Musical and stage stars turn out for Olivier Awards

Winner of Best Actress Ruth Wilson
Winner of Best Actress Ruth Wilson
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Stars including Ronan Keating, Sir Tim Rice and Dan Stevens met fans and posed for photographs on the red carpet at last night’s Olivier Awards.

The event also attracted names including Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh and Kara Tointon to the ceremony at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, central London.

The event, properly known as the 2012 Olivier awards with Mastercard, was hosted by Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton and shown on a big screen in Covent Garden, London.

It kicked off with a performance of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody from the cast of the musical We Will Rock You featuring the band’s guitarist Brian May.

The first big winner of the night was Sheridan Smith who was recognised for Best Performance in a Supporting Role for her performance in Flare Path.

Her award was picked up for her by Sir Trevor Nunn who read a message from the actress who is filming in Australia.

In her message, she said: “This is one of the most special jobs I have ever done and I feel honoured to be have been part of such a brilliant revival”.

She also paid tribute to her parents who were in the audience and the members of RAF Bomber Command whose lives inspired the Terence Rattigan play.

The ceremony switched to New York via a live link when Best Director winner Matthew Warchus picked up his award from James Earl Jones.

The director of Matilda the Musical paid tribute to his four young leading ladies who he described as “four little miracles”.

Speaking from the United States, he said the show was an example of the “healing power of the creative imagination”.

Also accepting gongs were Luther star Ruth Wilson who was named Best Actress and Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch who shared the Best Actor gong for their role in Frankenstein.

Accepting the award for both of them, Jonny Lee Miller paid tribute to the National Theatre which staged the show.

He said: “It’s an amazing place and I can’t say enough about it, thank you to Nicholas Hytner and the entire staff of the National.”

Speaking backstage, he said: “It’s an honour and I’m a bit shocked and humbled actually”.

He also hinted that the show, directed by Danny Boyle, could reappear at another venue - saying “there is talk, some talk” but added it would “seem like a huge mountain to climb” to stage it anywhere but the National.