theatre
Ruthie Ann Miles for The King and I at the London Palladium
“The Queens” – Aimie Atkinson, Alexia McIntosh, Millie O’Connell, Natalie Paris, Maiya Quansah-Breed and Jarneia Richard-Noel - for Six at Arts Theatre
Rachel Tucker for Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre
BRING BACK THE BEST COMPANY PERFORMANCE AWARD, STOP DEVALUING INDIVIDUAL CATEGORIES WITH THIS NONSENSE. WE CAN ALL TELL THAT YOU'VE ONLY NOMINATED THE WHOLE CAST AS A CONSOLATION PRIZE BECAUSE YOU DON'T CONSIDER ANY OF THEM TO BE SERIOUS CONTENDERS FOR THIS CATEGORY. I know we all like to think that the British theatre awards are going to want to award British performers, but you know as well as I do that when multiple performers are nominated under one umbrella for the same award, they only win if they're all playing the same role (like Matilda or Billy Elliot), so all things considered it seems really REALLY likely that Patti LuPone is going to win here.
Outstanding achievement in music
Come From Away – Book, Music and Lyrics: David Hein and Irene Sankoff; Music Supervisor, Arrangements: Ian Eisendrath; Orchestrations: August Eriksmoen; Musical Director/UK Music Supervisor: Alan Berry; and the band of Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre
Fun Home – Composer: Jeanine Tesori; Lyricist/Bookwriter: Lisa Kron at Young Vic
The Inheritance – Composer: Paul Englishby at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre
A Monster Calls – Original music composed by Benji Bower and performed live by Benji with Will Bower (The Bower Brothers) at the Old Vic
Six – Original score, orchestrations and vocal arrangements: Toby Marlow, Lucy Moss, Tom Curran and Joe Beighton at Arts Theatre
I am super fond of Six though. I think it might be a bit too much "the little show" and not quite enough "that could" to take any of the big awards, but I do hope it quietly sweeps up the less headline categories like this one. Come From Away is obviously tremendous, Fun Home is a wonder but sort of quietly closed the book on itself after the Young Vic run, The Inheritance looks really weird listed here with these others, and although I enjoy the work of the Bower Brothers, A Monster Calls was frankly no Jane Eyre. It'll be Come From Away if they're feeling sentimental, or Six if they're feeling a little bolder.
Best entertainment and family
A Monster Calls at the Old Vic
Snow White at the London Palladium
Songs for Nobodies at Ambassadors Theatre
The Wider Earth at Jerwood Gallery, Natural History Museum
I only saw A Monster Calls. It was sort of... standard Sally Cookson fare, which is obviously a good thing for I love Sally Cookson, but lacked any sort of moments or aspects that would elevate it from "great" to "LITERAL MAGIC". (Guys I don't even know what Songs for Nobodies IS...?)
Best theatre choreographer
Kelly Devine for Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre
Christopher Gattelli based on original choreography by Jerome Robbins for The King And I at the London Palladium
Carrie-Anne Ingrouille for Six at Arts Theatre
Liam Steel for Company at Gielgud Theatre
I'm honestly surprised that The King And I is only based on the original choreography, I'd've put money on it being literally exactly the same. It's not exactly a dance-heavy category this year, is it? But then the Oliviers have never really shown themselves in thrall to the idea of dance in musical theatre, so I shouldn't be so surprised. I don't know where this one is likely to go, and I won't embarrass myself by trying to guess.
Magic radio best musical revival
Caroline, or Change at Playhouse Theatre
Company at Gielgud Theatre
The King And I at the London Palladium
Feels like a foregone conclusion, doesn't it? It'll be the biggest upset of the night if Company doesn't win.
Best actor in a musical
Marc Antolin for Little Shop of Horrors at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith for Tina - The Tina Turner Musical at Aldwych Theatre
Zubin Varla for Fun Home at Young Vic
Ken Watanabe for The King And I at the London Palladium
Of the two I saw, Zubin Varla's performance was far superior. But I hope Kobna Holdbrook-Smith gives him a serious run for his money.
Best actress in a musical
Sharon D Clarke for Caroline, Or Change at Playhouse Theatre
Rosalie Craig for Company at Gielgud Theatre
Kelli O’Hara for The King And I at the London Palladium
Adrienne Warren for Tina - The Tina Turner Musical at Aldwych Theatre
CONTROVERSIAL OPINION I don't think Rosalie Craig herself did anything uniquely outstanding here, and any musical theatre leading lady with a great set of pipes could have done just as great a job. It seems likely that she'll win though, next natural step on the road to a Broadway transfer. I thought Kelli O'Hara was nothing short of miraculous, and although people thought Sharon D Clarke was just doing what she always does, what Sharon D Clarke does is something that works really well for this role and is always worth paying money to see. So it's a shame that neither of them are serious forerunners in this category. Still, although I've not seen Adrienne Warren, I've heard enough about her performance to remain hopeful on her behalf.
Cunard best revival
King Lear at Duke of York’s Theatre
The Lieutenant of Inishmore at Noël Coward Theatre
The Price at Wyndham’s Theatre
Summer And Smoke at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre
I didn't think The Lieutenant of Inishmore was that great but here it is. Anyway, I think we all know which production I'm rooting for here (Summer And Smoke, newcomers), though I can see them being super boring and giving it to King Lear because it's King Lear and it's Sir Ian McKellen playing King Lear and yawn yawn bore bore bore.
Best new comedy
Home, I’m Darling at National Theatre - Dorfman and Duke of York’s Theatre
Nine Night at National Theatre - Dorfman and Trafalgar Studios 1
Quiz at Noël Coward Theatre
Why is Quiz nominated? The best thing about Quiz was winning a free ice cream because I'm slightly better than two strangers at guessing how much a vacuum cleaner might have cost 30 years ago or whatever. Whatever, there's no way it'll beat the other two. I slightly prefer Nine Night but I won't kick up a stink if Home, I'm Darling takes it.
Outstanding achievement in affiliate theatre
Moe Bar-El for his performance in Every Day I Make Greatness Happen at Hampstead Theatre Downstairs
Flesh and Bone at Soho Theatre
Jonathan Hyde for his performance in Gently Down the Stream at Park Theatre
The Phlebotomist at Hampstead Theatre Downstairs
Athena Stevens for Schism at Park Theatre
One day I'll see more than one nominee in this category. I wonder if The Phlebotomist's current Upstairs run will have an effect on its chances here? It doesn't sound like it's filling the space very well, but if it is just the Downstairs run they're judging it on, it could stand a chance here. Maybe I should go to the Park Theatre more...
White Light award for best lighting design
Neil Austin for Company at Gielgud Theatre
Howell Binkley for Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre
Jon Clark for The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre
Lee Curran for Summer And Smoke at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre
I don't know if the lighting is what really stood out for Come From Away or The Inheritance. It certainly stood out for both Company and Summer And Smoke. I favoured the latter. I bet SOLT favour the former.
Royal Albert Hall award for best sound design
Paul Arditti and Christopher Reid for The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre
Mike Beer for A Monster Calls at the Old Vic
Carolyn Downing for Summer and Smoke at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre
Gareth Owen for Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre
Nick Powell for The Lehman Trilogy at National Theatre - Lyttelton
Look, I don't know what to tell you, Summer And Smoke was one of the absolute greatest pieces of art of 2018, alongside Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, and James Acaster's recreation of Grand Theft Auto. Every award for which it is nominated is an award which it deserves to win, and every award for which it is nominated that it does not win is a knife in my very soul. I can't even pretend to look at this objectively, though my heart will tell you that it doesn't matter, for objectively it is the greatest piece of theatre this country has seen for YEARS.
Best costume design
Fly Davis for Caroline, or Change at Playhouse Theatre
Anna Fleischle for Home, I’m Darling at National Theatre - Dorfman and Duke of York’s theatre
Gabriella Slade for Six at Arts Theatre
Catherine Zuber for The King and I at the London Palladium
If we're giving the award based on which costumes I would most like to have for my own, then there can be no other winner but Home, I'm Darling (actually I guess there's a few good ones in Caroline, or Change too, if that's my rubric). (I'm generally working on the assumption that The King And I has been nominated to recognise that it was a very good production but on the understanding that nominations are about as far as SOLT is willing to go for it. I don't expect it to win anything, and I will be VERY thrown if it does start winning stuff.)
Blue-I Theatre Technology award for best set design
Bunny Christie for Company at Gielgud Theatre
Bob Crowley for The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre
Es Devlin for The Lehman Trilogy at National Theatre - Lyttelton
Anna Fleischle for Home, I’m Darling at National Theatre - Dorfman and Duke of York’s Theatre
The more I am reminded that The Lehman Trilogy exists, the more annoyed I am by it. This is probably the one category I could stand to see it win though. The Inheritance was beautiful but maybe its simplicity will be its downfall. Home, I'm Darling was a rather more literal set than I usually like in theatre (also I was in the front row so couldn't even begin to tell you what was going on upstairs). Company could take this. I'd be okay with that too.
Best actor in a supporting role
Keir Charles for Quiz at Noël Coward Theatre
Adam Gillen for Killer Joe at Trafalgar Studios 1
Adrian Lukis for The Price at Wyndham’s Theatre
Malcolm Sinclair for Pressure at Ambassadors Theatre
Chris Walley for The Lieutenant of Inishmore at Noël Coward Theatre
I hated Killer Joe, but I am willing to concede that the production looked and sounded amazing, and also that most of the cast did a fantastic job with the material. Adam Gillen, however, is the reason for me saying "most of the cast" rather than "all of the cast". How absurd that he receive the only acting nomination. I really hope this goes to one of the actors I didn't see, because I just don't see how it could rightly go to any of the actors I did see.
Best actress in a supporting role
Susan Brown for Home, I’m Darling at National theatre - Dorfman and Duke of York’s theatre
Monica Dolan for All About Eve at Noël Coward theatre
Cecilia Noble for Nine Night at National theatre - Dorfman and Trafalgar Studios 1
Vanessa Redgrave for The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward theatre
YOU DON'T HAVE TO NOMINATE HER JUST BECAUSE SHE'S VANESSA REDGRAVE. Any of the other three could take it and I'd be happy.
Adam Godley, Ben Miles and Simon Russell Beale for The Lehman Trilogy at National Theatre - Lyttelton
Arinzé Kene for Misty at Trafalgar Studios 1
Ian McKellen for King Lear at Duke of York’s Theatre
Kyle Soller for The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre
David Suchet for The Price at Wyndham’s Theatre
SAY IT WITH ME - BEST COMPANY PERFORMANCE AWARD. Honestly I don't think anyone deserves to win this award as much as Kyle Soller deserves to win this award, but considering that Sir Ian McKellen playing King Lear in King Lear was beaten to the award by Chiwetel Ejiofor last time around, I can see me getting very upset by this category on the night.
Gillian Anderson for All About Eve at Noël Coward Theatre
Eileen Atkins for The Height of the Storm at Wyndham’s Theatre
Patsy Ferran for Summer And Smoke at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre
Sophie Okonedo for Antony and Cleopatra at National Theatre - Olivier
Katherine Parkinson for Home, I’m Darling at National Theatre - Dorfman and Duke of York’s Theatre
This is it. This is my one category. The only category that truly matters to me. And if they pull an Evening Standard Awards and give it to Sophie Fucking Okonedo then I will not be held accountable for my actions. These women all gave great performances (all of which I saw!), but only one was doing truly once-in-a-lifetime heart-achingly unforgettable career-best (so far) work. Do the right thing - give it to future dame Patsy Ferran.
Sir Peter Hall award for best director
Christopher Ashley for Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre
Stephen Daldry for The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre
Marianne Elliott for Company at Gielgud Theatre
Rebecca Frecknall for Summer And Smoke at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre
Sam Mendes for The Lehman Trilogy at National theatre - Lyttelton
If y'all give this award to a man then you're damn dirty cowards and don't deserve to be the official arbiters of what makes London theatre great.
American Airlines best new play
The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre
The Lehman Trilogy at National Theatre - Lyttelton
Misty at Trafalgar Studios 1
Sweat at Donmar Warehouse
BEHOLD - THE ONLY CATEGORY IN WHICH SWEAT IS NOMINATED. Just... just please don't give it to The Lehman Trilogy. The others were flawed, or maybe had their greatness overstated, but any of them would be worthy winners as long as you don't give it to The Lehman Trilogy.
Mastercard best new musical
Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre
Fun Home at Young Vic
Six at Arts Theatre
Tina – The Tina Turner Musical at Aldwych Theatre
Oh I take it back, Six could take home the headline award now that it's not directly up against Company. I think it's rather more likely to go to Come From Away though.
And that's it! I assume I was angry about the continued casual disregard of the historical Best Company Performance award when there's nothing stopping them resurrecting it at any point that made me so furious, though I admit there's a little normal anger about the presence of The Lehman Trilogy and a little pre-emptive anger about the possibility of Summer And Smoke maybe not winning every award it's nominated for. Check back after the ceremony to see me turn the winners red and maybe offer further commentary depending on what and/or how I'm feeling!
EDIT: I didn't realise just how much I was holding my breath for Summer And Smoke, but Best Revival and Best Actress will do! Delighted also for Kyle Soller and Sharon D Clarke, but stand by my assertion that SOLT are dirty dirty cowards for giving Best Director to a man (something which the man who received the award apparently agrees with).