In a night one might accurately describe as “magical,” Harry Potter and the Cursed Child set a new record at the Olivier Awards by winning in nine categories, the most for any production in the history of the event. The previous record had been seven awards, which two plays, Matilda the Musical and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, had both held prior to Harry Potter’s dominant performance.
The Laurence Olivier Awards, named after the famous British actor, is the U.K.’s most prestigious event for recognizing the best in theater, similar to the Tony Awards in the U.S.
Harry Potter collected its nine wins at the event in a range of various categories. It plucked up some of the most distinguished accolades of the night, including best new play and best director, while also succeeding in some of the more technical categories related to craft.
Here is a list of the nine awards Harry Potter and the Cursed Child won, in addition to the names of the individuals associated with them:
Best New Play:
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Jamie Parker (for his role as Harry Potter)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
Noma Dumezweni (for her role as Hermione Granger)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role:
Anthony Boyle (for his role as Scorpius Malfoy)
Best Set Design:
Best Costume Design:
Best Sound Design:
Best Lighting Design:
In addition to setting the record as the most decorated play in Olivier history, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child also broke the record for most nominations, as it had picked up a grand total of 11.
Potter Takes the Stage
This production is one of the latest developments in the Harry Potter franchise, having premiered at the Palace Theatre in London late in July, 2016. The five-hour, two-part play was based on a story written by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne (the playwright who adapted it to the theatre), and John Tiffany (who directed the play.)
It concerns the main heroes of the franchise — Harry, Ron, and Hermione – 19 years after the story left off. The heroes are now grown-up and have children of their own, who also attend the legendary Hogwarts school.
Since its release, the play has garnered tremendous reviews from both critics and fans alike.
Dominic Cavendish from the Telegraph called the play a “triumph,” writing that “in all key respects, it grips, it stirs, it delights.” Matt Trueman from Variety called it “a captivating story given a spectacular staging and – Rowling’s specialty – a big, big heart.”
The nine wins that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child took home at the Olivier Awards seems to justify this fanfare.
Other Winners of the Night
Though Harry Potter had a dominant run at the awards show, other productions also garnered some of the night’s most illustrious prizes. Billie Piper won the best actress category for her performance in Yerma, a play which also scooped up the prize for best revival. Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour was declared the best new comedy, and Groundhog Day the best new musical.
Sir Kenneth Branagh (who happens to be a Harry Potter alum himself) also received a special honor at the event for his outstanding contribution to British theater.
And yet, the individuals associated with the Harry Potter production arguably have the greatest cause for celebration. Not only has the play received some of the highest honors it can, but its triumph at the Olivier Awards will likely increase its appeal for those who remain skeptical about seeing it.
The production plans to open on Broadway in the spring of 2018. If American fans were impatient to see it before tonight’s award ceremony, they now have nine more reasons to get excited.
[Featured Image by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images]