The 2015 Olivier Awards, Royal Opera House London

12th April 2015.

It's been over three weeks since I last did an event in London, and now that I'm back from a short sojourn there's 4 in 5 days. This was the first of them : The 2015 Olivier Awards - celebrating Theatre Excellence in London, and showcasing at the same time my own complete lack of knowledge in this field. (The last time I went to the theatre was not in the last 12 months. Or 24 months).

With apologies to anyone from the World of Theatre, here's how it appeared to me to have gone down:

The Oliviers, while no doubt prestigious, do not *quite* attract the same number and ferocity of fans. That's why I decided to take a spot outside the usual public pen and photograph the event from a staircase. Why? Because it was there. And so was I.

The Oliviers, while no doubt prestigious, do not *quite* attract the same number and ferocity of fans. That's why I decided to take a spot outside the usual public pen and photograph the event from a staircase. Why? Because it was there. And so was I.

As a physical object, an Olivier Award (not pictured to scale) is one of the more intimidating trophies you can win. Last year they had a couple of them on the red carpet, but this year they only had two and they were glowering in a darkened service vestibule behind the crowd, probably teaming up and beating up people for their lunch money.

As a physical object, an Olivier Award (not pictured to scale) is one of the more intimidating trophies you can win. Last year they had a couple of them on the red carpet, but this year they only had two and they were glowering in a darkened service vestibule behind the crowd, probably teaming up and beating up people for their lunch money.

This is my long-range view. At this point, I feel like I might have erred in my choice of position... it really does feel ill thought-through. However, the advantage is that the photos I'll be taking from this position will not be duplicated by anyone else (who wasn't stupid enough to stand here). I'm not so much taking the road less travelled as The Road That's Not Technically Not Even A Path.

This is my long-range view. At this point, I feel like I might have erred in my choice of position... it really does feel ill thought-through. However, the advantage is that the photos I'll be taking from this position will not be duplicated by anyone else (who wasn't stupid enough to stand here). I'm not so much taking the road less travelled as The Road That's Not Technically Not Even A Path.

"I don't know who any of these people are!" "Me either" "Why are their pictures so small?" "I don't know" "Why are we even here?" "Gets the wife off my back for a few hours"

"I don't know who any of these people are!"
"Me either"
"Why are their pictures so small?"
"I don't know"
"Why are we even here?"
"Gets the wife off my back for a few hours"

As was the case last year, my only real strategy is to look for women in above-average glamorous dresses and hope later that somebody on Getty or Wireimage identifies them as somehow notable. Here is my first guess as the swarm on the red carpet begins.

As was the case last year, my only real strategy is to look for women in above-average glamorous dresses and hope later that somebody on Getty or Wireimage identifies them as somehow notable. Here is my first guess as the swarm on the red carpet begins.

"I don't know who any of these people are. Please tell me they're not my co-stars in that play I'm in..."

"I don't know who any of these people are. Please tell me they're not my co-stars in that play I'm in..."

Good news. About five minutes into the event, and this is how crowded the Red Carpet is right now. Time to find a new strategy. I'm leaning towards whimpering gently and thinking about going home, but apparently James McAvoy and Gemma Arterton are expected to be at this thing.

Good news. About five minutes into the event, and this is how crowded the Red Carpet is right now. Time to find a new strategy. I'm leaning towards whimpering gently and thinking about going home, but apparently James McAvoy and Gemma Arterton are expected to be at this thing.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that his hairstyle took even longer to put together than hers did. That 'artfully toussled' look isn't easy to accomplish. (more so with my hair, given how little of it there is, but that's a side-matter)

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that his hairstyle took even longer to put together than hers did. That 'artfully toussled' look isn't easy to accomplish. (more so with my hair, given how little of it there is, but that's a side-matter)

If this is singer Beverley Knight, then I've identified my first Red Carpet arrival!!! If it isn't, then I've just dug myself even further into a hole of cultural ignorance than I've previously implied I'm already at the bottom of.

If this is singer Beverley Knight, then I've identified my first Red Carpet arrival!!! If it isn't, then I've just dug myself even further into a hole of cultural ignorance than I've previously implied I'm already at the bottom of.

At right, we have our first nomination for Best Air Kiss at a 2015 awards show. I give it relatively high marks due to the presence of a high shoulder blade to aim for and miss.

At right, we have our first nomination for Best Air Kiss at a 2015 awards show. I give it relatively high marks due to the presence of a high shoulder blade to aim for and miss.

"Hold me and never let me go". As much as I don't watch any, I think I like theatre people - they're so much more *expressive*. At movie awards, people just kind of nod and high-five or wear sunglasses and act too cool to acknowledge each other.

"Hold me and never let me go". As much as I don't watch any, I think I like theatre people - they're so much more *expressive*. At movie awards, people just kind of nod and high-five or wear sunglasses and act too cool to acknowledge each other.

I think I used to have pyjamas that colour back when I was a little girl. Except it was three different pyjamas, not one. Oh, and I was never a little girl.

I think I used to have pyjamas that colour back when I was a little girl. Except it was three different pyjamas, not one. Oh, and I was never a little girl.

"It's a celtic breastplate that can stop a wayward swing from a broadsword. And it looks fabulous". If it can repel a swung broadsword, it can almost certainly deflect any criticism I might wield at it, so I'll let it go. Also : wireimage identifies this as (actress?) Claire Sweeney.

"It's a celtic breastplate that can stop a wayward swing from a broadsword. And it looks fabulous". If it can repel a swung broadsword, it can almost certainly deflect any criticism I might wield at it, so I'll let it go. Also : wireimage identifies this as (actress?) Claire Sweeney.

"I am a man with a hat" says this man, without saying a word. (Now THAT'S acting) (and lo, George Maguire did win : he won a best supporting actor in a Musical award on the night.... it's all in the hat, people) (and the talent).

"I am a man with a hat" says this man, without saying a word. (Now THAT'S acting) (and lo, George Maguire did win : he won a best supporting actor in a Musical award on the night.... it's all in the hat, people) (and the talent).

I don't know who this man is, but the toussled hair is about a 6.5. It's not particularly windy on the carpet, so he's playing it safe. Also, he might be from the world of theatre and immensely talented, but don't rely on me to tell you that. (edited to add : uh. yeah. he's John Dagleish and he won Best Actor in a Musical on the night)

I don't know who this man is, but the toussled hair is about a 6.5. It's not particularly windy on the carpet, so he's playing it safe. Also, he might be from the world of theatre and immensely talented, but don't rely on me to tell you that. (edited to add : uh. yeah. he's John Dagleish and he won Best Actor in a Musical on the night)

It's Mark Strong!!!!! (two of those exclamation marks are because I recognise him, another two are because I'm a fan, and the fifth is because I know he won best Actor on the night)

It's Mark Strong!!!!! (two of those exclamation marks are because I recognise him, another two are because I'm a fan, and the fifth is because I know he won best Actor on the night)

"You already know I won? How? Are you, like, from The Future or something?". With the amount of time it's taking me to collate, edit and upload these, I think technically I'm already from the distant past.

"You already know I won? How? Are you, like, from The Future or something?". With the amount of time it's taking me to collate, edit and upload these, I think technically I'm already from the distant past.

And the Award for best dress sleeves in a comedy or musical go to... (edited to add : they're Lauren Cuthbertson and Edward Watson. But I say that with all the personal investment of somebody pointing out two butterflies in an exhibition case).

And the Award for best dress sleeves in a comedy or musical go to... (edited to add : they're Lauren Cuthbertson and Edward Watson. But I say that with all the personal investment of somebody pointing out two butterflies in an exhibition case).

"When hair like mine you have, look as good you will not... hmmm?" I'll never have hair like that.... sadly. Or an Olivier Award, unless I steal one of the two giant cardboat cutout ones in the dark alleway. Or both... frankly, I'd like both. Oh, and this is Ray Davies, whose score for the musical "Sunny" provided him with a special outstanding achievement award.

"When hair like mine you have, look as good you will not... hmmm?" I'll never have hair like that.... sadly. Or an Olivier Award, unless I steal one of the two giant cardboat cutout ones in the dark alleway. Or both... frankly, I'd like both. Oh, and this is Ray Davies, whose score for the musical "Sunny" provided him with a special outstanding achievement award.

I don't know who the guy on the top left is, but there was slightly higher than average screaming when he got closer to the crowd. (OMG : I only realised afterwards that this is actor Jamie Campbell-Bower. I've never seen him without hair so windswept that I make sure to lash down all my possessions just in case a highly localised storm cell is following him around)

I don't know who the guy on the top left is, but there was slightly higher than average screaming when he got closer to the crowd. (OMG : I only realised afterwards that this is actor Jamie Campbell-Bower. I've never seen him without hair so windswept that I make sure to lash down all my possessions just in case a highly localised storm cell is following him around)

Oh! I think it's somebody I recognise : this may well be Amanda Abbington, who plays Professor Watson's wife Mary in the TV series 'Sherlock'

Oh! I think it's somebody I recognise : this may well be Amanda Abbington, who plays Professor Watson's wife Mary in the TV series 'Sherlock'

If this IS Amanda Abbington, then not only is it, like the third person I've identified in about 20 photos, but she's been in the TV series 'Mr Selfridge' which I've never watched, and something called 'Dinopaws', which I've never heard of.

If this IS Amanda Abbington, then not only is it, like the third person I've identified in about 20 photos, but she's been in the TV series 'Mr Selfridge' which I've never watched, and something called 'Dinopaws', which I've never heard of.

I don't know who this is, but that's not why I took the photo. Plus, I suspect that her eyelashes are thicker than the straps holding up her dress.

I don't know who this is, but that's not why I took the photo. Plus, I suspect that her eyelashes are thicker than the straps holding up her dress.

If this is Amanda Abbington (or, frankly, even if it isn't) I think that expression is 'confused disdain'.

If this is Amanda Abbington (or, frankly, even if it isn't) I think that expression is 'confused disdain'.

Telepathic interviews. It's the way of the future.

Telepathic interviews. It's the way of the future.

"Screw secret ballots having been cast months ago... if I concentrate really hard RIGHT NOW I can still affect the outcome". As with last year, my lack of knowledge of Theatre means that once the awards are announced I often have to scramble through my photos to see if I *accidentally* photographed somebody who (with the greatest respect) 'ended up being important'. In this case... Penelope Wilton, who won the Best Actress award on the night.

"Screw secret ballots having been cast months ago... if I concentrate really hard RIGHT NOW I can still affect the outcome". As with last year, my lack of knowledge of Theatre means that once the awards are announced I often have to scramble through my photos to see if I *accidentally* photographed somebody who (with the greatest respect) 'ended up being important'. In this case... Penelope Wilton, who won the Best Actress award on the night.

"It took six hours to get the hair looking like this....  it cost more than the suit!!". I believe it. (edited to add : he's James Norton. But of course he is)

"It took six hours to get the hair looking like this....  it cost more than the suit!!". I believe it. (edited to add : he's James Norton. But of course he is)

"Hi, I'm Russell Tovey. And you are...?" Me? I'm wondering who Russell Tovey is. I heard people screaming 'Benedict!!!!' and I didn't see him... so perhaps the crowd in the pen are as uncultured as I am.

"Hi, I'm Russell Tovey. And you are...?" Me? I'm wondering who Russell Tovey is. I heard people screaming 'Benedict!!!!' and I didn't see him... so perhaps the crowd in the pen are as uncultured as I am.

Congratulations, credit card company. You made me acknowledge that you're sponsoring this event because as at right now I can't be bothered deleting your logo. I assume they got the sponsorship by paying money for it, which is kind of like buying proximity to talent without necessarily having talent. (Advertising and sponsorship is a funny thing...)

Congratulations, credit card company. You made me acknowledge that you're sponsoring this event because as at right now I can't be bothered deleting your logo. I assume they got the sponsorship by paying money for it, which is kind of like buying proximity to talent without necessarily having talent. (Advertising and sponsorship is a funny thing...)

"You all look so young and virile! Even those of you who are a mere 70 years old" And talking of *actual* talent, this is the awesome Angela Lansbury (I'm not going to lie : I'm old enough to remember first-run Murder, She Wrote with great fondness) - and she won the best Supporting Actress Award on the night.

"You all look so young and virile! Even those of you who are a mere 70 years old" And talking of *actual* talent, this is the awesome Angela Lansbury (I'm not going to lie : I'm old enough to remember first-run Murder, She Wrote with great fondness) - and she won the best Supporting Actress Award on the night.

(photo taken last February) - this is the *only* instance in the past year that I waited outside a theatre to photograph somebody. Because, yes, Angela Lansbury is *that* cool. (Because yes, apparently I am an arbiter of cool)

(photo taken last February) - this is the *only* instance in the past year that I waited outside a theatre to photograph somebody. Because, yes, Angela Lansbury is *that* cool. (Because yes, apparently I am an arbiter of cool)

This wind-machine-accompanied person is Glynis Barber (thanks, wireimage!). I don't know who the man in midst of religious ecstacy behind her is, but I'd be passingly interested to know what path of faith he's choosing, as it seems fascinating.

This wind-machine-accompanied person is Glynis Barber (thanks, wireimage!). I don't know who the man in midst of religious ecstacy behind her is, but I'd be passingly interested to know what path of faith he's choosing, as it seems fascinating.

"What do you mean, 'leather isn't formal'?". 

"What do you mean, 'leather isn't formal'?". 

If you guessed that this is Phoebe Thomas, then quite frankly that's an amazing guess. If you knew this was Phoebe Thomas on the other hand, then it just means you should be here and not me.

If you guessed that this is Phoebe Thomas, then quite frankly that's an amazing guess. If you knew this was Phoebe Thomas on the other hand, then it just means you should be here and not me.

My initial, uncensored comment : "OMG It's that a55hole from Game of Thrones!!". Which is a bit unfair as I'm referring to the character played by actor Iwan Rheon more than the man himself, who to be fair I've never met. Then again... based on Game of Thrones, unfairly or not, I also don't want to.

My initial, uncensored comment : "OMG It's that a55hole from Game of Thrones!!". Which is a bit unfair as I'm referring to the character played by actor Iwan Rheon more than the man himself, who to be fair I've never met. Then again... based on Game of Thrones, unfairly or not, I also don't want to.

"I know you're talented, but get your hands out of my pocket" "But both of my arms are hugging you right now!" "Then this just got even more weird..."

"I know you're talented, but get your hands out of my pocket"
"But both of my arms are hugging you right now!"
"Then this just got even more weird..."

I contrast to most (if not all) of the people whose talent and job puts them way outside the social and cultural echelons I inhabit, I would actually like to know who this is. As opposed to, say, Not knowing who this is.

I contrast to most (if not all) of the people whose talent and job puts them way outside the social and cultural echelons I inhabit, I would actually like to know who this is. As opposed to, say, Not knowing who this is.

"Me? Best achievement in figure skating. My blades are tearing up the red carpet and nobody's even saying a thing". I'm not sure that's an award, but I do like the skin-coloured sparkly sequined routine dress.

"Me? Best achievement in figure skating. My blades are tearing up the red carpet and nobody's even saying a thing". I'm not sure that's an award, but I do like the skin-coloured sparkly sequined routine dress.

"Angela Lansbury said something about me being young and virile, I think. It's taken me fifteen minutes to rush up the carpet... is she still around, do you know?"

"Angela Lansbury said something about me being young and virile, I think. It's taken me fifteen minutes to rush up the carpet... is she still around, do you know?"

Incredibly, I've photographed somebody I recognise from the world of film who is also active in theatre : actor James McAvoy. Although I'll be frank I'm looking at the girl in the centre of the photo more than I'm looking at him. (I'm easily distracted : Is that a tartan top?)

Incredibly, I've photographed somebody I recognise from the world of film who is also active in theatre : actor James McAvoy. Although I'll be frank I'm looking at the girl in the centre of the photo more than I'm looking at him. (I'm easily distracted : Is that a tartan top?)

"Tartan tops? So 1860s". Don't knock the 1860s. Facebook and Google weren't monetising and algorithming your personal data back then.

"Tartan tops? So 1860s". Don't knock the 1860s. Facebook and Google weren't monetising and algorithming your personal data back then.

Somebody shouted "Brian May!!" but I've seen both him and his hair in the past, and I suspect they've mistaken the furry boom mike for the guy. Also : being interviewed, James McAvoy, nominee for best Actor at these awards.

Somebody shouted "Brian May!!" but I've seen both him and his hair in the past, and I suspect they've mistaken the furry boom mike for the guy. Also : being interviewed, James McAvoy, nominee for best Actor at these awards.

"You like the silvery streak? Yeah, me too. It followed me home one day and my wife said I could keep it." Premature baldness followed me home sometime in my late '20s and I wasn't able to shoo it away.

"You like the silvery streak? Yeah, me too. It followed me home one day and my wife said I could keep it." Premature baldness followed me home sometime in my late '20s and I wasn't able to shoo it away.

Queen bandmember Brian May's hair did eventually show up as prophecied.

Queen bandmember Brian May's hair did eventually show up as prophecied.

"Yes I'm his father, and yes I told him he could wear his eyebrows like that if he wanted." I don't know who he, his kid, or his kid's eye-brow-barber is. Don't write me.

"Yes I'm his father, and yes I told him he could wear his eyebrows like that if he wanted." I don't know who he, his kid, or his kid's eye-brow-barber is. Don't write me.

Good news for people who don't know what Ruthie Henshall looks like, but as for what she does I'm sorry I can't help you. I'm going with Actress, but let's be honest that's an easy guess to make, so at the risk of being spectacularly right (or wrong), I'll guess she's a famous spelunker, albeit probably not in that dress.

Good news for people who don't know what Ruthie Henshall looks like, but as for what she does I'm sorry I can't help you. I'm going with Actress, but let's be honest that's an easy guess to make, so at the risk of being spectacularly right (or wrong), I'll guess she's a famous spelunker, albeit probably not in that dress.

I don't know who this is, but this is at least one of her good sides

I don't know who this is, but this is at least one of her good sides

Internal monologue : in the absence of anyone better or prettier to photograph (or anyone with a more enigmatic expression and / or dress design motif), I shall continue to photograph the person in front of me.

Internal monologue : in the absence of anyone better or prettier to photograph (or anyone with a more enigmatic expression and / or dress design motif), I shall continue to photograph the person in front of me.

The spot I'm standing in/on has been partially taken over by people more willing to risk 3m drops onto netting covering a further one-storey drop, so they're not "my people". This leaves me unable to share my excitement at recognising this gentleman : the rather awesome writer / actor Mark Gatiss, best known for Doctor Who, and Sherlock (which he's co-creator of, and stars as Sherlock's brother Mycroft in)

The spot I'm standing in/on has been partially taken over by people more willing to risk 3m drops onto netting covering a further one-storey drop, so they're not "my people". This leaves me unable to share my excitement at recognising this gentleman : the rather awesome writer / actor Mark Gatiss, best known for Doctor Who, and Sherlock (which he's co-creator of, and stars as Sherlock's brother Mycroft in)

"Have more than three episodes of Sherlock in a season? What is this -- America??" While I do like the idea of keeping the quality high, I also think that three episode seasons of a good show mean you're spending 1/3 of the episodes resolving last season's cliffhanger, and 1/3 of the episodes setting up next season's cliffhanger... which leaves you 1 episode to have an ACTUAL EPISODE.

"Have more than three episodes of Sherlock in a season? What is this -- America??" While I do like the idea of keeping the quality high, I also think that three episode seasons of a good show mean you're spending 1/3 of the episodes resolving last season's cliffhanger, and 1/3 of the episodes setting up next season's cliffhanger... which leaves you 1 episode to have an ACTUAL EPISODE.

"No but seriously. We'll have more episodes of Sherlock for you this year. Or maybe next year. We're doing it like Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood' - we're working on a decades-long plan. So you'll totally get to see Benedict Cumberbatch grow up on screen"

"No but seriously. We'll have more episodes of Sherlock for you this year. Or maybe next year. We're doing it like Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood' - we're working on a decades-long plan. So you'll totally get to see Benedict Cumberbatch grow up on screen"

Singer Pixie Lott has a grand total of one (1) song on my iPod, which acros some 9,700 songs means she ranks somewhere way behind Def Leppard, Hans Zimmer, and probably even (accidentally) various bonus track Star Trek sound effects...

Singer Pixie Lott has a grand total of one (1) song on my iPod, which acros some 9,700 songs means she ranks somewhere way behind Def Leppard, Hans Zimmer, and probably even (accidentally) various bonus track Star Trek sound effects...

"Younger, and with a nose ring. You probably think you're edgy, but I could snap your neck and you'd never expect it". I'm a big fan of Gillian Anderson, and younger/edgier though Nose Ring Lady might be, I wish she wasn't blocking my shot of Gillian Anderson.

"Younger, and with a nose ring. You probably think you're edgy, but I could snap your neck and you'd never expect it". I'm a big fan of Gillian Anderson, and younger/edgier though Nose Ring Lady might be, I wish she wasn't blocking my shot of Gillian Anderson.

"And I buried her body where nobody will ever find it. Kept the nose ring as a souvenir, though". Wow.

"And I buried her body where nobody will ever find it. Kept the nose ring as a souvenir, though". Wow.

"That lump in the red carpet? That's not a dead body. And also I didn't put it there. Next question?"

"That lump in the red carpet? That's not a dead body. And also I didn't put it there. Next question?"

Meanwhile, in the far distance, a man waves as he exits a vehicle. More news as it happens.

Meanwhile, in the far distance, a man waves as he exits a vehicle. More news as it happens.

From a journal of "who are these people??" to "WOW - I know BOTH of these people" - Dame Judi Dench and actor Kevin Spacey have won 3 Oscars, 3 Golden Globes and (vaguely) 6 film Baftas between them. But no Olivier Awards, which to my fatigued reasons makes them both as respected as I am in the world of Theatre (...no?)

From a journal of "who are these people??" to "WOW - I know BOTH of these people" - Dame Judi Dench and actor Kevin Spacey have won 3 Oscars, 3 Golden Globes and (vaguely) 6 film Baftas between them. But no Olivier Awards, which to my fatigued reasons makes them both as respected as I am in the world of Theatre (...no?)

"If I can't win an Olivier, I'll just have to steal one". Fine.. but I get to have the other giant one glowering in the corner from earlier in the journal. I don't care how irritating that'll be to get onto the tube.

"If I can't win an Olivier, I'll just have to steal one". Fine.. but I get to have the other giant one glowering in the corner from earlier in the journal. I don't care how irritating that'll be to get onto the tube.

"Hey, baby...!". Don't call me baby. Oh. Wait. You were objectifying me, and not the other way around. Please continue. Actress and presenter Dianna Agron is (for want of a better, and socially acceptable adjective) American.

"Hey, baby...!". Don't call me baby. Oh. Wait. You were objectifying me, and not the other way around. Please continue. Actress and presenter Dianna Agron is (for want of a better, and socially acceptable adjective) American.

"Can you do some quick dental work, too? I want to look my best in all the photos". Dianna Agron gets a hair/make-up adjustment

"Can you do some quick dental work, too? I want to look my best in all the photos". Dianna Agron gets a hair/make-up adjustment

"I'm trying to be enigmatic by looking into the distance and not answering the question... but is this my Good side?"

"I'm trying to be enigmatic by looking into the distance and not answering the question... but is this my Good side?"

"This tousled hair? Took about 4 seconds to make. Why, does it look particularly well-tousled? It does?? Thanks!!" Actress Gemma Arterton was a nominee for best actress on the night. And it does.

"This tousled hair? Took about 4 seconds to make. Why, does it look particularly well-tousled? It does?? Thanks!!" Actress Gemma Arterton was a nominee for best actress on the night. And it does.

"I thought about wearing a dress like that, but I don't have the body for it" "Thanks... I thought the same thing about wearing a tuxedo" I think that's flirting... no?

"I thought about wearing a dress like that, but I don't have the body for it"
"Thanks... I thought the same thing about wearing a tuxedo"

I think that's flirting... no?

And that? Is the end of that. I feel like I should have used the word 'back' in some context, but I'm not really focussing right now.

And that? Is the end of that.

I feel like I should have used the word 'back' in some context, but I'm not really focussing right now.

So.. that's event 1 of 4 in 5 days... until (tomorrow?)... and the first of four new entries into "The Archive of Movie Premieres" where it will join last year's equally out-of-my-depth journal for The 2014 Olivier Awards (featuring Tom Hiddleston)

...until next time!

ps. if you feel the burning need / desire / guilt-ridden impetus to follow me on twitter or follow me on facebook so you can find out whenever I post one of these event journals, please do so!