How to Win an Olivier Award - History Shows a Winning Formula

Interactive guide shows you how to win an Olivier Award

How to Win an Olivier Award - History Shows a Winning Formula

With the Olivier Awards just over a week away a winning formula has been revealed that provides the key to winning an Olivier Award for Best Actor and Actress in both a straight play and a musical.

Using data from past award winners dating back to 1976, when they were known as the Society of West End Theatre Awards, a winning character formula has been revealed that shows which stage roles are most likely to pick up the top prizes in each category.

The most definite way to win an Olivier Award across the board is to play a "Young Fictional British Aristocrat from the Recent Past who has a Love Interest and Survives to the end".

Roles such as Bill Snibson in Me and My Girl, which won Robert Lindsay an Olivier in 1985, hit the most marks across the board with Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady and Viv Nicholson in Spend Spend Spend hitting 6/7.

When it comes to Actors in Plays the winning formula becomes a "Young Fictional British Soldier from the Distant Past who has a Love Interest and Survives to the end."

The top roles become Ralph Clark in Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Country's Good which scored David Haig a hit in 1988 and Falstaff in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, a role that has achieved success for Robert Stephens in 1993 and Roger Allam in 2011.

Female actors in plays fare best if they play a "Young Fictional British Housewife from the Recent Past who has a Love Interest and Survives to the end".

Whilst no female roles tick all seven of those boxes, 50% of the top ten have played housewives, in roles such as Natalya Petrovna in A Month in the Country and Nora Helmer in A Doll's House.

When it comes to musical theatre the most definitive way to win an Olivier across both genders is by playing a "Middle Aged Fictional American Entertainer from the Recent Past who has a Love Interest and Survives to the end".

Roles such as Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Albin in La Cage aux Folles and Mother in Ragtime confirm these stats, showing an interesting trend in award-winning roles.

The data can be used to predict which nominees are most likely to take the top prizes in the upcoming 2017 Olivier Awards, based on the statistics of the past 40 years. 

Check out our fully interactive guide on How to Win an Olivier Award, and use it to predict this years winning nominees...

 

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