OLIVIERS NIGHT……. royal opera house

In Awards, London theatre, News, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

The list of winners is now widespread, but for theatrecat tolerators and friends, some review notes on how it was to be in the actual ROH seeing it happen: – definitely the best production by SOLT so far: snapoily timed, Lenny Henry friendly, low key, every performance interlude directly related to a proper show, not pop offshoots. – how they fit five whole musical casts into the ROH dressing-rooms is a mystery. But they do. – there is a real beauty in the way the Steadicam TV guys skilfulky prowl the stage, red lights like pilot-launches circling a ship by night – only two of the awards felt wrong to this critic. Which may mean I am disgracefully mainstream in my tastes. Though a few un-nominated ones make me sad. – it is very perilous to tweet , Shenton style, as it goes along. I described Angela Lansbury as ‘bear supporting actress” not Best Supporting. The image remains hard to banish. Esp with that teddybearish hairdo. – the ovation for her was a joy to join in – the noisiest claque were from BEAUTIFUL, in the circle – closely followed by the joyful mob from Sunny Afternoon. Three Oliviers! Go Hampstead! – the moral that subsidized theatre enriches the ecosystem and makes the West End a powerhouse was proved over and over and over again…Almeida, Donmar, Y Vic, Hampstead, NT… – dame Judi revealed that Kevin Spacey i troduced her to caramel macchiato and omce arrived at her door with a ping pong table on his head. This made us all very hapoy – Sylvie Guillem claims retirement from dance may tuen her i to ‘a fat bumblebee with skinny legs’. I doubt it. – Ivo van Hove deserved both his awards and is the coolest Belgian since Poirot, and then some – i love how many winners thank their producers for trusting them. – thrilling that the subversive spit n sawdust new-variety origins of La Soiree have brought them to the “legit” status of an Olivier, just as some years ago Green & Martinez got one for c’est Barbican. This is healthy. – and finally – that moment when Kevin Spacey told us he loves the Old Vic more than anything and then took off his jacket and SANG Bridge over Troubled Water with the largest choir I have ever seen…well… (Chokes, sobs, can write no more)

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Libby Purves
Libby Purves was theatre critic for The Times from 2010 to 2013. Determined to continue her theatre commentary after losing that job, she set up her own site www.theatrecat.com in October 2013. She personally reviews all major London openings, usually with on-the-night publication, and also gives voice to a new generation of critics with occasional guest 'theatrekittens'. In addition to her theatre writing and myriad other credits, Libby has been a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Midweek for over 30 years. She is also the author of a dozen novels, and numerous non-fiction titles. In 1999, Libby was appointed an OBE for services to journalism.

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