Michael Ball wins gong for Best Actor In A Musical

Hairspray was the big winner at the 2008 Laurence Olivier Awards last night.

The hit musical scooped 4 of its record-breaking 11 nominations, including Best New Musical.

The show’s star Michael Ball, 45, was named Best Actor In A Musical and newcomer Leanne Jones, 22, was Best Actress.

Hairspray’s final gong went to Tracie Bennett for Best Performance In A Supporting Role.

Chiwetel Ejiofo, 30, was named Best Actor for his lead role in Othello, beating veteran Shakespearean regulars Sir Ian McKellen, 68, and Patrick Stewart, 67.

Chiwetel dedicated the award to Edward Wilson, former artistic director of the National Youth Theatre, who died last month.

Kristin Scott Thomas, 47, was crowned Best Actress for her performance in The Seagull at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court.

And there was recognition for Andrew Lloyd Webber, 59, as he was given The Society’s Special Award for his contribution to theatre.

Tamzin Outhwaite, 37, Kevin Spacey, 48, Barbara Windsor, 70, and Kelly Osbourne, 23, were just some of the celebs at the star-studded event at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

Michael Ball makes a sensational Edna Turnblad!
 Michael Ball as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray

Full list of Laurence Olivier Award winners:

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN – MACBETH designed by Howard Harrison at the Gielgud

BEST SOUND DESIGN – SAINT JOAN designed by Paul Arditti with music by Jocelyn Pook at the Olivier

BEST NEWCOMER IN A PLAY – Tom Hiddleston for CYMBELINE at the Barbican

BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION – The Royal Ballet’s JEWELS at the Royal Opera House

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE – The Royal Ballet Company for their performances in JEWELS

BEST COSTUME DESIGN – THE MAN OF MODE designed by Vicki Mortimer at the Olivier

BEST SET DESIGN – WAR HORSE designed by Rae Smith and Handspring Puppet Company at the Olivier

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT OR PERFORMANCE IN AN AFFILIATE THEATRE -GONE TOO FAR at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – Rory Kinnear for THE MAN OF MODE at the Olivier

BEST ACTOR – Chiwetel Ejiofor for OTHELLO at the Donmar Warehouse

BEST ACTRESS – Kristin Scott Thomas for THE SEAGULL at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL – Tracie Bennett for HAIRSPRAY at the Shaftesbury

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER – Toby Sedgwick for WAR HORSE at the Olivier

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL – Leanne Jones for HAIRSRPAY at the Shaftesbury

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL – Michael Ball for HAIRSPRAY at the Shaftesbury

BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION – The Royal Opera’s 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 by Bernard Shaw at the Olivier

BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL – THE MAGIC FLUTE- IMPEMPE YOMLINGO adapted from Mozart by Mark Dornford-May, words and music by Mandisi Dyantyis, Mbali Kgosidintsi, Pauline Malefane and Nolufefe Mtshabe at the Young Vic

BEST NEW PLAY – A DISAPPEARING NUMBER by Simon McBurney at the Barbican

BEST NEW COMEDY – RAFTA RAFTA by Ayub Khan-Din based on All in Good Time by Bill Naughton at the Lyttelton

BEST DIRECTOR – Rupert Goold for MACBETH at the Gielgud

BEST NEW MUSICAL – HAIRSPRAY book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, based upon the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters

The Society’s SPECIAL AWARD – Andrew Lloyd Webber

See Danny Dyer at the Laurence Olivier Awards in Now’s Celebrity Spy Gallery>>