Olivier Awards 2013: Dame Helen Mirren rules the West End as she wins for another portrayal of the Queen - but Curious Incident team are top dog
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Monday 29 April 2013
The last time Helen Mirren portrayed the Queen she was rewarded with an Oscar and a Bafta award. After returning to the role on stage she has also been crowned with British theatre’s top acting award.
Dame Helen won best actress for her role as the Queen in The Audience at the 2013 Olivier Awards at London’s Royal Opera House on Sunday night.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was the most successful production on the night, matching the record haul of seven awards taken by Matilda the Musical last year, prompting the director to say the cast and crew would “party a lot”.
In her acceptance speech, Dame Helen referenced the Queen’s recent honorary Bafta for a lifetime of support of British film and television and said: “The Queen has already won a Bafta this year, I think she’s going to be thrilled with an Olivier Award as well.”
She continued: “She deserves one for the most consistent and committed performance of the 20th century and probably the 21st.”
Dame Helen had been nominated for the best actress award at the Oliviers three times before, including for Anthony and Cleopatra in 1983, but never previously won. She said the award was not because she was the best actress, but: “I think it is a reflection of the respect the Queen is held in.”
Her Oscar and Bafta awards came in 2007 for The Queen, also penned by The Audience writer Peter Morgan.
Richard McCabe, who played Prime Minister Harold Wilson at the show, currently playing at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End, won best supporting actor. He called Dame Helen “extraordinary”.
“She’s an absolute joy, she’s a truly great actress,” he added. “It’s important for an actor to be quite fearless and she is.”
He revealed that members of the royal family had come to see the play incognito, and one even suggested tweaks to the play.
A year after Matilda the Musical took Theatreland’s most prestigious awards by storm with a record haul of prizes, another book adaptation matched it this year.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time also won seven Olivier awards, including best new play and best actor for Luke Treadaway. He said: “I can’t believe it, I’m so surprised. Everyone I was nominated with are incredible actors. I’ve enjoyed watching their performances in many things over the years.”
Treadaway beat the heavily favoured Mark Rylance, twice winner of the award, as well as film and television stars James McAvoy, Rupert Everett and Rafe Spall.
The Curious Incident, an adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel, played at the National Theatre before transferring to the West End. “It felt like we knuckled down at the National Theatre last year and created something really special,” Treadaway said.
He attributed the show’s success to “the funding it receives and the fact that it’s subsidised theatre. It’s being able to create a chance to experiment and create new works. Not everything is being done for ticket sales,” before adding: “I hope the arts funding continues in a good supportive way otherwise shows like this wouldn’t happen.”
Mariannne Elliott won best director, beating Stephen Daldry, who directed The Audience. She agreed saying this and her show War Horse “could not have been done anywhere but a properly subsidised theatre”.
The play also won awards for lighting, set design and sound. Nicola Walker, who was named best supporting actress, said she had not won anything since a swimming badge at school. “The play was completely different from anything any of us had done.”
She predicted big things for the show’s star Treadaway. “He’s phenomenally talented, he’s enthusiastic in rehearsals, he’s hard working,” adding: “He’s an astonishing actor.”
Sweeney Todd won the award for best musical revival and its two stars Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton won best actor and best actress in a musical. The best new musical was awarded to Top Hat.
Other awards included Long Day’s Journey Into Night as best revival, while Einstein on the Beach was best new opera production.
Marianela Nunez, a principal dancer at the Royal Ballet who won best female dancer at the National Dance Awards earlier this year, won an Olivier for outstanding achievement in dance.
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Spiritual leader allegedly manipulated 400 men into removing testicles to be 'closer to God'
Poldark star Heida Reed says show is not that racy: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
Broadchurch series 3: David Tennant and Olivia Colman to return for third season, ITV confirms
Harris' List of Covent Garden Ladies: Georgian guide to London sex workers acquired by Wellcome Collection
House of Cards season 3: Claire Underwood is based on an eagle, says Robin Wright
Game of Thrones season 5 spoilers: What we can expect according to George RR Martin's books
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut