Harry Potter breaks records after scooping 9 Olivier Awards

JK Rowling continues Midas touch

The annual celebration of everything theatrical, The Olivier Awards – which took place on Sunday night – was broadcast on ITV on Tuesday, with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child taking a record-breaking nine trophies.

The great and the good of theatreland assembled at the Albert Hall and found themselves bowing down in homage to JK Rowling's stage sequel to her massively successful wizarding books and films, proving once again that this author really does have the Midas touch.

The production swept the board, winning best actor, best director, best supporting cast, best lighting, sound, costumes, set and inevitably best new show.

The narrative starts 19 years after the last novel and introduces Harry and his friends as adults whose own offspring are now enrolled in the notorious Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. 

Of course, it is no surprise that anything with the name Harry Potter should draw audiences, but cast and crew had an awful lot to live up to create a magical sell-out theatrical experience that would not dent the image of the books or the films.

The Palace Theatre has played host to this new pocket of JK Rowling fairy dust and now with the nine Olivier Awards to its credit, London can expect Harry Potter to be in residence for many years to come.

While Jamie Parker, Anthony Boyle and Noma Dumezweni who play Harry, Ron and Hermione may not have quite the same cache as Daniel Radcliffe and his buddies, being rewarded for their outstanding performances as best actor, supporting actor and best actress will sit very comfortably on their West End CVs.

Cursed Child surpassed the seven Oliviers won by The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night and Matilda the Musical, claiming the glittering Albert Hall evening as its own.

Among the other winners was a tearful Billie Piper who was overcome by her reward for her performance in Yerma and Amber Riley for her role in Dreamgirls

The lavish and spine tingling evening was concluded with a special gong for Sir Kenneth Branagh, who single handedly carries the reputation of British theatre on his back as Laurence Olivier himself once did. 

As he concluded his acceptance speech with the words, "We live in a very dangerous world and never has art been so important", there was a universal nod of agreement with both viewers and the assembled onlookers.


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