Winners of the 22nd annual Laurence Olivier Awards, Britain's most prestigious theatre awards, were announced today. Awards for 18 of the 20 categories were presented in a ceremony held at the Albery Theatre this afternoon. The big winner, as in the Evening Standard and Critics Circle Awards, was the Royal National Theatre which swept up with six awards. Richard Eyre and Ian Holm have achieved a veritable Grand Slam of theatrical accolades for their partnership in King Lear. The production has won Eyre Best Director and Holm Best Actor in the Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics Circle Awards this year. The RNT also won Best New Play for Patrick Marber'sCloser.
Zoe Wanamaker appeared shocked when she won Best Actress for Electra at the Donmar Warehouse, beating out stiff competition from the two West End Dames - Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.
On the musicals front, there could only be one winner for Best Actress in a Musical Award even though both stars of Chicago - Ute Lemper and Ruthie Henshall - were nominated. Lemper walked away with the award, though she said 'in her heart' she shared it with Henshall. Chicago is also a favourite for Outstanding Musical Production. But announcement of that award, along with Best New Comedy, is being withheld until the BBC2 television broadcast on Monday, 23 February. For a full report on today's winners, see the What's On StageOlivier Awards feature.
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