Last year it was the turn of the Donmar Warehouse, this year the National Theatre gallops forward as the British company to dominate the Broadway play categories in the US’s most prestigious theatre prize-giving, the Tony Awards, with its adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s First World War-set children’s novel War Horse.

At the ceremony held last night (12 June 2011) at New York’s Beacon Theatre, the War Horse took home five prizes in the 65th annual Tony Awards, including – Best Play, Best Direction of a Play (for Tom Morris and Marianne Elliott) and Best Scenic Design of a Play (for Rae Smith – while Handspring Puppet Company, the South African team behind the show’s renowned life-sized horse puppets, was presented with a non-competitive Special Award) – as well as Best Lighting Design (Paule Constable) and Best Sound Design (Christopher Shutt).

In many of those categories, War Horse bested fellow British import, Jerusalem, which managed to convert just one of its six nominations: Mark Rylance scooped Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Play. Its Rylance’s umpteenth Best Actor gong for his performance in Jez Butterworth’s drama, first seen at the Royal Court in 2009 ahead of its West End and Broadway transfers. And it’s Rylance’s second Tony; in 2008 he won Best Actor for another London transfer, the revival of Sixties sex farce Boeing Boeing.

Accepting last night’s trophy, Rylance continued his tradition of delivering perplexing, poetic acceptance speeches. On taking to the podium, he launched immediately into Louis Jenkins’ verse Walking Through a Wall, which begins: “Unlike flying or astral projection, walking through walls is a totally earth-related craft, but a lot more interesting than pot making or driftwood lamps.”

Priscilla Queen of the Desert, which premiered in its native Australia before opening in 2009 at the West End’s Palace Theatre, won Best Costume Design of a Musical for Tim Chappel and Lizzie Gardiner.

Other British nominees including Vanessa Redgrave, Adam Godley, Mackenzie Crook, Joanna Lumley and Hannah Yelland and London-originated offerings Sister Act, Arcadia and Kneehigh’s Brief Encounter went home empty-handed.

The night’s biggest winner was The Book of Mormon, the satirical musical comedy written by TV’s South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, which is already tipped for a West End transfer. It won a total of nine 2011 Tonys, having been nominated for 14, including Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score.


Below is a full list of nominees and winners of the 2011 Tony Awards. The winners in each category are highlighted.

Best Play
Good People Author: David Lindsay-Abaire
Jerusalem Author: Jez Butterworth
The Motherf**ker with the Hat Author: Stephen Adly Guirgis
War Horse Author: Nick Stafford
 
Best Musical
The Book of Mormon  
Catch Me If You Can  
The Scottsboro Boys  
Sister Act  
 
Best Book of a Musical
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson Alex Timbers
The Book of Mormon Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone
The Scottsboro Boys David Thompson
Sister Act Cheri Steinkellner, Bill Steinkellner and Douglas Carter Beane

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
The Book of Mormon Music & Lyrics: Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone
The Scottsboro Boys Music & Lyrics: John Kander and Fred Ebb
Sister Act Music: Alan Menken
Lyrics: Glenn Slater
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown Music & Lyrics: David Yazbek
 
Best Revival of a Play
Arcadia  
The Importance of Being Earnest  
The Merchant of Venice  
The Normal Heart  

Best Revival of a Musical
Anything Goes  
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying  
 
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Brian Bedford The Importance of Being Earnest
Bobby Cannavale The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Joe Mantello The Normal Heart
Al Pacino The Merchant of Venice
Mark Rylance Jerusalem

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Nina Arianda Born Yesterday
Frances McDormand Good People
Lily Rabe The Merchant of Venice
Vanessa Redgrave Driving Miss Daisy
Hannah Yelland Brief Encounter

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Norbert Leo Butz Catch Me If You Can
Josh Gad The Book of Mormon
Joshua Henry The Scottsboro Boys
Andrew Rannells The Book of Mormon
Tony Sheldon Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Sutton Foster Anything Goes
Beth Leavel Baby It's You!
Patina Miller Sister Act
Donna Murphy The People in the Picture

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Mackenzie Crook Jerusalem
Billy Crudup Arcadia
John Benjamin Hickey The Normal Heart
Arian Moayed Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Yul Vázquez The Motherf**ker with the Hat

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Ellen Barkin The Normal Heart
Edie Falco The House of Blue Leaves
Judith Light Lombardi
Joanna Lumley La Bête
Elizabeth Rodriguez The Motherf**ker with the Hat

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Colman Domingo The Scottsboro Boys
Adam Godley Anything Goes
John Larroquette How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Forrest McClendon The Scottsboro Boys
Rory O'Malley The Book of Mormon

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Laura Benanti Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Tammy Blanchard How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Victoria Clark Sister Act
Nikki M James The Book of Mormon
Patti LuPone Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Best Direction of a Play
Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris War Horse
Joel Grey & George C Wolfe The Normal Heart
Anna D Shapiro The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Daniel Sullivan The Merchant of Venice

Best Direction of a Musical
Rob Ashford How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Kathleen Marshall Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker The Book of Mormon
Susan Stroman The Scottsboro Boys

Best Choreography
Rob Ashford How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Kathleen Marshall Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw The Book of Mormon
Susan Stroman The Scottsboro Boys

Best Orchestrations
Doug Besterman How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Larry Hochman The Scottsboro Boys
Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus The Book of Mormon
Marc Shaiman & Larry Blank Catch Me If You Can

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Todd Rosenthal The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Rae Smith War Horse
Ultz Jerusalem
Mark Wendland The Merchant of Venice

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Beowulf Boritt The Scottsboro Boys
Derek McLane Anything Goes
Scott Pask The Book of Mormon
Donyale Werle Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Best Costume Design of a Play
Jess Goldstein The Merchant of Venice
Desmond Heeley The Importance of Being Earnest
Mark Thompson La Bête
Catherine Zuber Born Yesterday

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Tim Chappel & Lizzy Gardiner Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Martin Pakledinaz Anything Goes
Ann Roth The Book of Mormon
Catherine Zuber How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Paule Constable War Horse
David Lander Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Kenneth Posner The Merchant of Venice
Mimi Jordan Sherin Jerusalem

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Ken Billington The Scottsboro Boys
Howell Binkley How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Peter Kaczorowski Anything Goes
Brian MacDevitt The Book of Mormon

Best Sound Design of a Play
Acme Sound Partners & Cricket S. Myers Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Simon Baker Brief Encounter
Ian Dickinson for Autograph Jerusalem
Christopher Shutt War Horse

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Peter Hylenski The Scottsboro Boys
Steve Canyon Kennedy Catch Me If You Can
Brian Ronan Anything Goes
Brian Ronan The Book of Mormon

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Athol Fugard
Philip J. Smith

Regional Theatre Tony Award®
Lookingglass Theatre Company (Chicago, Ill.)

Isabelle Stevenson Award
Eve Ensler

Special Tony Award
Handspring Puppet Company

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
William Berloni
The Drama Book Shop
Sharon Jensen and Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts