The 2017 Olivier Award winners were announced on April 9 at London’s Royal Opera House where the 41st annual ceremony was hosted by actor and comedian Jason Manford. This year’s ceremony will be broadcast on ITV on April 11 and viewers outside the U.K. will be able to stream the ceremony at the same time via Facebook.
The event included performances by Amber Riley, who was also named Best Actress in a Musical for her role in Dreamgirls, as well as Tim Minchin, who played from his musical Groundhog Day, which took home the award for Best New Musical.
The companies of School of Rock, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Matthew Bourne’s production of The Red Shoes also presented numbers from their productions. In addition, six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, performed exclusively as part of the In Memoriam section.
The evening’s big winner was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which collected a record-breaking nine Olivier Awards. Jamie Parker, who plays Harry Potter, was named Best Actor while Noma Dumezweni and Anthony Boyle won Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Actor in a Supporting Role. The play was also named Virgin Atlantic Best New Play and also went on to win the White Light Award for Best Lighting Design, Best Sound Design, Best Costume Design, Blue-i Theatre Technology Award for Best Set Design, and Best Director.
In the musical categories, Tim Minchin and Danny Rubin’s Groundhog Day, now playing on Broadway, was named Mastercard Best New Musical. Also, Andy Karl received the award for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Phil Connors in the production.
Two shows composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber also received awards, with the London transfer of School of Rock winning Outstanding Achievement in Music for the three children’s bands who play instruments live every night at New London Theatre, andJesus Christ Superstar winning Magic Radio Best Musical Revival.
Kenneth Branagh was this year’s recipient of the Special Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to British theater, presented by Mark Rylance. And Matthew Bourne, one of the industry’s most celebrated choreographers, was named Best Theatre Choreographer with his production of The Red Shoes also winning Best Entertainment and Family.