Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy

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

Laurence Olivier Award
for Best New Comedy
Awarded forBest New Comedy
Location United Kingdom
Presented byThe Society of London Theatre
Currently held byHome, I'm Darling (2019)

The award was originally title Comedy of the Year until 1991, when it was renamed to Best Comedy. The award was later renamed again to the current title Best New Comedy in 1999.

Winners and nominees


Year Play Writer
Donkeys' Years Michael Frayn
The Bed Before Yesterday Ben Travers
Confusions Alan Ayckbourn
Funny Peculiar Mike Stott
Privates on Parade Peter Nichols
Bedroom Farce Alan Ayckbourn
Once a Catholic Mary O'Malley
The Kingfisher William Douglas-Home
Filumena Eduardo De Filippo, Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall
Shut Your Eyes and Think of England John Chapman and Anthony Marriott
Ten Times Table Alan Ayckbourn
Middle-Age Spread Roger Hall
Clouds Michael Frayn
Outside Edge Richard Harris


Year Play Writer
Educating Rita Willy Russell
Born in the Gardens Peter Nichols
Make and Break Michael Frayn
Sisterly Feelings Alan Ayckbourn
Steaming Nell Dunn
Anyone for Denis? John Wells
Can't Pay? Won't Pay! Dario Fo
On the Razzle Tom Stoppard
Noises Off Michael Frayn
Key for Two John Chapman and Dave Freeman
Season's Greetings Alan Ayckbourn
Trafford Tanzi Claire Luckham
Daisy Pulls It Off Denise Deegan
Beethoven's Tenth Peter Ustinov
Run for Your Wife Ray Cooney
Woza Albert! Barney Simon, Percy Mtwa and Mbongeni Ngema
Up 'n' Under John Godber
Gymslip Vicar Cliff Hanger
Intimate Exchanges Alan Ayckbourn
Two into One Ray Cooney
A Chorus of Disapproval Alan Ayckbourn
Bouncers John Godber
Love's Labours Lost William Shakespeare
Pravda Howard Brenton and David Hare
When We Are Married J.B. Priestley
Lend Me a Tenor Ken Ludwig
The Merry Wives of Windsor William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night's Dream William Shakespeare
Three Men on a Horse John Cecil Holm and George Abbott
Groucho: A Life in Revue Arthur Marx and Robert Fisher
A Midsummer Night's Dream William Shakespeare
Twelfth Night William Shakespeare
Shirley Valentine Willy Russell
Henceforward... Alan Ayckbourn
Separation Tom Kempinski
The Common Pursuit Simon Gray
Single Spies Alan Bennett
Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell Keith Waterhouse
Some Americans Abroad Richard Nelson
Steel Magnolias Robert Harling


Year Play Writer
Out of Order Ray Cooney
Gasping Ben Elton
La Bête David Hirson
An Evening with Gary Lineker Arthur Smith and Chris England
It's Ralph Hugh Whitemore
The Rise and Fall of Little Voice Jim Cartwright
Lost in Yonkers Neil Simon
On the Piste John Godber
Hysteria Terry Johnson
April in Paris John Godber
The Life of Stuff Simon Donald
Time of My Life Alan Ayckbourn
My Night with Reg Kevin Elyot
Beautiful Thing Jonathan Harvey
Dead Funny Terry Johnson
Neville's Island Tim Firth
Mojo Jez Butterworth
Communicating Doors Alan Ayckbourn
Funny Money Ray Cooney
'Art' Yasmina Reza
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield
Laughter on the 23rd Floor Neil Simon
Popcorn Ben Elton
East is East Ayub Khan-Din
A Skull in Connemara Martin McDonagh
Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick Terry Johnson
Alarms and Excursions Michael Frayn
Love Upon the Throne Patrick Barlow, Martin Duncan and John Ramm
Things We Do for Love Alan Ayckbourn


Year Play Writer
The Memory of Water Shelagh Stephenson
Comic Potential Alan Ayckbourn
Quartet Ronald Harwood
Stones in His Pockets Marie Jones
Cooking with Elvis Lee Hall
House/Garden Alan Ayckbourn
Peggy for You Alan Plater
The Play What I Wrote Hamish McColl, Sean Foley and Eddie Braben
Boston Marriage David Mamet
Caught in the Net Ray Cooney
Feelgood Alistair Beaton
The Lieutenant of Inishmore Martin McDonagh
RolePlay Alan Ayckbourn
Dinner Moira Buffini
Lobby Hero Kenneth Lonergan
Heroes Gérald Sibleyras and Tom Stoppard
Glorious! Peter Quilter
Shoot the Crow Owen McCafferty
The 39 Steps Patrick Barlow, Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon
Don Juan in Soho Patrick Marber
Love Song John Kolvenbach
Rafta, Rafta... Bill Naughton and Ayub Khan-Din
Absurdia: The Crimson Hotel Michael Frayn
Elling Simon Bent
Whipping It Up Stephen Thompson
God of Carnage Yasmina Reza
Fat Pig Neil LaBute
The Female of the Species Joanna Murray-Smith


Year Play Writer
The Priory Michael Wynne
Calendar Girls Tim Firth
England People Very Nice Richard Bean
Parlour Song Jez Butterworth
Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense Robert Goodale and David Goodale
The Duck House Dan Patterson and Colin Swash
The Full Monty Simon Beaufoy
The Same Deep Water as Me Nick Payne
The Play That Goes Wrong Henry Shields, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Lewis
Handbagged Moira Buffini
Shakespeare in Love Marc Norman, Tom Stoppard and Lee Hall
Nell Gwynn Jessica Swale
A Christmas Carol Patrick Barlow
Hand to God Robert Askins
Peter Pan Goes Wrong Henry Shields, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Lewis
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour Lee Hall
The Comedy About a Bank Robbery Henry Shields, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Lewis
Nice Fish Mark Rylance and Louis Jenkins
The Truth Florian Zeller in a version by Christopher Hampton
Labour of Love James Graham
Dry Powder Sarah Burgess
Mischief Movie Night Mischief Theatre
The Miser Molière in an adaptation by Sean Foley and Phil Porter
Home, I'm Darling Laura Wade
Nine Night Natasha Gordon
Quiz James Graham

See also


    • London Theatre Guide (2008). "The Laurence Olivier Awards: Full List of Winners, 1976-2008" (.PDF). 1976-2008. The Society of London Theatre: 20. Retrieved 2008-08-30. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
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