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Olivier theatre award winners unveiled

BBC News BBC News 3/04/2016
Mark Gatiss and Dame Judi Dench won best actor and actress in a supporting role © AP Mark Gatiss and Dame Judi Dench won best actor and actress in a supporting role

Denise Gough and Kenneth Cranham have been named best actress and best actor at the Olivier Awards.

Mark Gatiss and Dame Judi Dench won best supporting actor and actress in the awards for London theatre.

The Phantom of the Opera won the Magic Radio Audience Award, the only prize chosen by the public.

More award winners are still to be announced at the Royal Opera House ceremony, which is being hosted by Michael Ball.

Gough was named best actress for her role in People, Places and Things, and she used her acceptance speech to voice concern that all nominees in her category were white.

She said that, in a year marked by widespread uproar over the issue, she was "sad" about the lack of diversity.

'Wonderful director'

Cranham, who was named best actor for The Father, thanked fellow cast members and the play's director James Macdonald.

"He's a wonderful director, very kind, he's very perceptive and he lets you find your performance and he directs further on down the line," he said in a tearful speech.

Dame Judi said her award for The Winter's Tale belonged to the play's "fantastic company".

Sherlock creator Gatiss won his award for Three Days in the Country.

"I'm absolutely overwhelmed, I can't tell you what this means to me," he said.

"It was an amazing performance and a gift of a part. I'm thrilled to bits, thank you very much."

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