Playwright and actress Lolita Chakrabarti has been awarded the Best New Play award at this year’s Olivier Awards for her adaptation of Life of Pi.
Life of Pi also won four more awards on the night, including Best Actor for Hiran Abeysekera, Best Supporting Actor for the seven actors and puppeteers behind ‘Richard Parker’, Best Set Design and Best Lighting.
Lolita Chakrabarti thanked Martel for giving her the “complete freedom to do what I wanted with his story” as she accepted one of the five prizes to be won by the stage adaptation.
She also thanked her husband, actor Adrian Lester. “When I started writing, he was my biggest fan and encouraged me completely. When all the doors were shut, he said ‘keep knocking, because they’ll open’,” she recalled.
In a touching speech, the show’s star Abeysekera said he was “overwhelmed” to win best actor. He paid tribute to his home country of Sri Lanka, which he said was going through a “tough time now… I think of you and wish I was there with you”.