Olivier Award nominations - where is Kenneth Branagh?

So, the nominations for the Oliviers have been announced and, as usual, there’s at least one big surprise omission.

This year it is Kenneth Branagh and Michael Grandage’s turn.

Despite being critically lauded for his perfomance in Ivanov (and picking up the Critics’ Circle Award last week), Branagh doesn’t even make the shortlist for the Oliviers.

And while the Donmar has managed to scoop 13 nominations, I think Grandage could probably deserve to feel a little aggrieved that he hasn’t got a nod for at least one of the productions that he has helmed - Ivanov, The Chalk Garden, Twelfth Night…

Maybe it was something they said…

The full nominations can be found here

Also, in case your interested, here’s a few observations from the nominations list, in no particular order.

The number of nominations for subsidised vs commercial productions is roughly 50/50, with the subsidised theatre just edging it.

However, the number of nominations for shows that will be open after the award ceremony (March 8) vs those that will be closed is nearly three to one in favour of the closed shows.

That’s obviously worth bearing in mind when one considers that award ceremonies are as much a means of promotion as anything else…

And finally, I think it’s worth noting that there are only two nominations for Best New Musical - Jersey Boys and Zorro - in what most people would probably recognise hasn’t been a vintage year for new writing in musical theatre. In such a small field, Marguerite will be disappointed not to have picked up at least a nomination nod in this category.

Best Entertainment is probably a much stronger field this year - with Brief Encounter, La Clique and Maria Friedman: Re-Arranged all in with a good shout.

Overall, expect the Donmar to do well (I’d guess at a minimum of two or three gongs), while La Cage aux Folles could also feature heavily when the final prizes are handed out.

What are your thoughts on the nominations?

5 Comments

I never liked Kenneth Branagh.

Branagh's performance in Ivanov was utterly amazing; it sent chills down the spines of the entire audience. He is clearly one of the most outstanding actors of our time.

Could it be that the Brit theatre powers feel threatened that a working-class Irish lad had to come over to show them how it's done?

Come home to Ireland, Ken. They don't appreciate you here.

Aside from the Branagh and Gandage ommissions which are really appalling - what about the silliness of combining the directors of musicals with plays. Directing a musical is a different skill from directing a play and there were so many magnificently directed plays this year that its shocking that in addition to Grandage, Jamie Lloyd's fine work wasn't recognized nor Greg Doran, nor - nevermind the list goes on. And the idea that a piece of schlock like Zorro gets 5 nods is simply shocking - it was one step above Daddy Cool. Oh well. With omissions such as these it simply shows the relative meaninglessness of the awards.

I never liked Kenneth Branagh! i think is super

How could you NOT like Kenneth Branagh?!!! He is a genius.

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