Fascinating facts about the Olivier Awards

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The Olivier Awards began life as the Society of West End Theatre Awards when they were introduced in 1976. They took the name after Lord Laurence Olivier in 1984, when the esteemed actor finally agreed the awards could bear his name.

Lord Olivier had won a Special Award for his outstanding contribution to the theatre, from the Society in 1979. The awards used to be nicknamed the Urnies, as the original statuette was a Wedgewood urn that had been specially commissioned for the ceremony. The Urnies were eventually replaced by the statuettes presented today. The bronze engraved awards, which weigh around 1.6 kg, feature a young Olivier when he played Henry V in 1937 at the Old Vic.

National treasure Dame Judi Dench holds the record for the most wins of an Olivier by an individual. She has taken home the award eight times, with wins for her role both in musical and dramatic theatre performances, including Best Actress for ‘Absolute Hell’, and again for Best Actress in a Musical for ‘A Little Night Music’, both in 1996. ‘Harry Potter and The Cursed Child’ holds the record for the most awards won at one ceremony, walking away with nine engraved awards in 2017. The work of William Shakespeare has been recognised a total of 66 times, with awards for performances and also in the creative categories.

Here at H Cooper Glass Engravers, our range of crystal and glass awards is perfect for budding thespians of all ages.

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