Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Harry Potter actor Anthony Boyle nominated for Olivier award

By Joe Nerssessian

A young actor who has set the West End alight with his performance in the Harry Potter play has become the second Belfast stage star to feature at the Olivier awards.

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, in which Anthony Boyle from Poleglass has one of the star roles, has become the most nominated new play in Olivier history.

Meanwhile, renowned Belfast-born actor Sir Kenneth Branagh will be honoured for his contribution to theatre at next month's awards.

The spell-binding Potter production received nods in 11 categories, including best director, best new play and outstanding achievement in music.

In the best supporting actor category, Boyle - who plays Draco Malfoy's son Scorpius - will face competition from Rafe Spall, who is nominated for his performance as sinister Judge Brack in Hedda Gabler.

Boyle was recently named best supporting actor at the 17th annual WhatsOnStage Awards, which are voted for by theatre-goers. It came after the 22-year-old was named most promising newcomer at the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards earlier this year.

In the best actor category, Jamie Parker, who plays Potter in the sequel to JK Rowling's books, is up against Buried Child actor Ed Harris, Travesties star Tom Hollander and six-time winner Sir Ian McKellen, who receives his 10th nomination.

Noma Dumezweni, who plays Hermione in the play, is shortlisted for best actress in a supporting role while the production's choreographer, Steve Hoggett, is also nominated.

Co-written by Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, who is up for best director, The Cursed Child is also nominated for best set design, best lighting design, best costume and best sound.

Branagh - best known for his impressive portfolio of roles in Shakespeare classics such as Hamlet, King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night - has enjoyed a career that has also seen him conquer the big screen.

As well as playing the laughable professor Gilderoy Lockhart in the second Harry Potter film and taking on the role of Kurt Wallander in the Wallander TV series, he also stars in upcoming releases Dunkirk and Murder On The Orient Express.

The Special Award has previously been won by the likes of Judi Dench, Kevin Spacey and Sir Ian McKellen.

For Sir Kenneth it will mark a particularly significant moment, coming 35 years after the Olivier Awards named him best newcomer in 1982. Since then he has claimed four Bafta Awards and secured four Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations.

The Olivier Awards will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday, April 9.

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