Forget the Triwizard Tournament and the Hogwarts House Cup, Harry Potter has arguably won an ever bigger prize. The West End production of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” due on Broadway next year, has broken the record for most wins at the Olivier Awards in London, racking up nine trophies at the April 9 ceremony.
With a haul that included best new play, best actor and best director, the production surpassed both “Matilda” and “The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night Time,” each of which collected seven awards in their time.
The overriding success of “Harry Potter,” winning all but two of its 11 nominations, could be seen as the Society of London Theatre recognizing the debt it owes to a show that has raised the profile of live theater in the U.K .and drawn new audiences to the West End.
Those crowds will find rich pickings there, as a spread of musical theater winners makes clear. Tim Minchin’s “Groundhog Day” took the spoils for best new musical, with a win for its leading man Andy Karl (who’s currently appearing in the Broadway staging of the musical), while “Glee” star Amber Riley won best actress for her performance as Effie White in “Dreamgirls.”
However, the prospect of a “Harry Potter” landslide became apparent within half an hour, with a clean sweep of design awards for lighting (Neil Austin), sound (Gareth Fry), set (Christine Jones) and costume (Katrina Lindsay). Within 15 minutes, it had added two more, as Anthony Boyle and Noma Dumezweni picked up both prizes for supporting performances as Scorpius Malfoy and Hermione Grainger respectively.
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The record tally was in the bag before the half-way point. Jamie Parker, last seen on Broadway in “The History Boys,” took best actor before the British playwright Jack Thorne collected best new play, reading out a statement from J.K. Rowling in the process.
John Tiffany completed the set immediately after the ceremony’s intermission, winning best director. But that was it for the show’s winning streak: It lost out in its final two categories.
That might have put a slight dampener on producer Sonia Friedman’s evening, but for “Dreamgirls” two wins — Adam J. Bernard taking best supporting actor, in addition to Riley’s prize – and best new comedy for Lee Hall’s “Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour,” which Friedman will transfer to the West End next summer.
It was left to the Young Vic to fly the flag for subsidized theater. Simon Stone’s production of “Yerma” was named best revival, winning a well-deserved best actress award for Billie Piper, the former pop star who gave an excoriating performance as Lorca’s anti-heroine.
The full list of 2017 Olivier Awards winners follows.
Billie Piper for Yerma at Young Vic
Best New Comedy
Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour at National Theatre – Dorfman
Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre
Rotterdam at Trafalgar Studios 2
White Light Award for Best Lighting Design
Neil Austin for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
Best Sound Design
Gareth Fry for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
Best Costume Design
Katrina Lindsay for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
Blue-i Theatre Technology Award for Best Set Design
Christine Jones for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Anthony Boyle for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Noma Dumezweni for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
Best New Opera Production
Akhnaten at London Coliseum
Outstanding Achievement in Opera
Mark Wigglesworth for his conducting of Don Giovanni and Lulu at London Coliseum
Yerma at Young Vic
Jamie Parker for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
Virgin Atlantic Best New Play
Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
John Tiffany for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre
Best New Dance Production
Betroffenheit by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young at Sadler’s Wells
Outstanding Achievement in Dance
English National Ballet for expanding the variety of their repertoire with Akram Khan’s Giselle and She Said at Sadler’s Wells
Best Theatre Choreographer
Matthew Bourne for The Red Shoes at Sadler’s Wells
Outstanding Achievement in Music
School Of Rock The Musical – Three children’s bands who play instruments live every night at New London Theatre
Best Entertainment and Family
Matthew Bourne’s production of The Red Shoes at Sadler’s Wells
Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical
Adam J Bernard for Dreamgirls at Savoy Theatre
Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical
Rebecca Trehearn for Show Boat at New London Theatre
Magic Radio Best Musical Revival
Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Best Actor in a Musical
Andy Karl for Groundhog Day at The Old Vic
Best Actress in a Musical
Amber Riley for Dreamgirls at Savoy Theatre
Mastercard Best New Musical
Groundhog Day at The Old Vic
Special Award Winner