The West End show "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" won a record of nine prizes at the Olivier Awards in London, including best new play. The story, co-written by J.K. Rowling, has also proven to be a box-office hit.
The actor playing the adult Harry Potter, Jamie Parker, won the best actor award on Sunday ahead of famous performers such as the legendary Ian McKellen and Hollywood veteran Ed Harris. The play dominated the Olivier Awards with 11 nominations and nine wins, including best play, best director, best costumes, and best set designs.
"The power of imagination is infinite," director John Tiffany said in his acceptance speech in London's Royal Albert Hall. "We need it now more than ever."
"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" opened in London's West End in June last year. The play is written by Jack Thorne and based on a story by J.K. Rowling, the celebrated author who created the Harry Potter universe. It continues the saga 19 years after the novels end, showing former child wizards as adults and also focusing on the adventures and dangers their children face in the wizarding world. The play's script was also published worldwide in book form.
In addition to Parker winning best actor, Noma Dumezweni took the supporting-actress prize for her performance as Hermione Granger, and Anthony Boyle was was declared the best supporting actor as Scorpius Malfoy, son of Harry's onetime enemy Draco Malfoy.
On the way to Broadway
The play has garnered critical acclaim and proven to be extremely successful with theatergoers, with many Harry Potter fans traveling from abroad to see the live performance. Visitors also praised immersive special effects needed to recreate magic on stage.
It is set to arrive on Broadway in 2018.
The British Olivier Awards, named after the famous actor Laurence Olivier, are the UK equivalent of the more famous Tony Awards in the US.
During the Sunday ceremony, the panel of stage professionals and theater guests also honored "Groundhog Day" as best new musical, based on the 1993 film starring Bill Murray. Another Hollywood-inspired production, "School of Rock The Musical", won the prize for outstanding achievement in music.
dj/kl (AP, dpa, Reuters)