Matilda musical takes record haul at the Oliviers


Matilda the Musical dominated UK theatre's most prestigious awards ceremony last night as the adaptation of Roald Dahl's book picked up a record seven Olivier Awards.

The sell-out show of the little girl who stands up to her bullying parents and headmistress overtook the previous record holder, Nicholas Nickleby, which won six in 1980.

Matilda, which is staged at London's Cambridge Theatre, has already won four awards for best musical and made it five last night. Writer Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin, who wrote the music and lyrics, picked up the award.

Minchin said: "The whole thing has been an absolute joy. I didn't expect to get this many awards. I was thrilled to see people who get less of the recognition be honoured."

"We had an incredible source text and the Royal Shakespeare Company took some really incredible risks," he said. "I think it's a victory for risk."

He said the company knew it had something special from the opening. The four young stars playing the lead – Cleo Demetriou, Kerry Ingram, Sophia Kiely and Eleanor Worthington-Cox – won a combined award for best actress in a musical.

Cleo said: "It feels amazing." She added that the appeal of the show was that many people "wouldn't think a child would be such a strong singer and actor". Sophia said the show had sadness and comedy and "a lot of other stuff as well".

All the girls are between the ages of 10 and 12 and Eleanor is the youngest ever winner of an Olivier Award. Six years ago the Billy Elliots, who were aged between 13 and 15, won a combined best actor in a musical award.

Eleanor said: "That's pretty cool and scary. I hope the next person to follow in my footsteps feel as honoured as I do."

Bertie Carvel, who plays the headmistress Miss Trunchbull, won best actor in a musical. He said: "I'm proud of my part in it, I'm proud of every part of it." He said the Matildas "are incredible, just amazing. It's like a Hamlet role, you can see them grow into it".

Matilda's Matthew Warchus won best director, picking his award up from James Earl Jones in New York. The play, which was nominated for 10 categories at the Olivier Awards, is set to open on Broadway next year.

The best actor was also a combined award, handed to Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller for their alternating roles of Dr Frankenstein and his creature in Frankenstein at the National Theatre. It marked the first time either had won an Olivier Award, although they had picked up the best actor award at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards.

Cumberbatch was not at the award ceremony, but after accepting the statuette, Lee Miller said he was "humbled". He said the dual role was "unique and very wonderful, especially to share your ideas with another great actor".

The 36th Olivier Awards, held at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden attracted stars including Zach Braff, James McAvoy and Sir Patrick Stewart.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump


Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas