Helen Mirren has won her first Olivier Award for her turn as the Queen in West End play The Audience, beating Billie Piper, Hattie Morahan and Kristin Scott-Thomas.
The 67-year-old star has been nominated for best actress at the Oliviers three times before, but this is the first year that she has taken home the trophy. Speaking of her win, Mirren said: “It doesn’t mean that I was the best actor… I think actually it is a reflection of the kind of respect the Queen is held in.”
Mirren has already played the Queen in 2006 film The Queen, which focused on the period of time following Princess Diana’s death. Asked whether she’d like to play Britain’s reigning monarch again, Mirren replied: “No, because in this play… I play the whole range of her history so I don’t think I need to play it again!”
In other categories, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time dominated proceedings. The stage adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel, which follows 15-year-old maths genius Christopher Boone, took home an impressive seven Olivier awards, matching last year’s success story Matilda.
The surprise hit won seven out of the eight categories it was nominated for, including best new play, best director, best lighting design, best sound design and best set design. Star of the show, relative newcomer Luke Treadaway, took home best actor, beating off competition from big names such as Rupert Everett, James McAvoy, Rafe Spall and Mark Rylance, while Nicola Walker won best actress in a supporting role for her part as Christopher’s mother.
Other winners included Helen Mirren’s co-star Richard McCabe, Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton for Sweeney Todd, and Leigh Zimmerman for A Chorus Line. Top Hat won best new musical, Goodnight Mister Tom won best entertainment and family, and Billy Elliot took home the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award.
Cats and The Phantom of the Opera choreographer Gillian Lynne, and British novelist and playwright Michael Frayn, were honoured with special awards.
The 37th annual Olivier Awards took place in Covent Garden last night.