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Friday, 14 February, 2003, 15:46 GMT
Mendes triumphs at Oliviers
Suggs and Tim Firth
Suggs and Our House writer Tim Firth were winners
Director Sam Mendes has become the first ever triple winner at the Olivier Theatre Awards, saying his love for partner Kate Winslet inspired him.

Mendes collected the best director and best revival awards at the prestigious ceremony for his swansong plays Twelfth Night and Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and received a third trophy to mark his 10 years at the Donmar theatre.

Sam Mendes and Kate Winslet
Mendes thanked his partner Kate Winslet
But Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow was left disappointed after being pipped to the best actress award by Clare Higgins for Vincent in Brixton.

Paltrow was nominated for her role in Mendes' production Proof for which she received critical praise.

Click here to see the award winners in full

Oscar-winning Mendes, 37, the partner of actress Kate Winslet, was given his awards in a surprise presentation in New York, where he is directing on Broadway.

He was sitting in the audience of a performance of Uncle Vanya with his actress partner Kate Winslet when he was told of his win.

He said: "I want to say thank you to my partner, Kate, because these are two plays about love and it helps when you direct them, to have some personal experience," he said after gaining his composure.


Dame Judi Dench and Gregory Doran
Dame Judi Dench presented Gregory Doran with an outstanding achievement award
The best actress in a musical was won by Joanna Riding who stars as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, building on the success of her predecessor last year.

The show's Alex Jennings won the best male in a musical title.

Lord Lloyd-Webber's lavish Bollywood show Bombay Dreams was beaten in the new best musical category by the Madness-inspired show Our House.

Actor Simon Russell Beale was named best actor for Uncle Vanya but could not be at the ceremony because he was starring in Mendes' Broadway version of the play.

But he thanked Mendes' for the "privilege" of working alongside him for 12 years.

Joanna Riding
Joanna Riding won the best musical actress award for My Fair Lady
Vincent in Brixton, which has also transferred to New York, won the best new play, while Sir Trevor Nunn's Anything Goes was named outstanding musical production.

Sir Trevor said: "I'm really delighted - since this marks my penultimate production at the National Theatre, it gives me an opportunity to say I've had a wonderful time for the past few years running the National.

"It's an extraordinary collection of individuals who have somehow merged to become a coherent team - I'm very proud of them. This award will take morale to even higher levels."

The awards are judged by stage experts and members of the theatre-going public.

The 27th Oliviers - hosted by Clive Anderson at London's Lyceum Theatre, - will be televised by BBC Two on Saturday.

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Full list of winners:

Outstanding musical production - Anything Goes (Olivier Theatre)

Best costume design - Twelfth Night (Shakespeare's Globe)

Best actor in a musical or entertainment - Alex Jennings (My Fair Lady, Theatre Royal Drury Lane)

Best theatre choreographer - Matthew Bourne and company (Play Without Words, Lyttelton)

Outstanding achievement in opera - Antonio Pappano (for opening season as music director of Royal Opera House)

Best new opera production - Wozzeck (Royal Opera House)

Best actress in a musical or entertainment - Joanna Riding (My Fair Lady, Theatre Royal Drury Lane)

Best performance in a supporting role in a musical or entertainment - Paul Baker (Taboo, The Venue)

Best entertainment - Play Without Words (Lyttelton Theatre)

Best new comedy - The Lieutenant Of Inishmore (The Pit/ The Garrick)

Outstanding achievement in dance - Robyn Orlin (Daddy, I've Seen This Piece Six Times And I Still Don't Know Why They're Hurting Each Other, The Pit)

Best new dance production - Danses Concertantes' Polyphonia (Sadler's Wells)

Outstanding achievement of the year - Gregory Doran and cast of Jacobean Season (Gielgud Theatre)

Best director - Sam Mendes (Twelfth Night and Uncle Vanya, Donmar Warehouse)

BBC award for best new play - Vincent In Brixton (Cottesloe and Wyndham's Theatre)

Best lighting design - Bacchai (Olivier Theatre)

Best performance in a supporting role - Essie Davis (A Streetcar Named Desire, Lyttelton Theatre)

Best set design - A Streetcar Named Desire (Lyttelton Theatre)

Best revival - Twelfth Night/Uncle Vanya (Donmar Warehouse)

Most promising playwright - Charlotte Eilenberg (The Lucky Ones, Hampstead Theatre)

Most promising performer - Noel Clarke (Where Do We Live, Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court)

Best actress - Clare Higgins (Vincent In Brixton, Cottesloe/Wyndham's Theatre)

Best actor - Simon Russell Beale (Uncle Vanya, Donmar Warehouse)

Best new musical - Our House (Cambridge Theatre)

Special award - Sam Mendes (for his 10 years as artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse)

See also:

16 Jan 03 | Showbiz
30 Dec 02 | Arts
15 Feb 02 | Showbiz
17 Jan 02 | Showbiz
28 Dec 01 | Arts
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