'Book of Mormon,' 'Chimerica' win at Olivier Awards in London

The play "Chimerica" and the Broadway musical "The Book of Mormon" were the big winners Sunday at the Laurence Olivier Awards in London. The annual awards — Britain's equivalent of the Tony Awards — were held at the Royal Opera House and featured a celebrity-heavy guest list of talent from both sides of the Atlantic.

"Chimerica" by Lucy Kirkwood won for new play. The topical drama tells the story of a photographer who becomes obsessed with a picture he took during the Tiananmen Square massacre showing a lone man confronting a row of tanks. 

The play, which debuted at the Almeida Theatre in London and later moved to the city's West End, also won for its director, Lyndsey Turner.

CRITICS' PICKS: What to watch, where to go, what to eat

"Mormon" took four awards, including best new musical and the leading actor prize for Gavin Creel. The production at London's Prince of Wales Theatre opened in 2013, two years after debuting on Broadway.

The Menier Chocolate Factory's production of Stephen Sondheim's "Merrily We Roll Along" won for musical revival. The staging at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London was broadcast to cinemas in the U.S. last fall.

The Almeida Theatre's "Ghosts" by Henrik Ibsen won for best revival of a play, and Lesley Manville won for lead actress in a play in the production.

Manville prevailed over Judi Dench in John Logan's "Peter and Alice," Hayley Atwell in Alexi Kaye Campbell's "The Pride," and Anna Chancellor in a revival of Noel Coward's "Private Lives."

PHOTOS: Arts and culture in Times pictures

It was the first Olivier win for Manville, a veteran of Mike Leigh's movies, who was previously nominated for Leigh's play "Grief" two years ago.

Rory Kinnear took the prize for actor in a play for his role as Iago in the National Theatre's production of "Othello." The category featured two other Shakespearean performances — Tom Hiddleston in "Coriolanus" and Jude Law in "Henry V" — as well as Henry Goodman in "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui."

Zrinka Cvitesic won the Olivier for lead actress in a musical for "Once" at the Phoenix Theatre.

The ceremony Sunday included a performance by ABBA musicians Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, celebrating the 15th anniversary of "Mamma Mia!" on the West End. 


History on stage: My, but the past looks a lot like today

'Bakersfield Mist,' from Los Angeles to London's West End

Andrew Lloyd Webber musical 'Stephen Ward' closing in London


PHOTOS: Hollywood stars on stage

CHEAT SHEET: Spring arts preview 2014

PHOTOS: Arts and culture in pictures

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World