Belfast Harry Potter star Anthony Boyle wins Olivier Award for Cursed Child role
A young actor from Belfast who wowed the West End with his spellbinding performance in the Harry Potter play has won a prestigious Olivier Award.
Anthony Boyle from Poleglass picked up the gong for best supporting actor at a star-studded ceremony last night for his role as Draco Malfoy's son Scorpius in Harry Potter And The Cursed Child.
The play made theatre history after winning a record-breaking nine Olivier Awards.
The Potter play picked up prizes including best actor for Jamie Parker, who plays the boy wizard; best supporting actress for Noma Dumezweni, who plays Hermione, and best new play, at the glamorous ceremony in London.
The show's John Tiffany was named best director, beating himself in the category for his show The Glass Menagerie.
Harry Potter also picked up prizes for best costume, lighting and sound designs.
The two-part spectacular - which is sold out until 2019 - sees JK Rowling's magical world brought to life years in the future after the boy wizard has had children of his own.
Boyle wasn't the only Belfast stage star being honoured. Rounding off the evening, Sir Kenneth Branagh was presented with the special award of the evening after a career spanning four decades on stage and screen.
Admiring his latest award earlier, Boyle - still known as Anto to his mates - said: "Oh man, I didn't think I was going to win."
Boyle, who was expelled from school and is dyslexic, also thanked his mum and dad, and other members of his family.
The 22-year-old has come a long way since his role as the ghost of Henry Joy McCracken for a Belfast City Hall ghost tour "with basically a black bag over my head".
He was recently named best supporting actor at the 17th annual WhatsOnStage Awards, which are voted for by theatre-goers.
It came after he was named most promising newcomer at the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards earlier this year.
Last night Parker, who scooped the top prize for his portrayal of the older Potter, told how his predecessor, movie actor Daniel Radcliffe, gave him his blessing before opening night.
"He sent flowers and a card encouraging me to enjoy the role," he said.
"It's all about enjoying the role, which is a funny thing to say when you are playing somebody who would arguably have post-traumatic stress syndrome."
Among the other award winners at Sunday evening's gala ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall was former Dr Who star Billie Piper, who was announced best actress for her part in Yerma.