Irish actress Denise Gough wins Olivier theatre award for People, Places and Things

Pat Kinevane and Fishamble win award for outstanding achievement in affiliate theatre

Dame Judi Dench claims to be 'livid' at losing a bet to her grandson after scooping the Olivier for best actress in a supporting role, while Irish actress Denise Gough won best actress for 'People, Places And Things'. Video: Reuters


Irishwoman Denise Gough received the best actress theatre award at the Olivier Awards announced at the Royal Opera House in London on Sunday night.

Ms Gough won the award for her role as Emma, an alcoholic in rehab in the play People, Places and Things, written by Duncan Macmillan and currently at the West End’s Wyndham Theatre.

She recently won the Critics’ Choice best actress award for the same role.

Pat Kinevane and Fishamble theatre won the outstanding achievement in an affiliate theatre award for Silent at Soho Theatre.

The award for best new play was won by Martin McDonagh for Hangmen. Actress Sally Rogers, who stars in the play, collected the award on his behalf.

Ms Gough used her best actress win for People, Places And Things to register her concern that all actresses nominated in her category are white.

After accepting the award from James Norton, she said: “Okay I’ve got 40 seconds so I’ve got to be quick. This is for my people, you all know who you are.”

She then said she she was “just a bit disappointed” that, in a year marked by widespread uproar about the lack of diversity at awards shows, she was “sad” about the lack of diversity among the nominees in her own category.

She added: “I’m taking Noma Dumezweni and Marianne Jean-Baptiste with me.”

Ms Dumezweni won an Olivier Award in 2006 for her role in A Raisin in the Sun. Ms Jean-Baptiste, an English actress is best known for her role in US TV series Without a Trace.

The Olivier Awards, are presented at a ceremony each year by the Society of London Theatre to recognise excellence in professional theatre in London.

Veteran English actress Judi Dench won the best actress in a supporting role award for playing Paulina in Kenneth Branagh’s The Winter’s Tale. She now has more Olivier awards than any other actor with a record eight trophies.

- PA