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'Matilda the Musical' wins big at Olivier Awards in London

April 16, 2012 |  7:15 am


"Matilda the Musical," based on the popular book by Roald Dahl, was the big winner at the Olivier Awards on Sunday, scooping up the prize for best new musical plus six other awards. The Oliviers are Britain's highest theater honor, the London equivalent of Broadway's Tony Awards.

The seven wins for "Matilda" was an Olivier record. The musical was produced by the Royal Shakespeare Co. and is playing at the Cambridge Theatre on London's West End. The production also won prizes for direction, by Matthew Warchus; lead actor, for Bertie Carvel; and lead actress, which was shared by the four young actresses who rotate in the musical's title role.

"Collaborators," by screenwriter John Hodge, won the Olivier for best new play. The drama, at the Cottesloe Theatre, tells the story of a writer who is commissioned to write a play about Josef Stalin.

PHOTOS: Olivier Awards 2012

The musical revival award went to "Crazy for You" at Regent's Park Open Air theater, while the award for revival of a play went to Eugene O'Neill's "Anna Christie," at the Donmar Warehouse.

The lead dramatic acting awards went to Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch, who alternated in the title role of "Frankenstein," and Ruth Wilson, in the title role of "Anna Christie."

"Matilda" beat out stiff competition in the form of "Ghost the Musical," which is based on the popular 1990 movie. "Ghost" is currently in previews at New York's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre and is set to open next week.

Last year's winner for best musical was "Legally Blonde" and for best play was "Clybourne Park," by Bruce Norris.

Sunday's ceremony took place at London's Royal Opera House. Here's the full list of winners.


Jude Law, Kristin Scott Thomas among Olivier Award nominees

"Ghost: The Musical" coming to Broadway in spring

Theater review: "Betrayal" at the Comedy Theatre in London

-- David Ng

Photo: A scene from the London production of "Matilda the Musical." Credit: The Royal Shakespeare Co.