'Matilda' musical wins big at British theater's Olivier Awards

Matilda-The-Musical

Image Credit: Manuel Harlan

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.

Read more:
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Jim Parsons and Kristin Chenoweth to announce this year’s Tony nominations
‘Lion King’ brings Chandelier down on ‘Phantom,’ becomes new all-time high earner on Broadway

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