Rob Howell has collected the Olivier Award for Best Set Design for his work on hit show Matilda The Musical, bringing his total number of Olivier wins during his acclaimed career to three.
The win also marks the second time Howell has been recognised by the prestigious awards for his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the designer having first won in 2000 for the company’s Richard III, Troilus And Cressida and Vassa. His second win came in 2006 for the Almeida theatre’s Hedda Gabler.
Howell’s unique design for Matilda The Musical saw the entire Cambridge theatre, from foyer to stage, transformed into Road Dahl’s imaginative world. The cast climb on giant alphabet blocks, perform in health and safety defying scenes on wooden swings and clamber over the imposing gates of Miss Trunchbull’s fearsome school.
Complementing Tim Minchin’s witty score and Matthew Warchus’s playful direction, Howell’s eye-catching and uniquely eccentric design provides a fittingly colourful and exuberant setting to the 10-time nominated production.