Sir Ian McKellen wins seventh Olivier award

Sir Ian McKellen has won his seventh Olivier Award.

Last year, the 81-year-old actor celebrated reaching the age of 80 by embarking on an 80-venue birthday tour of the UK with his one-man show and he was honoured in a special ceremony, filmed at The London Palladium and hosted by Jason Manford, on Sunday (10.25.20).

He said: "I didn't want to have a birthday party. I didn't think there was anything to celebrate.

"So, I thought if I go out of London no-one will be able to find me... I initially thought I'll go around the world... then when I counted up there were nearly 80 theaters that I knew and loved in this country so I thought why bother going abroad?"

Matthew Bourne won his ninth award, best theater choreographer alongside Stephen Mear for 'Mary Poppins', becoming the most successful individual in the history of the awards.

'Fleabag' actor Andrew Scott won best actor for his performance in the Noel Coward play 'Present Laughter' and said: "A sense of humor that is incredibly important for us people in the theater. It's something that's helped us all survived in the last few months during this incredibly arduous time."

"I can't wait to be back on the boards and having a laugh again as soon as we can."

Two new musicals, 'Dear Evan Hansen' and Max Martin's '& Juliet', picked up three awards each, with the latter leading the nominations with nine before eventually winning in three acting categories.

David Bedella won best actor in a supporting role in a musical, Cassidy Janson was named best actress in a supporting role in a musical and Miriam-Teak Lee picked up the gong for best actress in a musical.

Janson made a jab at the British government's recent campaign, which has urged those in the arts to retrain, in her speech as she praised the musical's background staff, saying: "You are so skilled, so viable, so valuable and please don’t any of you ever retrain."

'Dear Evan Hansen's three gongs included Sam Tutty's best actor in a musical, the award for best new musical and best original score or new orchestrations.

Lyricist Don Black received a special award, presented by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the Duchess of Cornwall, for his contributions to musical theater.

The original awards were postponed in March due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

Julian Bird, the executive producer of the Olivier awards and chief executive of the Society of London Theater, said: "This is not how we had originally planned to celebrate this year’s outstanding Olivier nominees, but like so many others we have adapted to these challenging times. I am thrilled that we have been able to safely pull together this program that will hopefully engage and inspire audiences at home while reminding them of the talent and vibrancy within our theater industry."

Olivier Awards 2020 Winners

Best new play - 'Leopoldstadt'

Best new musical - 'Dear Evan Hansen'

Best new comedy - 'Emilia'

Best revival - 'Cyrano De Bergerac'

Best musical revival - 'Fiddler On The Roof'

Best director - Marianne Elliott and Miranda Cromwell ('Death Of A Salesman')

Best actor - Andrew Scott ('Present Laughter')

Best actress - Sharon D. Clarke ('Death Of A Salesman')

Best supporting actor - Adrian Scarborough ('Leopoldstadt')

Best supporting actress - Indira Varma ('Present Laughter')

Best actor in a musical - Sam Tutty ('Dear Evan Hansen')

Best actress in a musical - Miriam-Teak Lee ('& Juliet')

Best supporting actor in a musical - David Bedella ('& Juliet')

Best supporting actress in a musical - Cassidy Janson ('& Juliet')

Best family show - 'The Worst Witch' at Vaudeville Theater

Best set design - Bob Crowley for 'Mary Poppins'

Best lighting - Paule Constable ('The Ocean At The End Of The Lane' at National Theater)

Best new dance production - 'Ingoma'

Best new opera production - 'Billy Budd'

Best costume design - Joanna Scotcher ('Emilia')

Best sound design - Emma Laxton ('Emilia')

Best theater choreographer - Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear ('Mary Poppins')

Best original score - 'Dear Evan Hansen' (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Orchestration by Alex Lacamoire)

Outstanding achievement in dance: Sara Baras for her choreography and performance in 'Ballet Flamenco - Sombras' at Sadler's Wells

Outstanding achievement in opera - The Children's Ensemble for their performance in 'Noye's Fludde'

Outstanding achievement in affiliate theater - 'Baby Reindeer' at Bush Theater

Special award - Don Black