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West Hampstead actress Imelda Staunton named best musical actress at the Olivier Awards for Sweeney Todd role

PUBLISHED: 17:01 01 May 2013

Imelda Staunton, winner of best actress in a musical at the Olivier Awards 2013 for her role in Sweeney Todd, with co-star Michael Ball at the awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Imelda Staunton, winner of best actress in a musical at the Olivier Awards 2013 for her role in Sweeney Todd, with co-star Michael Ball at the awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

West Hampstead actress Imelda Staunton was one of the big winners at London theatre land’s premier awards ceremony this week.

Imelda Staunton (Mrs Lovett) and Michael Ball (Sweeney Todd) in SweeneyTodd. Image by Johann PerssonImelda Staunton (Mrs Lovett) and Michael Ball (Sweeney Todd) in SweeneyTodd. Image by Johann Persson

Ms Staunton, 57, who lives in West Hampstead with her husband and Downton Abbey star Jim Carter, took home the Best Actress in a Musical gong at the Olivier Awards on Sunday.

She was deservedly rewarded for her riveting turn as Mrs Lovett in the latest revival of Stephen Sondheim’s grisly musical Sweeney Todd, which finished its run at the Adelphi Theatre in September.

Heathman struggled to track down Ms Staunton for a word about her award success – perhaps no surprise given her last Ham&High interview.

Asked last year about her role as the murderous barber’s accomplice who bakes dead bodies into pies, she confessed to not being too keen on discussing her art.

Rupert Everett in The Judas Kiss Picture: Manuel HarlanRupert Everett in The Judas Kiss Picture: Manuel Harlan

“No-one asks plumbers, you know, ‘How did you do that? How did you make that pipe work?’” she remarked. “Everyone wants to know everything about everything now... it’s just that it’s not that interesting.”

Hampstead Theatre was delighted with 53-year-old Rupert Everett’s Best Actor nomination for his widely-praised portrayal of Oscar Wilde in its hit production of The Judas Kiss, which transferred to the Duke of York’s Theatre.

Artistic director Edward Hall said: “The awards ceremony was a testament to the rude health our industry finds itself in – and woe betide the government that dismantles it.”

Hollywood star James McAvoy, 34, of Crouch End, was also in the running for Best Actor for his portrayal of Macbeth. The award eventually went to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time star Luke Treadaway.

Kentish Town’s Simon McBurney was another of the near misses – he was up for the Best Director award for his company Complicite’s production of The Master and Margarita at the Barbican.

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