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‘Matilda,’ ‘Frankenstein’ Win Oliviers; Law Gets Nothing

Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch in "Frankenstein." The role of The Creature demands enormous physical and emotional resources. Photographer: Catherine Ashmore/National Theatre via Bloomberg

“Matilda the Musical,” the story of an overachieving girl who discovers she has supernatural powers, swept up seven Laurence Olivier Awards, the U.K.’s highest stage honors, including best new musical and director. The production is due to transfer to Broadway next year.

Jude Law and Kristin Scott Thomas -- who were shortlisted in the acting categories for “Anna Christie” and “Betrayal,” respectively -- got nothing last night. The best-actor award was won by Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, who alternated in the part of “Frankenstein” at the National Theatre, while Ruth Wilson took the best-actress trophy for “Anna Christie,” which was also chosen as the best revival.

The evening’s other big loser was the hit comedy “One Man, Two Guvnors,” starring James Corden, which is opening on Broadway. It won none of the five prizes it was up for.

The Olivier Awards originated in 1976. They are organized by the Society of London Theatre, which represents the producers, theater owners and managers of 52 major subsidized and commercial theaters in central London.

“Matilda” -- a Royal Shakespeare Company production adapted by Dennis Kelly with a score by Tim Minchin -- saw the four girls alternating in the lead part share the Olivier for best actress in a musical. Bertie Carvel was picked as best actor in a musical, and Matthew Warchus won the best-director trophy.

Minchin’s Joke

“Obviously it’s incredibly hard for us to get on stage after those four little twerps,” joked Minchin, as he collected the prize for best new musical minutes after the pre-adolescent actresses had been on stage. “The little maggots make it very hard for us to be attractive to listen to at all.”

“Collaborators,” staged at the National Theatre’s Cottesloe, was voted best new play.

English National Opera won the award for outstanding achievement in opera “for the breadth and diversity of its artistic program.” Its “Castor and Pollux” (by Rameau, directed by Barrie Kosky) garnered the prize for best new opera production.

Royal Ballet Principal Edward Watson won the top dance award for his performance in “The Metamorphosis” at the Linbury Studio, beating Sylvie Guillem in “6000 Miles Away” at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre. Akram Khan’s “Desh,” staged at Sadler’s Wells, was voted best new dance production.

The awards were given out in a televised ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London. The Oliviers are sponsored by Mastercard Inc.

Today’s Muse highlights: Scott Reyburn reports on a Ferrari auction; Elin McCoy reviews the new Bordeaux vintage.

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