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‘Hamilton’ picks up seven gongs at Olivier Awards

‘Hamilton’ picks up seven gongs at Olivier Awards

April 10
08:53 2018

Hamilton, the sellout Broadway musical that has been as big a hit this side of the Atlantic since opening in the West End late last year, won seven gongs at Sunday night’s 2018 Olivier Awards.

The hip-hop show, which tells the story of the US’s forgotten founding father Alexander Hamilton, won best new musical at the annual celebration of London theatre. Composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the runaway success, won the outstanding achievement in music award together with its orchestrator Alex Lacamoire. 

Giles Terera took best actor for his portrayal of Mr Hamilton’s nemesis Aaron Burr, and Michael Jibson, who played a deadpan King George III, won best actor in a supporting role. The production, which has helped propel the profile of musical theatre further into the mainstream, also scooped up awards for sound, lighting and best theatre choreographer. 

While Hamilton was the most nominated production in the 42-year history of the awards, the production narrowly missed out on breaking the record for the number of wins — still held by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which collected nine awards last year. 

This year, Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman, the highly acclaimed play set during the Northern Ireland conflict, took home three awards including best new play. Best director went to stage and film grandee Sam Mendes, while Laura Donnelly beat stiff competition from Lesley Manville and Imelda Staunton to win best actress.

The ceremony, which took place at London’s Royal Albert Hall, had some political moments in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal over the sexual harassment of women in Hollywood. 

As part of the Time’s Up movement born in response to the scandal, several activists, including heads of domestic abuse and women’s charities, joined actresses such as Ms Donnelly as their guests on the red carpet.

Among the other winners, Shirley Henderson and Sheila Atim took home best actress in a musical and best actress in a supporting role in a musical respectively for Girl From The North Country, set in Depression-era Minnesota and based on songs by Bob Dylan.

It was also a successful year for the National Theatre: best revival went to Angels In America, a tale of love and loss during the Aids epidemic of the Reagan administration. Best actress in a supporting role was won by Denise Gough for her performance in that production, which is currently playing in New York. 

Bryan Cranston, star of hit television show Breaking Bad, won best actor for his role as an anchorman who breaks down during his final broadcast in Network.

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