Sri Lanka’s Hiran Abeysekera won the best actor for the stage adaptation of Life of Pi at Sunday’s Olivier Awards.
It was a jubilant night for theatre at the Royal Albert Hall as the stage industry celebrated a year in which performances resumed after lockdown.
Life of Pi, based on the Booker Prize-winning novel, was named the best new play and scooped several technical prizes.
The play’s lead, Hiran Abeysekera, also won the best actor, while the seven performers who play the tiger shared the best supporting actor prize.
Life of Pi, a philosophical novel by Yann Martel, was also adapted into a film in 2012 which starred Suraj Sharma and won four Oscars.
In a touching speech, the show’s star Abeysekera said he was “overwhelmed” to win the 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”.
Sri Lanka is facing a serious financial crisis and there have been protests in recent days calling for the resignation of president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.