Brings you closer

Olivier Awards go global

Reporter: Matthew Amer, first published Tue 24 Jan 2012 00:01
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The Olivier Awards 2012 with MasterCard is set to be the biggest celebration London theatre has ever staged, with events taking place at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden piazza and in New York.

The most scintillating night of the London theatre year will be more inclusive than ever before, with a star-studded ceremony, a live show relay to a celebration in the US and a free public event to be held in Covent Garden which will include a live stream of the ceremony on a big screen.

London’s most prestigious prizes will be presented on 15 April, when Sweeney Todd stars Imelda Staunton and Michael Ball will host an incredible evening of awards and bespoke entertainment presented on the illustrious Royal Opera House stage. While nominees, presenters, stars of the British stage and invited guests watch on from the auditorium, an invited audience of New York’s cultural stars and the Brits entertaining on the other side of the Atlantic will be able to join the party at a special event in the Big Apple.

Speaking about the new idea, Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, commented: “I'm incredibly proud of the continuing success of so many British productions on Broadway, a tribute to the talent and quality to be found here. London goes centre-stage in this Olympic and Paralympic year, whilst the Olivier Awards put our superb theatre right in the spotlight. The special event being staged at this year's awards is a taste of the amazing things we have planned for a summer like no other and we look forward to welcoming millions of Americans to the capital, who can take advantage of our award-winning shows on sale throughout the Games and beyond.”

Not to leave the theatregoing public out of the action, the Olivier Awards has also created a unique Covent Garden event, which will be hosted by Magic 105.4’s Neil Fox and musical theatre star Louise Dearman. With a big screen relay of the awards and other entertainment including live performances from some of London’s best-loved shows, it is an incredible opportunity for theatre fans to come together for an amazing evening.

Julian Bird, Chief Executive of the Society of London Theatre (SOLT), which presents the awards, commented: “This year’s 36th Olivier Awards with MasterCard will reflect a particularly star-studded year for London theatre, and the plethora of high calibre sell-out productions for which audiences have been queuing around the block. I am delighted we have been able to extend our celebrations to New York, and this connection is particularly apt in a year in which we are working closer than ever with VisitBritain and London & Partners to deliver a warm welcome to theatre audiences during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

The BBC has again added its support to the Olivier Awards with MasterCard, covering the occasion on Radio 2 and via the Red Button service and championing the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award, which will be launched on the Elaine Paige show on 5 February.

Theatre fans eager to know who else will receive an Olivier Award nomination will have to wait in anticipation until 15 March, when the list everyone wants to appear on will be announced at a special event at London’s Mayfair Hotel. The big reveal will be made in front of the world, as the announcement will be streamed live on for the first time.

The Olivier Awards, the UK’s most coveted stage honours, were established in 1976 as a way of celebrating the incredible talent the London stage has to offer. They were relaunched in 2011 in a new strategic partnership with MasterCard.

Hany Fam, President of MasterCard UK & Ireland, said: “London and New York are at the heart of our new Priceless Cities programme, which is designed to enrich our cardholders’ cultural experiences in these two great cities. We’re proud to be working with one of our founding Priceless London partners, SOLT, to enable our friends in New York to share in this night of celebration of the best of British theatre.”

Alfredo Gangotena, Chief Marketing Officer of MasterCard Worldwide, added: “Our ambition is to connect Priceless experiences across the globe so that we can continue to surprise and delight our cardholders, whether they’re at home or abroad. The live relay of the Oliviers to New York is a unique opportunity to bring together theatre lovers from both sides of the Atlantic in an exciting evolution of our Priceless Cities programme. We’re also offering privileged access to the exclusive VIP screening in New York, so that a few lucky cardholders can mingle with the stars while indulging their passion for theatre.”

For all the latest Olivier Awards news visit or follow the Olivier Awards with MasterCard on Facebook or Twitter.


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