Olivier Awards 2017 Conjure Record-Breaking 9 Wins for ‘Harry Potter’

Photo Source: Manuel Harlan

In a festive ceremony hosted by Jason Manford at the Royal Albert Hall, the 2017 Laurence Olivier Awards honored the best of London theater April 9. Shattering the record for most statues ever presented to a theatrical production was “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” which won nine accolades in total, including best new play.

The West End hit (bound for Broadway in 2018) from J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and director John Tiffany had been nominated in 11 categories, the most of any play in the awards’ history. Recognized in the title role was Jamie Parker, as well as supporting actors Noma Dumezweni and Anthony Boyle.

In his acceptance speech for best director, Tiffany stressed the importance of arts funding and education. It was a theme presenters and honorees returned to throughout the evening; the child stars of “School of Rock The Musical,” winning the award for outstanding achievement in music, told children watching the telecast to “pick up an instrument, learn how to play it, and practice every day.”

Mark Rylance echoed the words of advice while presenting the evening’s special award to Kenneth Branagh, in recognition of his decades-spanning stage work. The multihyphenate artist was surprised onstage by the entire company of his Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company. “Wherever you are, wherever you’re from, dream,” he said in his speech. “Dream big. Don’t be frightened.”

The award for best new musical went to “Groundhog Day,” Tim Minchin’s critical hit now playing on Broadway. Andy Karl, unable to attend the Oliviers due to the Broadway engagement, won the trophy for best actor in a musical. Amber Riley beat out the competition with a leading actress win for “Dreamgirls,” which also picked up the win for supporting actor Adam J. Bernard. Minchin, Riley, and the casts of all of this year’s nominated musical productions performed rousing numbers throughout the telecast.

Winning for best musical revival and play, respectively, were “Jesus Christ Superstar” at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and the Young Vic’s “Yerma.” The latter production also notched a win for leading actress Billie Piper.

Established in 1976 and renamed in 1984, the Olivier Awards are Britain’s most prestigious honors for the stage and performing arts. For more information and a full list of nominees, visit olivierawards.com.

Best Actress
Billie Piper for “Yerma” at Young Vic

Best New Comedy
“Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour” at National Theatre - Dorfman

Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre
“Rotterdam” at Trafalgar Studios 2

White Light Award for Best Lighting Design
Neil Austin for “Harry Potter And The Cursed Child” at Palace Theatre

Best Sound Design
Gareth Fry for “Harry Potter And The Cursed Child” at Palace Theatre

Best Costume Design
Katrina Lindsay for “Harry Potter And The Cursed Child” at Palace Theatre

Blue-i Theatre Technology Award for Best Set Design
Christine Jones for “Harry Potter And The Cursed Child” at Palace Theatre

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Anthony Boyle for “Harry Potter And The Cursed Child” at Palace Theatre

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Noma Dumezweni for “Harry Potter And The Cursed Child” at Palace Theatre

Best New Opera Production
“Akhnaten” at London Coliseum

Outstanding Achievement in Opera
Mark Wigglesworth for his conducting of “Don Giovanni” and “Lulu” at London Coliseum

Best Revival
“Yerma” at Young Vic

Best Actor
Jamie Parker for “Harry Potter And The Cursed Child” at Palace Theatre

Virgin Atlantic Best New Play
“Harry Potter And The Cursed Child” at Palace Theatre

Best Director
John Tiffany for “Harry Potter And The Cursed Child” at Palace Theatre

Best New Dance Production
“Betroffenheit” by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young at Sadler’s Wells

Outstanding Achievement in Dance
English National Ballet for expanding the variety of their repertoire with Akram Khan’s “Giselle” and “She Said” at Sadler’s Wells

Best Theatre Choreographer
Matthew Bourne for “The Red Shoes” at Sadler’s Wells

Outstanding Achievement in Music
“School Of Rock The Musical” - Three children’s bands who play instruments live every night at New London Theatre

Best Entertainment and Family
Matthew Bourne’s production of “The Red Shoes” at Sadler’s Wells

Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical
Adam J Bernard for “Dreamgirls” at Savoy Theatre

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical
Rebecca Trehearn for “Show Boat” at New London Theatre

Magic Radio Best Musical Revival
“Jesus Christ Superstar” at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Best Actor in a Musical
Andy Karl for “Groundhog Day” at The Old Vic

Best Actress in a Musical
Amber Riley for “Dreamgirls” at Savoy Theatre

Mastercard Best New Musical
“Groundhog Day” at The Old Vic

Special Award Winner
Kenneth Branagh

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