Special programme celebrating Olivier Awards to replace cancelled ceremony

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

A special programme celebrating the past 10 years of the Olivier Awards will be shown on ITV on the day this year’s ceremony was due to be held.

The event, which was scheduled to take place on April 5, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and organisers have said they will announce this year’s winners at a special event in the autumn.

Theatres around the country, including the Royal Albert Hall where the ceremony was due to take place, are closed in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.

An hour-long programme, Olivier Awards – Greatest Moments, will be hosted by Jason Manford and will look back at Olivier Awards ceremonies over the past 10 years.

It will include archive footage of performances and speeches, and a celebration of some of the award-winning productions, including Dreamgirls, Hamilton, The Book Of Mormon, The Lion King and Matilda The Musical.

Magic Radio will also broadcast a special programme from 6pm to 8pm on the same evening, also celebrating the best Olivier Awards moments, alongside a weekend of shows on Magic’s new musical theatre station Magic at the Musicals.

Nominations for the Olivier Awards were announced on March 3, with new musical & Juliet leading the nominations with nine nods.

The winners will be revealed at a special event later in the year, which will also be broadcast on ITV and Magic Radio.

Julian Bird, executive producer of the Olivier Awards and chief executive of the Society Of London Theatre, said: “Amid unprecedentedly difficult times for our theatre community, we look forward to providing audiences with a unique celebration of the last ten years of incredible, world-leading British theatre honoured at the Olivier Awards, in anticipation of a separate ceremony for this year’s winners in the autumn.

“We are hugely grateful to our longstanding headline sponsor Mastercard, for their support this year and over the past decade – alongside all our other partners, who we look forward to working with again soon.”

The theatre world has seen mass closures and cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic, with many companies, creatives and performers taking to online platforms to create new work, connect with fans and colleagues, and raise money to help those in the industry who are struggling.