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Roger Allam wins Best Actor

Published 13 March 2011

Roger Allam has won the 2011 Best Actor Olivier Award for his performance as Falstaff in Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 at Shakespeare’s Globe.

This is the third time the West End regular has collected the coveted statuette, adding to his previous awards for Privates On Parade (2002) and Money (2000).

Allam filled the Globe’s open air stage with his performance as Shakespeare’s fat knight, portraying a drinking, scrounging reprobate who believed the web of lies and deceit that he spun. It was the picture of a man whose whole life is an act but who, on very rare occasions, would bare his heart in a moment of pitiable pain.

When accepting the award, Allam praised the audiences, saying: “I have to thank the audience, half of which who get in for £5. This is for them.”

Talking about why he decided to do the show, the actor said: “I hadn’t done any Shakespeare for at least a decade. Patrick Stewart said to me it’s like the middle-aged Hamlet. If you’re going to play the Globe it’s the perfect role.”

Allam triumphed in the hotly contested category over David Suchet (All My Sons), Derek Jacobi (King Lear), Mark Rylance (La Bête) and Rory Kinnear (Hamlet).


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