The highly popular play sequel to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter book series has won Best Play at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards. The ceremony was held at the Old Vic theatre on Sunday night and was hosted by Rob Brydon. The big names in British theatre turned up for the star-studded event. Among other winners were Ralph Fiennes, winning best actor for two plays, and Billie Piper, winning best actress for Yerma.

Magical success for Cursed Child

The theatrical Harry Potter spin-off, performed in two parts at the Palace Theatre in London, has been incredibly popular and given many five star ratings by critics.

The Cursed Child director John Tiffany collected the award from Dame Maggie Smith - who incidentally played Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter film franchise - and a message from J.K. Rowling was read by actress Noma Dumezweni, who plays Hermione in the play. Rowling praises Tiffany and Jack Thorne for their work "crafting the bare bones of a story into something very special".

Theatrical stars out in force

Many of Britain's top actors were at the awards ceremony, with Celebrities such as Tom Hiddleston, Mark Rylance, Orlando Bloom, Dame Joan Collins, Tom Hollander, James McAvoy, Sheridan Smith and Ruth Wilson presenting the awards to the winners. Former Glee star Amber Riley performed a song from Dreamgirls, which opens next month at the Savoy Theatre.

The first award of the evening was presented by the Duke of Cambridge and went to Sir David Attenborough for his outstanding contribution to broadcasting, which continues with Planet Earth II currently on the BBC. Ralph Fiennes' win for The Master Builder and Richard III saw off competition such as Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Kenneth Branagh, though Branagh later won the Lebedev Award for his season of plays at the Garrick Theatre.

The best musical performance award was given to Glenn Close for Sunset Boulevard, who accepted the award from Sir Elton John and beat Sheridan Smith's work in Funny Girl to get the title.

The award ceremony shows that British theatre is still world-class entertainment and that its big stars do not desert the theatre scene for the bright lights of film and television.