Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play

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Laurence Olivier Award
for Best New Play
Awarded forBest New Play
Location England
Presented bySociety of London Theatre
First awarded1976
Currently held byPrima Facie (2023) Edit this at Wikidata

The Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play is an annual award presented by the Society of London Theatre in recognition of achievements in commercial London theatre. The awards were established as the Society of West End Theatre Awards in 1976, and renamed in 1984 in honour of English actor and director Laurence Olivier.

The award was titled Play of the Year from its establishment in 1976, and was first retitled to its current name for the 2001 Olivier Awards.

Winners and nominees[edit]


Year Play Writer
Dear Daddy Denis Cannan
For King and Country John Wilson
Funny Peculiar Mike Stott
Old World Aleksei Arbuzov and Ariadne Nicolaeff
The Fire that Consumes Henry de Montherlant, Vivian Cox and Bernard Miles
Cause Célèbre Terence Rattigan
Dusa, Fish, Stas and Vi Pam Gems
State of Revolution Robert Bolt
Whose Life is It Anyway? Brian Clark
Half-Life Julian Mitchell
Lark Rise Flora Thompson and Keith Dewhurst
Plenty David Hare
Betrayal Harold Pinter
Night and Day Tom Stoppard
The Crucifer of Blood Arthur Conan Doyle and Paul Giovanni
Undiscovered Country Arthur Schnitzler and Tom Stoppard


Year Play Writer
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby Charles Dickens and David Edgar
A Lesson from Aloes Athol Fugard
Duet for One Tom Kempinski
The Dresser Ronald Harwood
Children of a Lesser God Mark Medoff
Passion Play Peter Nichols
Translations Brian Friel
Quartermaine's Terms Simon Gray
Another Country Julian Mitchell
Insignificance Terry Johnson
84, Charing Cross Road Helene Hanff and James Roose-Evans
Our Friends in the North Peter Flannery
Glengarry Glen Ross David Mamet
Pack of Lies Hugh Whitemore
The Slab Boys Trilogy John Byrne
Tales from Hollywood Christopher Hampton
Benefactors Michael Frayn
"Master Harold"...and the Boys Athol Fugard
Poppie Nongena Elsa Joubert, Sandra Kotze and Hilary Blecher
Rat in the Skull Ron Hutchinson
Red Noses Peter Barnes
Doomsday Tony Harrison
The Road to Mecca Athol Fugard
Torch Song Trilogy Harvey Fierstein
Les Liaisons Dangereuses Christopher Hampton
The American Clock Arthur Miller
The Normal Heart Larry Kramer
Ourselves Alone Anne Devlin
Serious Money Caryl Churchill
Lettice and Lovage Peter Shaffer
A Lie of the Mind Sam Shepard
Sarcophagus Vladimir Gubaryev
Our Country's Good Timberlake Wertenbaker
A Walk in the Woods Lee Blessing
Mrs. Klein Nicholas Wright
The Secret Rapture David Hare
Racing Demon David Hare
Ghetto Joshua Sobol
Man of the Moment Alan Ayckbourn
Shadowlands William Nicholson


Year Play Writer
Dancing at Lughnasa Brian Friel
Singer Peter Flannery
The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus Tony Harrison
White Chameleon Christopher Hampton
Death and the Maiden Ariel Dorfman
Angels in America Tony Kushner
The Madness of George III Alan Bennett
Three Birds Alighting on a Field Timberlake Wertenbaker
Six Degrees of Separation John Guare
Someone Who'll Watch Over Me Frank McGuinness
The Gift of the Gorgon Peter Shaffer
The Street of Crocodiles Bruno Schulz and Theatre de Complicite
Arcadia Tom Stoppard
Oleanna David Mamet
Angels in America: Perestroika Tony Kushner
The Last Yankee Arthur Miller
Broken Glass Arthur Miller
Dealer's Choice Patrick Marber
900 Oneonta David Beaird
Three Tall Women Edward Albee
Skylight David Hare
Pentecost David Edgar
The Steward of Christendom Sebastian Barry
Taking Sides Ronald Harwood
Stanley Pam Gems
The Beauty Queen of Leenane Martin McDonagh
Blinded by the Sun Stephen Poliakoff
The Herbal Bed Peter Whelan
Closer Patrick Marber
Amy's View David Hare
Hurlyburly David Rabe
The Invention of Love Tom Stoppard
Tom & Clem Stephen Churchett
The Weir Conor McPherson
The Blue Room David Hare
Copenhagen Michael Frayn
The Unexpected Man Yasmina Reza


Year Play Writer
Goodnight Children Everywhere Richard Nelson
Perfect Days Liz Lochhead
Rose Martin Sherman
The Lady in the Van Alan Bennett
Three Days of Rain Richard Greenberg
Blue/Orange Joe Penhall
Dolly West's Kitchen Frank McGuinness
Life x 3 Yasmina Reza
My Zinc Bed David Hare
Jitney August Wilson
Boy Gets Girl Rebecca Gilman
Gagarin Way Gregory Burke
Humble Boy Charlotte Jones
Mouth to Mouth Kevin Elyot
Vincent in Brixton Nicholas Wright
Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train Stephen Adly Guirgis
The Coast of Utopia Tom Stoppard
The York Realist Peter Gill
The Pillowman Martin McDonagh
Democracy Michael Frayn
Elmina's Kitchen Kwame Kwei-Armah
Hitchcock Blonde Terry Johnson
The History Boys Alan Bennett
By the Bog of Cats Marina Carr
Festen David Eldridge
The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? Edward Albee
On the Shore of the Wide World Simon Stephens
Coram Boy Helen Edmundson
Harvest Richard Bean
Paul Howard Brenton
Blackbird David Harrower
Frost/Nixon Peter Morgan
Rock 'n' Roll Tom Stoppard
The Seafarer Conor McPherson
A Disappearing Number Simon McBurney
The Reporter Nicholas Wright
Vernon God Little Tanya Ronder
War Horse Nick Stafford
Black Watch Gregory Burke
August: Osage County Tracy Letts
The Pitmen Painters Lee Hall
That Face Polly Stenham


Year Play Writer
The Mountaintop Katori Hall
ENRON Lucy Prebble
Jerusalem Jez Butterworth
Red John Logan
Clybourne Park Bruce Norris
End of the Rainbow Peter Quilter
The Little Dog Laughed Douglas Carter Beane
Sucker Punch Roy Williams
Tribes Nina Raine
Collaborators John Hodge
Jumpy April De Angelis
One Man, Two Guvnors Richard Bean
The Ladykillers Graham Linehan
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Simon Stephens
Constellations Nick Payne
The Audience Peter Morgan
This House James Graham
Chimerica Lucy Kirkwood
1984 Robert Icke and Duncan MacMillan
The Night Alive Conor McPherson
Peter and Alice John Logan
King Charles III Mike Bartlett
Taken at Midnight Mark Hayhurst
The Nether Jennifer Haley
Wolf Hall / Bring Up the Bodies Hilary Mantel and Mike Poulton
Hangmen Martin McDonagh
Farinelli and the King Claire van Kampen
People, Places and Things Duncan MacMillan
The Father Florian Zeller
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Jack Thorne
Elegy Nick Payne
The Flick Annie Baker
One Night in Miami… Kemp Powers
The Ferryman Jez Butterworth
Ink James Graham
Network Lee Hall
Oslo J. T. Rogers
The Inheritance Matthew Lopez
The Lehman Trilogy Stefano Massini
Misty Arinzé Kene
Sweat Lynn Nottage


Year Play Writer
Leopoldstadt Tom Stoppard
A Very Expensive Poison Lucy Prebble
The Doctor Robert Icke
The Ocean at the End of the Lane Joel Horwood
2021 Not presented due to extended closing of theatre productions during COVID-19 pandemic[A]
Life of Pi Lolita Chakrabarti
2:22 A Ghost Story Danny Robins
Best of Enemies James Graham
Cruise Jack Holden
Prima Facie Suzie Miller
For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy Ryan Calais Cameron
Patriots Peter Morgan
To Kill A Mockingbird Aaron Sorkin
  1. ^ a b Due to late March 2020[1] to late July 2021[2] closing of London theatre productions during the COVID-19 pandemic in England, the 2022 awards recognise productions that launched anytime from February 2020 to February 2022.[3]

Multiple awards and nominations for Best New Play[edit]


Two awards


Seven nominations
Three nominations
Two nominations

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Johnson, The Rt Hon Boris, MP (2020-03-23). Prime Minister's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 23 March 2020 [transcript] (Speech). Prime Minister's Televised Speech to the United Kingdom. London, UK. Archived from the original on 2020-06-09. Retrieved 2022-04-25. From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction — you must stay at home.{{cite speech}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ McPhee, Ryan (2021-06-14). "U.K. Postpones Reopening Roadmap; West End Theatres Will No Longer Reopen in Full in June". Playbill. Archived from the original on 2021-06-14. Retrieved 2022-04-25. Step 4 of the roadmap will allow productions to play without capacity restrictions. June 21 was the goal; now, the government is eyeing July 19.
  3. ^ Thomas, Sophie (2022-03-08). "Everything you need to know about the Olivier Awards". Archived from the original on 2022-04-11. Retrieved 2022-04-25. Any new production that opened between 19 Feb. 2020 to 22 Feb. 2022 are eligible for categories in the 2022 Olivier Awards. With two years worth of shows set for honours in one year's ceremony, the 2022 Olivier Awards will prove tougher competition than before.
  4. ^ "Olivier awards 2023: full list of winners". The Guardian. 2023-04-02. Retrieved 2023-04-03.

External links[edit]