Following a staggering 12 nominations earlier this year, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical is celebrating winning four Tony Awards, New York theatre’s most prestigious accolades.
Following its record-breaking 7 Olivier Award wins when the musical opened in the West End in 2011, the Broadway theatrical celebration held last night at Radio City Music Hall saw London-born playwright Dennis Kelly recognised for his pivotal role in the production’s Broadway transfer, taking home the much-coveted Best Book of a Musical Award.
In the show’s other winning categories, Rob Howell added a Tony Award for Best Scenic Design of a Musical to his 2012 Olivier Award in the same category, Olivier Award nominee Hugh Vanstone was awarded Best Lighting Design of a Musical, while American actor Gabriel Ebert triumphed in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical category for his performance as Mr Wormwood.
In a special category, the four hugely talented young actresses who created the title role in the Broadway production, which opened to rave reviews at the Shubert Theatre in April, were awarded Tony Honours for Excellence in the Theatre.
Talking about the production’s awards success, the RSC’s Artistic Director Gregory Doran said: “We are so proud to win an amazing four Tony Awards and for all our Matildas to receive a Tony Honour for Excellence in the Theatre. It’s an honour to be on Broadway and we want to pay tribute to the fantastic American cast and crew who have worked on the show since January and to the incredible response we have had from New York audiences.”
The star show of the night, however, was undoubtedly Kinky Boots, Cyndi Lauper’s musical adaptation of 2005 British film, which strutted off with an impressive six awards, including Best New Musical. The show’s star Billy Porter also triumphed in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category, with Matilda’s Bertie Carval missing out on adding a Tony Award to his Olivier Award success for his inimitable performance as the terrifying Miss Trunchbull.
Other shows winning big on the night included Best Musical Revival winner Pippin, which won four awards. and Douglas Carter Beane’s The Nance, which collected three.
The glamorous evening of performances, speeches and star presenters was hosted by Broadway star and How I Met Your Mother actor Neil Patrick Harris and was attended by world-famous faces including Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Sally Field, Sigourney Weaver and Mike Tyson, who made an unexpected appearance in the opening performance that can be watched above.
View a full list of who succeeded on the night and watch acceptance speeches from all the winners at the Tony Awards website.