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The Olivier Awards, the biggest night for the British stage, landed on Sunday, which — unfortunately for those sporting heavy suits and ties — also happened to be the U.K.'s hottest day of the year so far (temperatures in London reached 77 degrees).
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was hotly tipped to clean up at the ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall, going into the evening with a record-breaking 11 nominations, including for best new play, director and set design, as well as acting nominations for Jamie Parker, who plays Harry; Noma Dumezweni, for her portrayal of Hermione; and Anthony Boyle's Scorpius Malfoy. It eventually came away with nine nods, beating the previous record held by Matilda and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which earned seven apiece. The two-part Harry Potter play is heading to Broadway in early 2018.
The evening also welcomed the return of Glenda Jackson. The actress, who won two Academy Awards in the 1970s, took a near quarter-century break from stage and screen to become a politician for the Labour Party, only returning to the theater last year to take the lead in King Lear. Jackson earned a best actress nomination for her much acclaimed performance, but lost out to former Doctor Who star Billie Piper for Yerma, which also took the prize for best play revival.
The Oliviers, considered the British equivalent of the Tony Awards, put some steam behind Groundhog Day, the Broadway transfer of which is currently in previews. The show won best musical and best actor in a musical for Andy Karl, who stepped into the shoes of Bill Murray's screen character in a role he is reprising stateside. Other winners included Glee breakout Amber Riley for her electric turn as Effie White in the West End debut of Dreamgirls.
Marking a strong year for composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, his 1971 rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar won best musical revival while his new show, School of Rock, earned an outstanding achievement in music honor for the child musicians who play live onstage at every performance. Another distinguished British stage veteran, Kenneth Branagh, was the recipient of a special award.
See the list of the main winners below.
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