Laurence Olivier Awards 2010 Highlights
Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen, to the 34th annual Laurence Olivier Awards. Trying not to be too nervous so my voice don’t go too high. Just over 30 years ago, I went on a school
trip to the Open Air Theatre at Regents Park… …and it was there that I sat enthralled by ‘Androcles And The Lion’
that I decided that I really wanted to be an actress. The ensemble as we all know is always
the nerve and pulse of any musical… …and this particular ensemble were an amazing life force
in the rehearsal room and on the stage. I would never have imagined then that two decades later I would return to
the Park, playing Dolly in ‘Hello Dolly!’ and standing here holding this… …so I’m absolutely delighted to complete that full circle in
such a way with such an incredible honour. I really love what I do so much and this
makes it worth every second. Thank you very much. I don’t know if it’s a tradition in London but carved above the
Stage Door at the Palace Theatre is a sign that says… ‘Many great artists have passed and will pass through this door’.
We’re so honoured to be a pair of those artists. What a tremendous honour. Thank you so, so much to
the Olivier committee. It means an awful, awful lot. What an honour to be nominated with James Earl Jones. Overwhelming. Someone outside asked me what it felt like to be up against Jude Law.
I have to say, I don’t know what that experience is like. I think it would be fair to say that general elections have been fought
with marginally less gusto than the Audience Award that we are now holding. Thank you, SOLT, so much for this recognition, and a huge big thank you
to the audiences who have supported us for the past 17 weeks. To think that we’re here holding this Laurence Olivier Award,
and that Lord Olivier once played Big Daddy. I just want to tell a little story. Exactly one year ago, my Director, James Dacre, emailed me and said ‘I
have this theatre called Theatre503, and they want to do your play, The Mountaintop, and it’s above a pub.’ I was an American. It was an American story about an American hero. That
nobody would want to hear it over here. But I was proven wrong. We had such amazing fun putting Enron on. It
always felt like a strange school camp. I suppose having fun is what it’s about really. The awards are fantastic as well but sharing it with
a wonderful bunch of actors and a great creative team is certainly why I do it anyway. I’m so please to have this. I was nominated a few times and the
fact that I never got it I always thought was Larry’s revenge. Look at him. He still looks cross and I don’t know quite… Wow. This is amazing. I just want to thank everyone that was involved with Spring Awakening.
It was an amazing experience and to be holding this now is absolutely amazing. Two Welsh boys win an Olivier in one night in their early 20’s. We never thought that the dream that was fulfilled so beautifully would pass so quickly. But I really want to accept this both in
recognition of and as a memorial of the work we all did, and a way that I’ll always remember how beautiful it was.