Theater News

Kinky Boots Continues Its Winning Streak at the 2016 Olivier Awards

Dame Judi Dench wins a record-breaking eighth award.

Kinky Boots won the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Musical.
Kinky Boots won the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Musical.
(© Matt Crockett)

The 2016 Olivier Award winners were announced on Sunday, April 3, at London’s Royal Opera House where the 40th annual ceremony was hosted by two-time Olivier Award winner Michael Ball.

The event featured performances by Grammy and Tony Award winner Cyndi Lauper, Michael Feinstein, Joe Stilgoe, and Jack Savoretti. For the finale, the awards welcomed back 15 past Olivier Award winners including Maria Friedman, Ruthie Henshall, and Jill Halfpenny who performed "What I Did for Love" from A Chorus Line, winner of Best New Musical at the 1976 awards.

There were also performances from all of the nominated new and revival musicals. Imelda Staunton, who went on to win the award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as Mama Rose in the Chichester Festival Theatre’s West End transfer of Gypsy, opened the ceremony with "Everything’s Coming Up Roses." The production earned a total of four awards (the most of the night), including Best Musical Revival, the White Light Award For Best Lighting Design, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical for Lara Pulver.

Dame Judi Dench made history with a record-breaking eighth win for her portrayal of Paulina in the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company production of The Winter’s Tale at the Garrick Theatre. She has won more Olivier Awards for acting than any other performer in history.

Kenneth Cranham took home the award for Best Actor for his performance in The Father, which is now running on Broadway with Frank Langella. Cranham bested Kenneth Branagh, Benedict Cumberbatch, Adrian Lester, and Mark Rylance in the category.

The 2013 Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots continued its winning streak, earning the award for Best New Musical against fellow Tony winner In the Heights, Bend It Like Beckham, and Mrs. Henderson Presents. Kinky Boots earned a total of three awards, with Matt Henry winning Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Lola and Gregg Barnes winning Best Costume Design.

In the Heights won three awards as well. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Alex Lacamoire, and Bill Sherman took home the Autograph Sound Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music, Drew McOnie was named Best Theatre Choreographer, and David Bedella collected Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical.

Check out WhatsOnStage's red-carpet interview with Kinky Boots producers Hal Luftig and Daryl Roth below.

For the full list of winners, visit