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LATEST LONDON NEWS

Suzy Bastone and Ryan Molloy/Ph: Brinkhoff & Mogenburg

WAITING TO BREATHE
March 9, 2009

By JOHN NATHAhjN

RSC, Donmar Warehouse and Black Watch lead Olivier Awards

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Donmar Warehouse both scooped four awards at the 33rd Laurence Olivier Awards, held in London and hosted by actor James Nesbitt.

The Donmar tally is lower than expected as the production power house received a total of 13 nominations for shows at its traditional venue in Covent Garden and its inaugural West End season at the Wyndham's Theatre.

The Olivier Best Actress and Actor awards were won by Margaret Tyzack for her performance in the Donmar revival of The Chalk Garden and Derek Jacobi who was recognized for his performance as Malvolio in Michael Grandage's Donmar production of Twelfth Night.

The individual production to receive the highest number of awards was Black Watch which won four Olivier's including Best New Play.

In the musical categories, Jersey Boys won Best New Musical, while the Menier Chocolate Factory revival of La Cage Aux Folles was given the nod for Best Musical Revival.

In a statement, producer Nica Burns, who is also President of the Society of London Theatre commented, "This year's Laurence Olivier Awards are shared amongst a record breaking number of productions reflecting an outstanding year both on stage and at the box office. There was fierce competition for each nomination, congratulations to the supremely talented winners. London's theatre is a jewel in the crown of our capital city and its success is a reason to cheer in these uncertain times."

The Society's Special Award which recognizes an outstanding contribution to theatre was awarded to Alan Ayckbourn and and presented by actress Liza Goddard and Kevin Spacey whose Old Vic Theatre hosted a hit revival of Ayckbourn's The Norman Conquests.

The full list of nominations and winners will appear in a follow-up news item.