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Matilda The Musical was the big winner at last night’s Olivier Awards, taking home seven of the trophies, the Oscars of London’s theatre world.
The 36th annual Olivier Awards ceremony took place in a packed Royal Opera House, where every mention of the Roald Dahl-inspired Royal Shakespeare Company show received a big cheer from the audience.
As well as Bertie Carvel winning Best Actor in a Musical for his amazing portrayal of the terrifying headmistress Miss Trunchbull, Matthew Warchus winning Best Director and the show winning Best New Musical, the four girls playing Matilda won Best Actress in a Musical. Aged between 10 and 12, they’ve become the youngest-ever recipients of Olivier Awards. Described variously as “four little miracles” (Warchus) or “four little twerps” (Tim Minchin) gave incredibly assured acceptance speeches to the huge auditorium. And remembered to thank their mums. Aww.
Despite One Man… losing out, the National Theatre did well elsewhere, winning awards for Frankenstein (Benedict Cumberbatch wasn’t there to pick up his shared Best Actor award; but Jonny Lee Miller did the honours, thanking director Danny Boyle and pointing out that when Bruno Poet is in charge of lighting and Underworld supply the music for a show, the technical rehearsal turns out to something of a “rave”), and Collaborators which won the MasterCard sponsored category of Best New Play.
The Open Air Theatre won Best Musical Revival for the third year in a row, this time for Crazy For You; Supporting Actor and Actress gongs went to Nigel Harman for his part in Shrek The Musical and Sheridan Smith for her performance in Terence Rattigan’s Flare Path.
The evening ended with a Lifetime Achievement Award going to lyricist Sir Tim Rice. He cheekily thanked God, pointing out that through Jesus Christ Superstar, he’d made rather a lot of money out of him. A Tim Rice tribute included performances by Maria Friedman, Siobhan McCarthy and Elaine Paige, and the cast (and more importantly, costumes) of The Lion King.
It was a fantastic evening, and where the incredible dominance of Matilda The Musical perhaps belied the number of amazing London shows nominated, the live performances provided a fantastic advert for the diversity of talent currently on offer in London’s theatres.
See the full list of winners at www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk
The Olivier Awards are part of MasterCard’s recently launched Priceless London programme, which offers all MasterCard cardholders that register on pricelesslondon.co.uk exclusive experiences and privileged access to the very best of the capital’s music, theatres, museums, restaurants, retail, sport and attractions. Tickets are available exclusively for MasterCard cardholders.