‘Matilda’ wins record seven Olivier Awards

“Matilda,” the tuner edition of the Roald Dahl classic children’s book, swept the Olivier Awards Sunday winning a record seven gongs, including Best Musical. It broke by one the record set by “Nicholas Nickelby” in 1980. As with that show, this too is from the Royal Shakespeare Company and could also prove to be a transatlantic triumph when it opens on Broadway next season. 

The quartet of girls — Cleo Demetriou, Kerry Ingram, Sophia Kiely and Eleanor Worthington Cox — who alternate in the title role shared Best Actress in a Musical. Aged between 10 and 12, they are the youngest Oliver winners, eclipsing the trio of boys aged 13 to 15 who won for playing “Billy Elliot” in 2006. Bertie Carvel won Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as the haughty headmistress of their school. 

Unlike the Tony Awards, the Oliviers do not have separate creative awards for plays and musical. The team behind “Mathilda” swept these categories: direction (Matthew Warchus), choreography (Peter Darling), set design (Rob Howell) and sound design (Simon Baker). 

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The Open Air Theater at Regent’s Park won Best Musical Revival for the third year running with its staging of “Crazy For You,” which also picked up costume design (Peter McKintosh). 

The National Theater staged Best Play champ “Collaborators,” a dark comedy by John Hodge which won over, among others, another NT offering — “One Man, Two Guvnors” — which transferred to Broadway this season. Best Actor in a Play was shared by Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller (right) who swapped roles as creator and monster in Danny Boyle‘s staging of “Frankenstein” at the NT. 

The Donmar Warehouse won Best Play Revival for “Anna Christie” with its star Ruth Wilson (above) winning Best Actress in a Play.

Actors and actresses compete together for the supporting awards with Sheridan Smith winning the play prize for her featured role in “Flare Path” while Nigel Harmon won the musical award for his work in “Shrek.” 

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