Olivier Awards: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child wins record nine prizes

Jamie Parker (right) plays the grown-up Harry Potter, married to Ginny (Poppy Miller)Image copyright
Manuel Harlan

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Best actor winner Jamie Parker as Harry with Poppy Miller as Ginny in the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has won a record-breaking nine prizes at the Olivier Awards, the biggest event in the UK theatrical calendar.

The wizarding saga, written by Jack Thorne, was named best new play at the ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Jamie Parker, who plays the grown-up Harry Potter, was named best actor.

Hermione Grainger actress Noma Dumezweni and Anthony Boyle, who plays Scorpius Malfoy, also won for their supporting roles.

Other highlights from Sunday night’s ceremony include:

  • Billie Piper winning best actress for Yerma
  • Groundhog Day named best new musical
  • Jesus Christ Superstar collecting the award for best musical revival
  • Sir Kenneth Branagh honoured for his outstanding contribution to British theatre

Winning nine of its 11 nominations, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child overtakes Matilda the Musical and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – both of which had seven wins each – to become the most decorated production in Oliviers history.

The play opened to five-star reviews at the Palace Theatre last July and has already dominated theatre awards season.

Based on an original story by JK Rowling, Thorne and director John Tiffany, the two-parter presents Harry, Ron and Hermione in their mid-30s as their own children head off to Hogwarts school.

Tiffany was named best director – he was up against himself in the same category for The Glass Menagerie – while the play also won for its lighting, sound, costumes, and set design.

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Johan Persson

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Billie Piper with Brendan Cowell in Yerma

The Young Vic’s production of Yerma, which will return to the theatre this summer, was named best revival. Billie Piper’s best actress win is the first Olivier Award of her career.

National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour, which opens in the West End next month, was named best new comedy.

Matthew Bourne was named best theatre choreographer, with his production of The Red Shoes also winning best entertainment and family.

As well as its new musical prize, Groundhog Day – written by Tim Minchin and Danny Rubin – also received the award for best actor in a musical for Andy Karl’s portrayal of Phil Connors. The Old Vic production opens on Broadway later this month.

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Blair Caldwell

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Amber Riley performed And I Am Telling You from Dreamgirls

Former Glee star Amber Riley was named best actress in a musical for her role in Dreamgirls, while her co-star Adam J Bernard won best actor in a supporting role in a musical.

Rebecca Trehearn won best actress in a supporting role in a musical for Show Boat.

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Tristram Kenton

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David Fynn (Dewey Finn) and the young cast of School of Rock

Two shows composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber also scooped awards.

School of Rock the Musical won outstanding achievement in music for the three children’s bands who play their instruments live every night at New London Theatre.

Meanwhile, Jesus Christ Superstar – first performed in 1971 – was named best musical revival.

The night included performances from Gary Barlow and Tim Firth with the company of The Girls and the Women’s Institute Choir, as well as Amber Riley, Tim Minchin, and the companies of School of Rock the Musical, Jesus Christ Superstar and The Red Shoes.

The ceremony, hosted by Jason Manford, will be broadcast on ITV on Tuesday 11 April at 20:00 BST.

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