Belfast Telegraph

War Horse reins in best play award at the Tonys in New York

The biggest stars in stage and screen turned out to honour New York's finest theatrical performances, with War Horse proving a triumph at the Tony Awards, winning five prizes including best play.

And Mark Rylance took the top acting gong for his role in Jerusalem at the Broadway awards, in which Catherine Zeta-Jones returned to the spotlight as guest presenter after a spell in rehab for bipolar disorder.

War Horse, a story about the bond between a boy and his horse amid the carnage of World War One, opened at the English National Theatre before moving to the West End and the US.

Tom Morris, who won the directing prize with Marianne Elliot for the tear-jerking British play, admitted when collecting his award: "We quite like it when people cry."

Meanwhile Rylance (51) beat rivals including Al Pacino to win best acting award for his role as Johnny 'Rooster' Byron in Jerusalem, a comedy by English dramatist Jez Butterworth.

The actor quoted a poem by Louis Jenkins, an obscure poet from Minnesota, in his acceptance speech.

When asked later why he had recited the poem, he said: "I don't know. I was getting a little bored."

With nine prizes, the biggest winner of the night was The Book Of Mormon, a musical from the creators of the animated TV comedy South Park which follows two naive Mormon missionaries sent to Uganda.

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