This year’s edition of the UK theater world’s Olivier Awards, which had been set for April 5 at Royal Albert Hall in London, has been canceled. Organizer the Society of London Theatre made the call Tuesday as the UK government ramped up its restrictions in the fight against coronavirus.
“Following the government’s new advice on social distancing yesterday, and the subsequent closing of many theatres and public venues, we no longer feel that it is feasible to host the ceremony that we had planned to deliver,” SOLT said in a statement today. It said all tickets would be refunded.
Organizers said they are working through plans “on how to properly honour and announce this year’s winners, and will release further information soon.”
This year’s nominees for the best of West End theater were announced March 3. James McAvoy, Andrew Scott, Wendell Pierce and Toby Jones were nominated for best actor, while Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Hayley Atwell, Juliet Stevenson and Sharon D Clarke were nominated for best actress.
The new musical & Juliet nabbed nine nominations, with Trevor Nunn’s Fiddler on the Roof securing eight and Dear Evan Hansen seven.
On Monday, the Society of London Theatre and U.K. Theatre said their member venues will close until further notice, including the National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, the London Palladium, the Old Vic and the Royal Opera House. The Olivier’s home Royal Albert Hall previously announced it was closing until further notice.
In a press conference, British Prime Minister Johnson said people in the UK should start working from home, avoid non-essential travel and not visit public venues including theaters and pubs.
In the U.S., meanwhile, shows have been shut down until April 13, with the Broadway League, the trade organization representing theater owners and producers, in discussions about new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control calling for the eight-week postponement or cancellation of gatherings of 50 or more people. That would double the current closures.
So far, Broadway’s Tony Awards have not moved off the June 7 date for its 74th annual edition at Radio City Music Hall live on CBS. It likely will move, though; all Broadway shows from the 2019-20 season were to have opened by April 23 for be Tony-eligible.