Bad news for Miss Trunchbull and her ilk: A musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda swept Britain’s Olivier Awards Sunday, winning more prizes than any other show in the awards’ 36-year history. The musical took home seven bronze busts of Laurence Olivier – including prizes for Best New Musical, Best Actor (a cross-dressing Bertie Carvel as Matilda’s treacherous headmistress), and Best Director (Matthew Warchus).
The show’s four young leads – each of whom plays Matilda Wormwood in two shows each week – also won a joint Best Actress prize. The quartet are all 12 years old or younger; one, Eleanor Worthington-Cox, is just 10, making her the youngest Olivier winner ever.
Though big names like Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller, and Tim Rice – who received a special achievement award – also walked away winners, Matilda’s dominance is the night’s big story.
The show, which features a book by Dennis Kelly and songs by Tim Minchin, began charming audiences of all ages at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Courtyard Theatre before transferring to London’s West End last October. A New York production is scheduled to open in early 2013 – just in time to compete with an upcoming revival of Annie at that year’s Tony Awards.
Could this plucky British bookworm reign supreme over America’s favorite red-headed orphan? Watch the pint-sized cast of Matilda perform “Revolting Children” below, then make your bets in the comments.
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