Leanne Jones and Michael Ball in Hairspray
(© Catherine Ashmore)
Leanne Jones and Michael Ball in Hairspray
(© Catherine Ashmore)
Michael Ball, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rupert Goold, and Kristin Scott Thomas were among the winners of the 2008 Laurence Olivier Awards, London's equivalent of the Tonys, which were announced tonight at a ceremony at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, hosted by Richard E. Grant.

The evening's big winner was Hairspray, which picked up four awards, including Best New Musical, Best Actress in a Musical for newcomer Leanne Jones, Best Actor in a Musical for Ball, and Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical for Tracie Bennett.

Ejiofor won the Best Actor award for his performance in the title role of Othello, Thomas won the Best Actress award for her role in The Seagull, Rory Kinnear picked up a Best Performance in a Supporting Role award for The Man of Mode, and Tom Hiddleston won Best Newcomer in a Play for his performance in Cymbeline.

Goold took the Best Director award for Macbeth, which is transferring to Broadway later this month. Ayub Khan-Din's Rafta Rafta -- which will be seen in a separate production by The New Group in New York next month -- won for Best New Comedy. Simon McBurney and his company, Complicite, took the award for Best New Play.

A full list of winners follows:

BEST NEW MUSICAL
Hairspray book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman

BEST NEW PLAY
A Disappearing Number by Simon McBurney at the Barbican

BEST NEW COMEDY
Rafta Rafta by Ayub Khan-Din at the Lyttelton

BEST DIRECTOR
Rupert Goold for Macbeth at the Gielgud

BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY
Chiwetel Ejiofor for Othello at the Donmar Warehouse

BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Kristin Scott Thomas for The Seagull at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Leanne Jones for Hairspray at the Shaftesbury

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Michael Ball for Hairspray at the Shaftesbury

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Tracie Bennett for Hairspray at the Shaftesbury

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Rory Kinnear for The Man of Mode at the Olivier

BEST NEWCOMER IN A PLAY
Tom Hiddleston for Cymbeline at the Barbican

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER
Toby Sedgwick for War Horse at the Olivier

BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION
The Royal Opera's Pelleas et Melisande at the Royal Opera House

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA
Natalie Dessay for her performance in La Fille du Regiment at the Royal Opera House

BEST REVIVAL
Saint Joan by Bernard Shaw at the Olivier

BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL
The Magic Flute - Impempe Yomlingo adapted from Mozart by Mark Dornford-May, words and music by Mandisi Dyantyis, Mbali Kgosidintsi, Pauline Malefane and Nolufefe Mtshabe at the Young Vic

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
The Man of Mode designed by Vicki Mortimer at the Olivier

BEST SET DESIGN
War Horse designed by Rae Smith and Handspring Puppet Company at the Olivier

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN
Macbeth designed by Howard Harrison at the Gielgud

BEST SOUND DESIGN
Saint Joan designed by Paul Arditti with music by Jocelyn Pook at the Olivier

BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION
The Royal Ballet's Jewels at the Royal Opera House

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE
The Royal Ballet Company for their performances in Jewels

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT OR PERFORMANCE IN AN AFFILIATE THEATRE
Gone Too Far at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court

The Society's SPECIAL AWARD
Andrew Lloyd Webber

For more coverage of the ceremony, visit whatsonstage.com.