Author: Donna

Olivier Awards

The Oliver Awards are named after the esteemed British actor Laurence Olivier and celebrate UK-based plays, musicals, and other theatrical events. The awards were previously referred to as the Society of West End Theatre Awards but renamed in honor of the actor in 1984 – four years before he died in 1989.

Each year, the Society of London Theater puts together a panel of judges from across the arts industries to decide on the winners. There is often one award, normally best musical, which is voted for by the general public.

The Olivier Awards mainly focus on drama and musicals with categories such as Best New Play

Best Revival, Best New Comedy, Best New Musical, Best Musical Revival, Best Actor in a Musical

and Best Actress in a Musical. There are also awards dedicated to the creative teams and also to other forms of theatre such as dance and opera.

Matilda and Hamilton are the two musical with the most awards, both earning themselves seven Oliviers. The play with the most awards is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which in 2017 was the winner of nine Oliviers including best play. There are three individuals who have won seven Olivier awards, these are William Dudley, Matthew Bourne, and the actress Dame Judi Dench – who also won a special award back in 2004 for her contribution to the theater.

The composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has won a total of six awards plus the special recognition putting him in second place behind the aforementioned artists.

BAFTAS

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts hosts an annual ceremony in London called the BAFTA film awards – often seen as the English Oscars and an indication of who might win at the American event which is held a few weeks later.

Most of the awards are open to people of any nationality, except for the British film and Britsh rising star awards. While BAFTA is a charitable organization which aims to celebrate and champion film, many of the winners are American due to the influence of Hollywood.

The original location of the awards was the Odeon cinema in Leicester Square before moving to the Opera House in Covent Garden and finally the Royal Albert Hall. The ceremony has had a number of hosts over the years including the actress Vivien Leigh, Roger Moore, Terry Wogan, Jonathan Ross, and Stephen Fry.

The categories of the awards largely reflect the Oscars with popular awards including best actor and actress, best supporting actor and actress, as well as best film and best director. Those behind the camera, including the creative teams who work on films, are also honored with awards at the event.

A History of Theater

The theater is considered one of the oldest art forms in the world and takes into account a variety of performance types including musicals, plays, opera, dance and many more. Early theater is thought to have originated in Ancient Greece, especially the kind of theater we are used to today which consists of a stage, costumes, characters, and a structures narrative.

However, it is likely that civilizations were putting on some kind of performance long before this. The Indians and the Chinese also have a long history of Theatre, though it is less prominent in these societies today – especially when compared to Britain and the United States which have the two largest theater hubs in the world.

From the 15th century, the theater has been undergoing a constant revolution. This started with the arrival of William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe who are still two of the most famed playwrights to have ever lived. The 19th century was dominated by music hall style productions where sketched and songs would be performed but without a narrative connecting them together.

The 20th century saw another explosion in theatre with playwrights such as Brecht and Samuel Beckett driving the theater revolution. Today the theatre is as big as ever with touring productions making the art form more accessible to many more people. Many musicals, in particular, have been staples of the theatre scene for more than 20 years. These stalwart shows include Les Miserables, Blood Brother and The Phantom of the Opera.

Besides the large productions of the West End and Broadway, other types of the theater include community theater, fringe theatre, street theater, and Off-Off-Broadway.

Plays

The play is an ever-popular form of written literature which has been performed for many thousands of years. Most of the time plays are written to be acted in theaters but there are a few who have also produced works for them to be read. One notable example of this was the dramatist George Bernard Shaw.

There are many different genres of the playthese include comedies, farces, restoration comedy, tragedy, and drama. Some of the oldest plays date back to the Greeks, notably Oedipus Rex which is still staged today. Many works from the 15th century are also still in circulation, including the works of the beloved English playwright William Shakespeare.

The structure of a play is often divided into several acts. Most modern plays consist of two acts, though historically they were many more than this. In modern productions, there is normally an interval at the end of the first act when patrons can leave the auditorium for around 20 minutes. Plays which do not have acts are called a ‘one-acter’ Each act is then divided into several scenes which are normally marked by a change in setting.

Highest Grossing Films

There are many different ways which films make money, these range from merchandise related to the film to people who buy the DVD. However, the most common way in which the popularity of a film is measured is through its takings at the movie theatre box office. Here is a list of the top grossing films when adjusted for inflation. All revenues are from 2017.

1. Gone with the Wind – This 1939 classic starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh earned a staggering $3,703,000,000 worldwide making it the highest grossing film of all time. However, in real terms, this wouldn’t even make the top 50.

2. Avatar – Number 2 on the list is the James Cameron epic Avatar which took $3,251,000,000. the film was revolutionary in its use of technology and the depiction of life on the mythical Pandora instantly became a sci-fi classic.

3. Titanic – In at number 3 is another of James Cameron’s films. A world away from the sci-fi of Avatar, this movie of the famed ship which sank in 1912 off the coast of Canda in the Atlantic Ocean earned a tidy $3,078,000,000.

4. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope – This installment of the classic franchise which introduced the world to the likes of Princess Leia took home $3,041,000,000 and instantly became one of the most successful films of all time.

5. The Sound of Music – The number 5 spot was taken by this classic movie-musical starring the irrepressible Julie Andrews as Maria von Trapp. Based on a true story of a family fleeing the Nazis, the film captured the hearts of audiences around the world and earned $2,547,000,000.

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