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‘My knees buckled’ - grad Jak Malone on winning an Olivier

Wednesday 24 April 2024

‘My knees buckled’ - grad Jak Malone on winning an Olivier

So, what’s it like to win an Olivier Award and receive it in front of a room full of your peers and heroes?  

Jak Malone graduated from our Acting degree in 2018. In 2019 he started work on a new musical, Operation Mincemeat. Five years, and several five-star reviews later, Jak was awarded the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical.  

We caught up with Jak after the ceremony to find out about the award, his work on Operation Mincemeat and his time at LIPA. 

How did you feel when you won? 

“I was completely bowled over. I know everyone says ‘I didn’t expect it.’ But I really didn’t expect it. I was a wreck. My knees buckled as I stood at the microphone. It was the support in the room that took me by surprise. It meant so much to get that response.  

“The reaction from friends and family has been joyous. I’ve not gone through all of my messages yet. I’m waiting until my head is on my shoulders again.” 

Tell us about the experience of working on Operation Mincemeat? 

“Working on the show has been a long old slog but one that I wouldn’t change for the world. I’ve been with the production since 2019, workshopping and doing smaller runs leading up to the West End. It’s been challenging but so enriching and it’s changed my life completely. I love the show, I always believed in it and am so happy to have been there to see it succeed.  

“I play loads of characters, men and women, from street urchins to sea captains. It’s a rollercoaster. And it’s real play at its core.” 

Is there part of your training or experience at LIPA that has proved particularly useful in Operation Mincemeat? 

“Making the show has always been a collaborative process. And that was always one of my big takeaways from my training. LIPA taught me to be a team player, to look out for the company, to always take opportunities to learn and engage with what everyone in the building is doing. That was always my favourite thing about LIPA and I’m so glad it’s knowledge I’m still using to this day.” 


A second Acting graduate, Jamie Lloyd (2002) was also among the winners on 14 April 2024. Jamie won the Peter Hall Award for Best Director for his work on Sunset Boulevard. It was one of seven awards for his production. You can read more about Jamie and Jak’s awards at Two Olivier Awards for LIPA graduates.  

Image: Jak accepting the Olivier Award. Photograph by Danny Kaan.