The Ferryman named Best New Play

The Ferryman named Best New Play
Laura Donnelly the Ferryman

Jez Butterworth’s Derry/londonderry Troubles drama The Ferryman was named Best New Play at london theatre-land’s The Oliviers at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday.

In addition to winning Best New Play, its lead actress Laura Donnelly from Belfast took home the Best Actress award and Sam Mendes was named Best Director for the production.

Cork-born actress Denise Gough, 38, won the Olivier Award for best actress in a supporting role for Angels In America.

Shirley Henderson and Sheila Atim won Best Actress in a Musical and Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical respectively for Wexford’s Conor McPherson’s musical based on the work of Bob Dylan Girl From The North Country. Bertie Carvel was named Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Ink, written by James Graham who won Best New Comedy for Labour Of Love.

The West End production of Hamilton swept the boards at the Olivier Awards with seven wins from 13 nominations, including best new musical and outstanding achievement in music.

Star of Malcolm In The Middle and Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston, 62, won best actor for his portrayal of US news anchorman Howard Beale in the National Theatre adaptation of 1970s movie Network. Cranston urged governments to spend more money on the arts for young people, rather than focusing on them “learning dates of war”.

He said: “There is a trend in the United States, when faced with fiscal challenges, to look immediately at the arts as the first red line. “The strength of the movement is now so huge, I don’t think women feel frightened anymore to come forward – and men – when they’ve been victims of it. The tide has turned.”

Bertie Carvel, who won the best actor in a supporting role award, said the Time’s Up pin was a “unique and powerful symbol of unity” across the entertainment industry.

He added: “Time’s Up was a movement started by women but it’s for all of us to stand shoulder to shoulder and say enough is enough. I hope that this year and perhaps even tonight, we’ll look back and think that was the hinge, when things really started to change.”

Cranston also wore a pin on the red carpet.

He said: “The idea that older white men are controlling the world and having free rein is over. With every person that is brought to the attention, and the aggressors, whether sexually or power oppressors, when they fall, we have the opportunity to rebuild on a foundation of mutual respect. Invisible of gender, of sexual preference, of colour, let’s build it up with mutual respect of everyone.

“Right now it’s muddy, it’s tough, but there’s hope in that.”

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