Matilda the Musical sweeps Olivier Awards with record win

The Olivier Awards saw RSC production, Matilda the Musical, come away with a record seven wins, including prizes for best new musical, best director and best set and sound design.

The four girls who share the lead role in Matilda (Cleo Demetriou, Kerry Ingram, Sophia Kiely and Eleanor Worthington-Cox) won the coveted award for best actress in a musical. The youngest of the trio, Eleanor Worthington-Cox, aged ten, said: ‘It’s pretty cool – and scary – but also awesome. I just hope the next person to follow in my footsteps feels as honoured as I do.’ This was not the first instance of a prize being awarded in this capacity – the teenage actors who alternated in the role of Billy Elliot, were awarded with a joint honour of an Olivier award for best actor in a musical in 2006.

Teaching Drama cover star Bertie Carvel was awarded for his portrayal of headmistress Miss Trunchbull, with a prize for best actor in a musical. Carvel is set to step down from the role this July, with his successor yet to be announced.

While the RSC made Olivier award winning history, it was a mixed bag for The National Theatre. John Hodge’s Collaborators was awarded the prize for best new play. Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller were named best actor for their roles in Frankenstein. However, runaway hit One Man, Two Guvnors, for which James Corden was nominated as best actor, came away with nothing.

Open Air Theatre had reason to celebrate, as their production, Crazy for You, won best musical revival. Director, Timothy Sheader, who appeared in Teaching Drama summer 1, has now completed his hat-trick of musical revival awards, winning last year for Into the Woods and Hello Dolly! the year before that. Sheader said: ‘It’s quite unbelievable but amazing. It feels slightly greedy! I don’t think we can even look at the nominations list next year; we’ve had our turn that’s it.’

The ceremony, in its 36th year, took place at The Royal Opera House. The awards were screened on the BBC’s red button service and online. Events also took place in Covent Garden and New York to celebrate the awards.

www.olivierawards.com/2012-awards

Whatsonstage Awards crown 2012 winners

The Prince of Wales Theatre played host to the 2012 Whatsonstage Awards on 19 February. The awards were hosted by former Legally Blonde The Musical star Sheridan Smith, QI panellist Alan Davies and comedian Jenny Eclair.

Matilida The Musical was the big winner of the evening, taking away four awards, including best new musical. Lyricist Tim Minchin was also named as The Dewynters London Newcomer of the Year. Teaching Drama magazine’s former cover star Bertie Carvel was nominated for best actor in a musical for his role as Miss Trunchbull, but was beaten to the award by former Coronation Street actor Richard Fleeshman for Ghost The Musical. 

The National Theatre were successful in securing a number of awards for its productions for the past season. Artistic director for this summer’s Olympic Games, Danny Boyle, was named best director for Frankenstein. Catherine Tate was named best supporting actress for Season’s Greetings, and One Man, Two Guvnors came away with best new comedy, best supporting actor for Oliver Chris and best actor for James Corden. The hit play will transfer to Broadway in April.

Smaller scale productions were also honoured with The Tricycle’s timely production of The Riots awarded best off-West End play. Ben Brown was won best new play for Three Days in May at Trafalgar Studios.

Whatsonstage claim that they are ‘the only major prize-giving event for the theatre industry voted for purely by the ticket-buying public.’ This year they estimated that 70,000 people voted for the prizes.

For the full list of winners visit Whatsonstage Awards.