Olivier Awards 2016 Shenton's Picks: Productions
In our final Olivier Awards 2016 nominations special, Critics' Circle Chair and LondonTheatre.co.uk reviewer Mark Shenton turns his attention to the production categories to give his pick on which shows he thinks will take home the awards at the this year's Olivier Awards ceremony. From celebrity led revivals to brand new musicals and comedy productions, see if your favourite production from the past twelve months is tipped to win.
People Places and Things
Mark's View: This is really hard. Hangmen did win the Critics' Circle Award, but for me People, Places and Things is the play of the year. I thought that was astonishing, a really really powerful play but I could see why they may give it to Hangmen. I wouldn't say Farinelli - it was a wonderful vehicle for Mark Rylance. The Father is an underdog play which could be in there with a chance, but I do think the National will take it home in this category.
Bend it Like Beckham
Mark's View: Of course I desperately want Bend it to win because it's my show of the past five years probably - I've been seven times already. It's a show I'm completely in love with. A colleague once asked what I like to do in my spare time when I'm not reviewing a show, I said go and see Bend it Like Beckham. It's a show that fills me with joy. I love the score, the energy of it, the music for me is the heartbeat and it fills me with joy. I literally cry every time at the beauty of it - it's a show that I've become evangelical about. It's rather lovely that we have two British musicals on this list. In The Heights is very accomplished, but it's quite slight and formulaic. You realise all the influences on Hamilton, and that is the show of the century. Kinky Boots is negligible - it's not much of a show at all. Mrs Henderson is very very sweet, it's engaging. I fear Bend it Like Beckham might lose to Kinky Boots, which I think will be the popular success.
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Mark's View: My own best would go to Ma Rainey, as that was an amazing production. Dominic Cooke did a wonderful job with that production. What you're doing with a revival you really are nominating the director. The Winter's Tale was a beautiful production, also beautifully designed so that could win. I don't think Hamlet will sneak in - it got very mixed press.
Mark's View: It's probably going to go to Gypsy as it's triumphed in all categories. If I were choosing I'd give it to Bugsy, and that's the Drew McOnie award for his amazing choreography. It will be Gypsy though.
Best Entertainment & Family
Alice's Adventures Underground at the Vaults
Dr Seuss' The Lorax at the Old Vic
I Want My Hat Back at the National Theatre
Peter Pan at the Regent's Park Open Air
Showstopper! at the Apollo Theatre
Mark's View: This is a quirky category. Peter Pan was glorious at the Open Air, I saw Showstopper once and hated it. The Lorax was wonderful. I won't go to the Vaults as it's a horrible venue, and I didn't see I Want My Hat Back, so I'm not quite qualified in this category, but The Lorax wouldn't be a bad win, but I think Peter Pan was really solid. A familiar story but done in a really innovative way - I loved the flying! It was really clever.
Mark's Winner: Peter Pan
Predicted Winner: Peter Pan
Mark's View: I adored Nell Gwynn, I think that's the one for me. Or Peter Pan - I loved them both. Hand to God absolutely not - one of the worst plays I've ever seen in the West End.
Mark's Winner: Nell Gwynn
Predicted Winner: Nell Gwynn
Violence and Sons
Outstanding Achievement In An Affiliate Theatre
Barbarians at the Clare at the Young Vic
Phil Dunster for Pink Mist at the Bush
Pat Kinevane and Fishamble for Silent at the Soho
Violence and Son Jerwood Theatre Upstairs - Royal Court
Mark's View: There are so many productions that could be eligible. It's a bit of a mess this category. If I was going to pick on reputation I'd go for Violence and Son. It's nice that they've all been picked, and affiliates enjoy being part of that category. It's often a very big deal.
Mark's Winner: Violence and Son
Predicted Winner: Violence and Son
Make sure you watch the Olivier Awards 2016 for all the results on Sunday 3 April 2016...