After breaking records with its 13 nominations, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop phenomenon took home 7 awards at last night’s ceremony, including Best New Musical.
This is equal to Matilda‘s record wins in 2012, beaten only by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child‘s 9 awards last year.
Two members of Hamilton‘s West End cast were recognised in acting categories – Giles Terrera, as Hamilton’s foe Aaron Burr, for best actor in a musical, while Michael Jibson’s King George III earned him best supporting actor, despite his mere eight minutes of stage time. The production was also rewarded for theatre choreography, as well as both its lighting and sound design, while Miranda was personally recognised for outstanding achievement in music alongside orchestrator Alex Lacamoire.
Jamael Westman, London’s Alexander Hamilton, said of the musical: “This is re-imagining what it can be, using the hip-hop form and more contemporary types of song and the use of language that is almost Shakespearean.
“It’s changing the way that we see theatre and is breaking boundaries. That’s why it’s been recognised.”
Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman earned the title of best new play, as well as best director for Sam Mendes, and Laura Donnelly, who portrays Caitlin Carney in the production, was named best actress.
Best actor, meanwhile, was Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston for his role in the National Theatre’s Network, who celebrated the fact that: “The idea that older white men are controlling the world and having free reign is over.”
Backstage, he also applauded the educational benefits of theatre, adding: “To support children’s imagination and their ability to grow in a social, emotional way, [the arts are]more important than learning the dates of a war.”
Shirley Henderson (Harry Potter’s Moaning Myrtle) and Sheila Atim won for best actress and supporting actress respectively for their roles in Bob Dylan-inspired Girl from the North Country.
Atim thanked the women of colour that had been recognised at the Oliviers before her, and added: “To me, it is very, very important. I really hope – especially with Time’s Up and the 50/50 movement – that there will be more women who look like me up here.”
Many of the nominees attended the ceremony adorned with Times Up and 50/50 pins and rings, and some were also accompanied by feminist activists as their guests, including Doctor Who‘s Pearl Mackie, who had invited Andrea Simon of End Violence Against Women.
Other notable wins include Stephen Sondheim’s Follies for best musical revival, as well as for best costume, while Angels in America was named best revival, and also earned Denise Gough the title of best actress in a supporting role. James Graham’s Labour of Love won for best new comedy and the London Palladium’s production of Dick Whittington took home the award for best entertainment and family, while Flight Pattern by Crystal Pite was awarded best new dance production.
David Lan was recognised for his time as artistic director of the Young Vic as he took home the special award.
Watch the Hamilton West End cast’s performance at last night’s ceremony below: