LONDON -- Helen Mirren was crowned queen of the London stage at the Olivier Awards on Sunday, while compelling teen drama The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time emerged as best in show with seven trophies.
Mirren, 67, was a popular and expected best actress choice for her regal yet vulnerable Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience, Peter Morgan's drama about the relationship between Britain's queen and its prime ministers.
The actress, who won an Academy Award in 2007 for playing Britain's monarch in The Queen, quipped that it was 87-year-old Elizabeth who deserved an award, "for the most consistent and committed performance of the 20th century, and probably the 21st century."
The surprise of the awards ceremony at London's Royal Opera House was Curious Incident, an adaptation of Mark Haddon's bestselling young-adult novel about a teenage math prodigy with Asperger's syndrome who sets out to find the killer of his neighbor's dog, with destabilizing results.
The show, which premiered last year, has won praise for its creative use of movement and technology to make the leap from page to stage.
The Simon Stephens-scripted drama was named best new play, and 28-year-old Luke Treadaway was crowned best actor.
Treadaway said the Curious company knew they had created "something really special" with the show about a teenager "who sees the world differently to a lot of people."
"I think people could kind of see themselves in him," Treadaway said.
"This is not even necessary," he said, holding his trophy, a bust of late actor Laurence Olivier. "I enjoy doing it so much anyway."