‘Cabaret,’ ‘Life of Pi’ win big at UK’s stage Olivier Awards

·2 min read

AN intimate, sold-out production of “Cabaret” was the big winner at the Olivier Awards (April 10, PH time), taking seven prizes including acting trophies for its high-voltage stars, Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley. Literary adaptation “Life of Pi” took five awards including best new play.

“Cabaret” was named best musical revival at the ceremony, which saw the Oliviers—Britain’s equivalent of Broadway’s Tony Awards—return to live collective prizegiving after a three-year break imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Redmayne and Buckley won lead acting prizes for their roles as the Emcee and Sally Bowles in a production of “Cabaret” that transformed London’s Playhouse Theatre into the Kit Kat Club in 1930s Berlin. Liza Sadovy and Elliot Levey won supporting performer awards for the same production, which continues its London run with new leads—and is rumored to be Broadway-bound.

Buckley, who was praised by Redmayne as “one of the greats,” appeared overwhelmed to have won.

“It’s my worst nightmare and my biggest dream all at once,” she said.

“Life of Pi,” adapted from Yann Martel’s best-selling novel about a boy adrift at sea with a tiger, was voted best new play. Hiran Abeysekera was named the best actor in a play as the title character Pi, while—in a first—the supporting actor prize went to seven performers who collectively play the show’s puppet tiger.

Fred Davis, one of the seven, said it was “a landmark moment for puppetry.”

A stage adaptation of a time-traveling 1980s film favorite, “Back to the Future – The Musical,” was named best new musical.

The black-tie ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall was the first full Oliviers show since 2019. Theaters were shut when Britain went into lockdown in March 2020, weeks before the scheduled 2020 Oliviers ceremony. (AP)

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