Lesley Manville-Best Actress-Olivier 2014
Lesley Manville-Best Actress-Olivier 2014

Lesley Manville crowned Best Actress

Published April 13, 2014

Lesley Manville has picked up the coveted Best Actress accolade at this year’s Olivier Awards with MasterCard for her performance in Richard Eyre’s acclaimed production of Ghosts.

The actress, who prior to tonight’s ceremony collected the Critics’ Circle Award for her performance in the Ibsen classic, fought off competition from seven-time Olivier Award-winning actress Judi Dench, Private Lives’ Anna Chancellor and The Pride star Hayley Atwell to take home the prestigious statuette.

Talking about her win as she came backstage, Manville said: “I’m so completely excited. It’s the best night, it really is. [An Olivier Award] is the one to get. It’s lovely to get any others that come your way but this is the one.”

Manville’s stunning performance in Eyre’s adaptation saw her capture the unbearable suffering of the play’s protagonist Helene Alving as she struggled to conceal the ghosts of her past and protect her son Oswald from discovering the truth about his father.

The actress first won acclaim for her performance at the Almeida Theatre in October 2013 before the production, which is nominated for five awards at tonight’s ceremony, transferred to the Trafalgar Studios.

While the production came to a close last month, the public will have the chance to watch Manville’s Olivier Award-winning performance on the big screen in June as part of Digital Theatre and CinemaLive’s West End Theatre Series.

Manville’s triumph in the Best Actress category marks her first Olivier Award win after receiving a 2012 nomination for her performance in Grief at the Garrick Theatre.