Published:Monday, 26 Oct 2020 08:10
Stars of the stage gave messages of “faith and hope” at Sunday’s Olivier Awards, as most theatres remain closed because of the pandemic.
Winners encouraged those working in the arts to stay positive about the future, and look ahead to a time when live performances will be able to resume.
Dear Evan Hansen and & Juliet were among the big winners, while Fleabag star Andrew Scott was named best actor.
He urged those in the industry to “keep the faith” as he accepted his trophy.
“I cant wait to be back on the boards and having a laugh again as soon as we can,” he said.
The actor won for his performance in the Noel Coward play Present Laughter, and said he was “genuinely thrilled” to win an Olivier.
“A sense of humour that is incredibly important for us people in the theatre,” he said. “It’s something that’s helped us all survived in the last few months during this incredibly arduous time.”
The Oliviers are the most prestigious awards event in UK theatre. Sunday’s ceremony was hosted by Jason Manford at the London Palladium, and took place without an audience.
Shows which opened in the year to February 2020 were eligible for this year’s prizes. The ceremony normally takes place in April, but it was delayed this year due to the pandemic.
Most theatres have remained closed since lockdown was imposed in March, but some venues have tried to re-open with social distancing restrictions in place.
Several of this year’s winners praised the freelancers who work in the industry and looked ahead to a time when theatres would be allowed to fully reopen.