It was a mixed bag at the 27th Olivier Awards ceremony, London theatre's answer to the Tony Awards, as a wide range of shows took home honors. In the design categories, a different show won for each, while the most nominated production in those categories--Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia--Voyage, Shipwreck, Salvage--was shut out. The awards were broadcast on BBC2 on February 15.
Bunny Christie won best set design honors for A Streetcar Named Desire, beating out Anthony Ward's flying car in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Lez Brotherston's work on Play Without Words, and William Dudley's sets for the aforementioned Stoppard play.
Jenny Tiramani won for her costumes on Twelfth Night, beating out Mark Thompson's flamboyant duds for Bombay Dreams, Dudley's costumes for Utopia, and the new-wave inspired costumes of Mike Nicholls for the Boy George musical Taboo.
Lighting design honors went to Peter Mumford for his work on The Bacchai, edging out Paul Pyant for Streetcar, Paule Constable for Play Without Words, and David Hersey for Utopia.
The Oliviers remain as unenlightened as the Tonys in that there is no award for best sound design.
Sam Mendes was the big story of the night, becoming the first triple award winner at the Laurence Olivier Awards since its inception in 1976, collecting Best Director and Best Revival awards for his productions of Twelfth Night and Uncle Vanya, and the Special Award in recognition of his 10 years as Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse.
The big surprise of the night may have been Our House, the show built upon the music of ska group Madness, winning best musical honors, beating strong competition from Taboo, Bombay Dreams, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Outstanding musical production was awarded to Trevor Nunn's production of Anything Goes.