Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Sheridan weeps accepting Olivier

Sheridan Smith was tearful as she accepted her Olivier Award
Sheridan Smith was tearful as she accepted her Olivier Award

Sheridan Smith was shocked to win Best Actress in a Musical at the Olivier awards, because she said she was "a complete chav".

The 29-year-old Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps star tearfully accepted the award for her performance in Legally Blonde -The Musical at the ceremony at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane on Sunday night.

Sheridan thanked "everyone who let a chav play an American rich girl". Speaking backstage, she paid tribute to her family including her father, Colin, who accompanied her down the red carpet.

She said: "When they said my name my dad started crying and that just started me off. I'm a complete chav, I'm just a little scrubber from Doncaster and I can't believe I've just won an Olivier award."

Sheridan's co-star, former EastEnders star Jill Halfpenny, won the Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her part in the show.

Veteran actress Angela Lansbury made her debut on stage at the Theatre Royal as she paid tribute to American composer Stephen Sondheim.

The 85-year-old, who was born and bred in London but has spent most of her career in the United States, returned to the capital for this year's Olivier Awards. She joined theatre producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh on stage to present the Society of London Theatre's Special Award to Sondheim.

The British-born actress said she presented the award with "great, great pride and deep affection".

Sondheim, whose hits include West Side Story, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and A Little Night Music, received a standing ovation. He spoke about the influence of British theatre on his career and paid tribute to Mackintosh, saying he was a man "whose friendship I treasure, who is the best producer I've ever worked with and one of the best people".

A revival of Terence Rattigan's After The Dance picked up the first prize of the night. Sir Patrick Stewart, who presented the award, admitted revivals had been something of "a dirty word" in the past but said the nominated plays represented the "extraordinary diversity of London theatre".

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