The Latest: 'Harry Potter' playwright: Us vs. PlayStations

FILE - In this Thursday, July 28, 2016 file photo, the Palace Theatre in London shows advertising for Harry Potter play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child". The staged sequel to J.K. Rowling's wizarding saga is nominated in 11 categories of the Olivier Stage Awards, which will be announced in London Sunday April 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, file)

Playwright Jack Thorne says he hopes "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" can be "a gateway drug" to draw new audiences to theater

LONDON — The Latest on British theater's Olivier Awards (all times local):

8:35 p.m.

Playwright Jack Thorne says he hopes "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" can be "a gateway drug" to draw new audiences to theater.

The stage sequel to J.K. Rowling's magical saga has won nine trophies so far at London's Olivier Awards. It has been a sellout since it opened in July, and many in the audience are first-time theatergoers.

Thorne says theater is "in a battle with PlayStations, and if we are going to win that we've got to find a way of capturing the PlayStation audience and bringing them in."

The show is due to open on Broadway next year.

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7:10 p.m.

"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" has won six trophies at the Olivier Awards — and still has nominations in five categories to go.

The stage sequel to J.K. Rowling's magical stories has taken prizes for lighting, sound, costumes and sets. Anthony Boyle and Noma Dumezweni were named best supporting actor and supporting actress for the show.

The two-part play was a strong favorite to win a clutch of awards, with 11 nominations in all.

Dumezweni, who plays the grown-up Hermione Granger, said it was "overwhelming and humbling" to get to play Rowling's creation.

She also noted that she had come to Britain in 1977 as a child when her family fled South Africa during its era of apartheid, saying "I am a refugee child."

___

6:40 p.m.

Billie Piper has been named best actress at Britain's Olivier Awards for "Yerma."

Piper won raves for her performance as a woman whose desire for a child has devastating consequences. The show — adapted by Simon Stone from a Federico Garcia Lorca tragedy — sold out its run at London's tiny Young Vic theater.

Piper, a former star of "Doctor Who" and "Secret Diary of a Call Girl," thanked her children, saying, "This doesn't really mean anything to them at the moment, but maybe it will one day."

The Oliviers are Britain's equivalent of Broadway's Tony Awards, and celebrate London theater, opera and dance.

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10:15 a.m.

Producers of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" hope the play will work its magic at British theater's Olivier Awards, where it's nominated in 11 categories including best new play.

Jamie Parker, who plays a grown-up Harry in the stage sequel to J.K. Rowling's wizarding saga, is nominated for best actor. He's up against Ian McKellen, Tom Hollander and Ed Harris.

Best-actress nominees include Glenda Jackson for "King Lear" and Ruth Wilson for "Hedda Gabler."

The movie-inspired comedy "Groundhog Day" has eight nominations, including best new musical, at Britain's equivalent of Broadway's Tony Awards.

Kenneth Branagh will be honored for his contribution to theatre during Sunday's black-tie ceremony at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Named for the late actor Laurence Olivier, the prizes honor achievements in London theater, musicals, dance and opera.

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