‘Cursed Child’ Breaks Records at the Olivier Awards

Apr 10, 2017

Posted by: Emma Pocock

Actor Interviews, Branagh, Broadway, Christine Jones, Events, Exclusives, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Honors/Awards, HP Cast, Interviews, J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany, Katrina Lindsay, Neil Austin, News, Sonia Friedman, Steven Hoggett, West End

On Sunday 8th April, the Olivier Awards – the UK’s most prestigious celebration of theatre and stage arts – took place at the Royal Albert Hall. Leaky was lucky enough to cover the event live, and watched as Cursed Child won a record-breaking nine awards, after being nominated for another record-breaking eleven awards! Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart in the Harry Potter series) was also commended with the Special Award on the night, for outstanding lifetime achievements and contributions to theatre.

Many of the Cursed Child cast and crew sent their best wishes to those with nominations:

Noma Dumezweni (Hermione) and Paul Thornley (Ron) also shared a sweet conversation before the event, later retweeted by Rowling:

We kicked off our coverage of the event with news from the red carpet, where guests were arriving en masse! Anthony Boyle spoke about his nerves at this being his first Olivier Awards attendance, and supported the rest of the cast, saying the success of the show was down to the talent behind the scenes and the collective love of Potter across the globe:

Noma Dumezweni also shared her nerves:

The cast of Dreamgirls, Funny Girl and Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour – all produced by Cursed Child‘s Sonia Friedman – were also in attendance. Amber Riley gave a brilliant debut performance from the UK previews of Dreamgirls, and later went on to win Best Actress in a Musical:

We also caught a glimpse of Kenneth Branagh on the carpe before the big night, as well as nominated Cursed Child movement director Steven Hoggett:

Lin Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In the Heights, Moana) will be starring in Mary Poppins next Christmas with Julie Walters, and was at the event to hand over the award for Best New Musical:

The first win of the night went to Sonia Friedman’s Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, which won Best New Comedy:

Neil Austin won Best Lighting Design for his work on Cursed Child, making win number one for the play (it was basically a chain of wins from this point onward). He thanked the ‘people you’ve never heard of’ in his speech:

Gareth Fry won Best Sound Design, and was in awe at the amount of support the play has received:

Katrina Lindsay won Best Costume Design, we loved those swishy robes!

Best Set Design went to the amazing Christine Jones, who gave a beautiful speech thanking her various families:

We were absolutely thrilled that Anthony Boyle won Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He gave a brilliant speech (regardless of not having prepared) and then went into full Scorpius Malfoy mode in giving a boisterous shout-out to his brother!

Noma Dumezweni went on to win Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

She gave a monumental speech about being a refugee in the UK and it being her 40th anniversary in the country. We shed more than a few tears as she thanked J.K. Rowling for creating Hermione and allowing her the immense privilege of portraying her onstage – but of course it’s only too well deserved. Just listen to the power and eloquence of her speech, she’s Hermione through and through!

Afterwards, Noma congratulated Anthony Boyle with a huge hug, and shared that she’d love to take her Hermione to Broadway!

Noma and Jamie Parker (Harry Potter) then helped introduce Cursed Child as a Best New Play nominee, and Zoe Wanamaker (Harry Potter‘s Madam Hooch), who was narrating the event, introduced Elegy as a nominee:

Jamie Parker then won Best Actor, and gave a brilliant speech thanking Albus and Ginny (Sam Clemmett and Poppy Miller):

The award for Best New Play was then announced, and of course it went to Cursed Child!

Playwright Jack Thorne took to the stage to accept the award, and humbly bowed his head the entire time he gave his acceptance speech about the power of theatre and the contributions of so many people to writing the play, later explaining to Leaky that he was trying ever so hard to keep it together! His speech was excellent and he ended by dedicating the award to his son, who recently turned one year old and was the gift of multiple years of IVF. A heartwarming story that had the audience in tears!

Jamie Parker and Jack Thorne then spoke more about the play during the interview, and Parker shared how he’d also love to take his Harry across the pond to Broadway:

John Tiffany – nominated twice for Best Director for The Glass Menagerie and Cursed Child – took to the stage to claim Best Director for his work on the Harry Potter play. He thanked the cast and crew, reminded us of the power of theatre, arts and the stage and commented on it being rather odd to be nominated against yourself!

Afterwards, John Tiffany shared an excellent story about knowing J.K. Rowling way back when she was still a single mother writing in a small cafe in Scotland:

That made 9 of 11 awards in total for the Cursed Child team, we couldn’t be more happy or proud of them!

Kenneth Branagh then received the Special Award, recognising his decades of contribution to theatre, tv and film. His speech was a truly inspiring way to round out such an excellent night. Read more about the award here:

Sonia Friedman shared a photo of her and John Tiffany on the night:

Lin Manuel also shared a photo with Friedman and Tom Stoppard:

Neil Blair – J.K. Rowling’s agent – shared a lovely congratulations to the team:

Cherrelle Skeete (Rose Weasley)  – after tweeting throughout the night – shared her excitement for the after party at the Rosewood in Covent Garden, along with Chris Jarman (sorting hat / prop man):

And here’s Tom Milligan (James Potter’s) photo of him, Sam Clemmett (Albus Severus), Jeremy Jones and Paul Thornley in the background assumedly on the way to the afterparty!

And J.K. Rowling herself took to Twitter to congratulate the cast and crew:

A massive congratulations to the cast and crew of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! Here’s hoping for equal success at the Tony Awards when the show moves across the Atlantic in the (hopefully) near future. We loved watching the show break records, and most importantly loved seeing theatre get the recognition it deserves! We so enjoyed covering the event live, so a massive thank you to The Hospital Club in London and the Olivier Awards for kindly inviting us to their live screening. Potter reigns on!

Wondering why Cursed Child won so many awards? Our review explains it all, so read more here.

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.