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Hit West End Musical Legally Blonde won three gongs last night at the Laurence Olivier Awards, UK theatreland’s “Oscars”.
Star of the show Sheridan Smith won Best Actress in a Musical, and co-star Jill Halfpenny took the prize for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical. The show also won the Best New Musical award.
The National Theatre’s revival of Terence Rattigan’s After the Dance took four awards, including Best Revival, Best Actress for Nancy Carroll and Best Actor in a Supporting Role for the ever-excellent Adrian Scarborough.
These two shows were the biggest winners at the prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards, held last night at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
Other prizes went to Roger Allam for playing Falstaff in Henry IV at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (Best Actor), David Thaxton for Passion at the Donmar Warehouse (Best Actor in a Musical) and Howard Davies: best director for The White Guard at the National.
Clybourne Park, which is currently playing at Wyndham’s Theatre won Best New Play, and the Entertainment Award went to The Railway Children at Waterloo Station (which is, happily, coming back to London in a few months’ time).
The BBC Radio 2 Audience Award went to We Will Rock You.
Sadler’s Wells’ production Babel won two dance awards, including Best New Dance Production. One of the biggest shocks of the night was the Best New Opera Award, given to La Boheme by OperaUpClose, which started life in the 35-seat Cock Tavern pub theatre in North-West London, and beat much grander-scale shows at the Royal Opera House, London Coliseum and Young Vic.
At the ceremony’s climax, Sondheim received a special prize in recognition of his contribution to theatre.
Sir Cameron Mackintosh described the composer and lyricist as a “true legend”, paying tribute to his “unique theatrical muscle”.
“His sense of theatrical adventure knows no bounds, his subjects… have shown us all no subjects are taboo,” Sir Cameron said.
Read more about the Oliviers here. Do you agree with the judges’ decisions? Let us know in the comments below.