Hairspray Best New Musical At Laurence Olivier Awardsby Contributor | | 10 March 2008
Hairspray was the big winner at last night's Laurence Olivier awards after claiming victories in four of the 11 categories it was nominated in.
Callow actress Leanne Jones was named best actress in a musical for her star turn as Tracy Turnblad, while Michael Ball, who plays her mother, won best actor in a musical.
The show itself was named best new musical after it beat off stiff competition from The Drowsy Chaperone, The Lord Of The Rings and Parade.
And Tracie Bennett, who plays Tracy's main rival for a spot on a local dance show in 1960s Baltimore, claimed best performance in a supporting role in a musical.
Hairspray, based on John Waters' 1980s film and recently remade starring John Travolta, won eight Tony awards during its original Broadway run and has also been named best musical in the Critics' Circle and Evening Standard Theatre Awards since opening at the Shaftesbury theatre in October 2007.
Also being honoured at London's Grosvenor House hotel was Andrew Lloyd Webber, who received a Society of London Theatre Special award in recognition for his blockbusting musicals including Phantom Of The Opera, Cats, Starlight Express and Evita.
Lloyd Webber was also praised for his efforts in attracting new audiences to the West End through shows such as How do you Solve a Problem Like Maria? and Summer Strallen's genre-bending turn in Hollyoaks preceding her starring role in The Sound Of Music.
2008 Olivier award winners
Best lighting design - Howard Harrison for Chichester Festival Theatre's production of Macbeth
Best sound design - Paul Arditti and Jocelyn Pook for the National's production of Saint Joan
Best Newcomer in a Play - Tom Hiddleston for his role of Posthumus in Cymbeline at the Barbican
Best new dance production - The Royal Ballet for its revival of George Balanchine's three-part ballet Jewels at the Royal Opera House
Outstanding Achievement in Dance - The Royal Ballet for its revival of George Balanchine's three-part ballet Jewels at the Royal Opera House
Best costume design - Vicki Mortimer for The Man Of Mode at the National Theatre
Best set design - Rae Smith and Handspring Puppet Company for the National's production of War Horse
Outstanding achievement or performance in an affiliate theatre - Gone Too Far! In the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court
Best performance in a supporting role - Rory Kinnear in the role of Sir Fopling Flutter in The Man Of Mode at the National Theatre
Best actor - Chiwetel Ejiofor in Othello at the Donmar Warehouse
Best actress - Kristin Scott Thomas in the role of Arkadina in the Royal Court's production of Chekhov's The Seagull at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs.
Best performance in a supporting role in a musical - Tracie Bennett in Hairspray
Best theatre choreographer - Toby Sedgewick for War Horse
Best actress in a musical - Leanne Jones in Hairspray
Best actor in a musical - Michael Ball in Hairspray
Best new opera production - Pelléas et Mélisande at the Royal Opera House
Outstanding Achievement in Opera - Natalie Dessay for her performance in La Fille Du Régiment at the Royal Opera House
Best revival - Saint Joan revived at the National Theatre
Best musical revival - The Magic Flute - Impempe Yomlingo
Best new play - A Disappearing Number at the Barbican
Best new comedy - Rafta Rafta performed at the National Theatre
Best director - Rupert Goold for his production of Macbeth at the Gielgud
Best new musical Hairspray
Special award - Andrew Lloyd Webber