It’s rare that Dame Helen Mirren is left in the shadows, but that’s exactly what happened at the annual Olivier Awards as – despite taking the best actress award – she had to take a seat while The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time took a whopping seven out of the eight awards it was nominated for.

The play was an adaptation of the best-selling novel written by Simon Stephens which is running until 2014; director Marianne Elliott commented "It was an experimental journey, and like War Horse, we could not have done it anywhere else other than a properly subsidized theatre, because it was a risk." Elliott was also named best director and she added  "Everyone, including the creative team, were working outside their comfort zones. You have to be allowed to take risks and that means being allowed to fail and that means being allowed to try new things."

Mirren was the highest profile star there, and was awarded for her portrayal of The Queen – again. Others honoured included Michael Frayn, who was given a special Olivier Award and said "Producers on the whole expect writers to cut their teeth in the subsidised theatre. When I began, I was nursed along by Michael Codron - one of the greatest West End producers - who took a chance on that first show. It was private producers who brought playwrights on - that happens much less now."

Helen Mirren
Dame Helen Mirren was eclipsed at the Olivier Awards