Dear England & Sunset Lead Olivier Race

Stage Icons Clash in Prestigious Theatre Award Nominations

by Nouman Rasool
Dear England & Sunset Lead Olivier Race
© Alex Grimm/Getty Images

In a dazzling announcement that has set the stage for this year’s Olivier Awards, the musical revival of Sunset Boulevard, featuring Nicole Scherzinger in a standout role, and the critically acclaimed sports drama Dear England, spotlighting Gareth Southgate’s odyssey with the England football team to the 2022 World Cup, are leading the nominations.

Sunset Boulevard, revived under the genius of Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, is at the forefront of the musical categories with a whopping 11 nominations. Meanwhile, James Graham’s Dear England, after its triumphant run at the National Theatre and subsequent move to the West End, has clinched nine nods, including best new play and a best actor nomination for Joseph Fiennes’s captivating portrayal of Southgate.

The competition for the best new play is fierce, with Dear England facing off against productions like Jack Thorne’s The Motive And The Cue, featuring Mark Gatiss and Tuppence Middleton, Beth Steel’s Till The Stars Come Down, and Jez Butterworth’s The Hills Of California.

Dear England, a dramatized narrative of the trials and triumphs of the English football teams, also scored nominations for Gina McKee and Will Close in supporting roles as Pippa Grange and Harry Kane, respectively.

Olivier Awards Showdown

The buzz around Dear England has escalated with news of its adaptation into a BBC TV drama, with Fiennes set to reprise his lead role.

In the acting arenas, competition is stiff. Fiennes goes head-to-head with industry stalwarts including Gatiss, James Norton, David Tennant, and Andrew Scott for the coveted best actor award. The best actress category is equally star-studded, featuring talents like Sarah Jessica Parker, Sarah Snook, Sheridan Smith, Laura Donnelly, and Sophie Okonedo.

For musicals, Scherzinger’s riveting performance as a fading Hollywood star has earned her a nomination for best actress in a musical, alongside Natasha Hodgson, Caissie Levy, and Marisha Wallace. The battle for the top male in a musical includes Tom Francis, David Cumming, Daniel Mays, and Charlie Stemp.

The Olivier Awards ceremony, set for April 14 at the Royal Albert Hall, promises a night of celebration and recognition for theatrical excellence. The event, with a highlights package to air on ITV, is eagerly anticipated by fans and industry insiders alike.