Dame Helen Mirren has won her first ever Olivier Award
The 67-year-old actress picked up the prestigious Best actress award for her role as Queen Elizabeth the II in Stephen Daldry`s `The Audience` at the ceremony celebrating the best in British theatre at London`s Royal Opera House last night (28.04.13).
This is the fourth time Helen has been recognised for playing the British monarch, making history thanks to previous wins at the BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Academy Awards for 2006 drama `The Queen`.
After beating off stiff competition from Billie Piper for `The Effect` and Kristin Scott Thomas for `Old Times`, Helen said she thought the Queen would be pleased and declared the royal deserved an award herself for "the most consistent, committed performance of the 20th century and probably the 21st too."
`The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time` was the biggest winner of the night, scooping seven gongs - including Best director and Best new play - for the National Theatre`s adaptation of Mark Haddon`s bestselling novel.
The show`s star, Luke Treadaway, took home the Best Actor prize, leaving Hollywood heavyweights James McAvoy (`Macbeth`) and Rafe Spall (`Constellations`) empty-handed. `Sweeney Todd` was awarded Best musical revival, with Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton named best actor and actress.
New musical `Top Hat` also picked up three prizes, including Best choreography and costume design.
The 37th annual awards show was hosted by two-time Olivier winner Sheridan Smith and `Downton Abbey` actor Hugh Bonneville, and saw live performances by `Glee` stars Matthew Morrison and Idina Menzel.