The Inheritance won a total of four trophies at the Laurence Olivier Awards last night (7 April) at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Among them was cast member Kyle Soller, who won for Best Actor. He played Eric Glass, a young gay man in a relationship during the AIDS epidemic in the 80s.
The play also features an ensemble of gay characters whose own stories intertwine throughout the duration of the show’s two parts, running for a total of six and a half hours.
Soller took to the stage to accept his award and to thank everyone involved in making the production possible.
‘To the people that died during the AIDS epidemic,’ he said in his acceptance speech. ‘To those that were lost, to those who continue the fight in a world where you can still be stoned to death for loving who you love — thank you.’
“To the people that died during the AIDS epidemic, to those that were lost, to those who continue the fight in a world where you can still be stoned to death for loving who you love – thank you.” pic.twitter.com/mXFybniraz
— William J Connolly (@WJConnolly) April 7, 2019
The reference at the end of his speech is to the new law in Brunei where it’s now legal to stone gay people to death.
Kyle Soller: ‘Thank you’
Soller beat out Sir Ian McKellen and David Suchet to take Best Actor last night.
Speaking after his win, he told the Press Association: ‘It feels like it’s doing so much more than theatre. To those men that need that healing, women, people, friends, the people that were lost, family members.
‘Joining those two generations, the people that were lost to those who survived, that came after. That’s what the play is about.
‘That’s what our society should be about, joining those generations so we can move forward together,’ he said.
— Olivier Awards (@OlivierAwards) April 7, 2019
The straight US actor said it was a privilege to tell an important story from the LGBTI community.
‘I’ve never worked on a job where I felt like I was working on something so much grander than myself,’ he said. ‘It’s like I’m doing a service, to be representing a community with so much hurt, and so much pain, where so much healing has to be done.’
The Inheritance also picked up awards for best new play, best director for Stephen Daldry and best lighting design for Jon Clark.
Other big winners on the night include Company and Come From Away, picking up four awards each.