HIP hop musical “Hamilton” has swept the board at the Olivier Awards, picking up seven gongs from its 13 nominations.
It has matched “Matilda”’s 2012 record for most Olivier Awards won by a musical.
The West End production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s show about U.S. founding father Alexander Hamilton won best new musical and outstanding achievement in music.
But its creator had to stay away from the London awards, the biggest event in the U.K. theatrical calendar, having been diagnozed with shingles.
It was also a good night for “The Ferryman,” which picked up three awards.
The drama, set in rural Londonderry in 1981, against the backdrop of “The Troubles,” won best new play and best director for “Sam Mendes,” while Laura Donnelly was named best actress.
“Miranda” was jointly awarded the outstanding achievement in music prize with orchestrator Alex Lacamoire.
He sent Lacamoire a list of thank yous — set to the music of “My Favourite Things” — to sing to the audience at the show, at the Royal Albert Hall, on his behalf.
Giles Terera, who won best actor in a musical for his role as Hamilton’s nemesis Aaron Burr, said he was “relieved, elated and happy” that “Hamilton” had done so well.
“We didn’t take anything for granted,” he said. “But I’m glad we got recognized.”
“Every now and then there’s a show that comes along and it shifts things, moves it outside the realm of musical theater,” he added, putting “Hamilton” alongside other great musicals like “West Side Story,” “Les Misérables” and “Rent.”
Jamael Westman, who stars as Alexander Hamilton, said the show — which opened in London late last year — was “breaking down barriers. It’s breaking down the understanding we have of musical theater.”
He added, “This is re-imagining what it can be, using the hip-hop form and more contemporary types of song and the use of language that is almost Shakespearean.
“It’s changing the way that we see theater and is breaking boundaries. That’s why it’s been recognized.”
“Hamilton”’s other awards include best supporting actor in a musical Michael Jibson, who plays King George III (in a performance that sees him on stage for just eight minutes), as well as best theater choreographer, best lighting design and best sound design.
Despite being the biggest winner of the night, it failed to break the record for most Olivier Awards set by “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” last year when it picked up nine.