The British theatre industry celebrated one of its most prestigious awards last night as the winners of the Laurence Olivier Awards were announced at the Park Lane Hilton Hotel. The event was sponsored by Hilton Hotels and is organised by The Society of London Theatre. A total of 21 categories were rewarded, ranging from Best Actor and Best Actress to Best New Opera Production and Outstanding Achievement in Dance. The Awards were established in 1976 as The Society of West End Theatre Awards and became the Laurence Olivier Awards in 1984. The actual award trophy consists of a magnificent solid bronze statuette weighting 1.6kg. It depicts the young Laurence Olivier as Henry V at The Old Vic theatre in 1937 and was commissioned by the Society of London Theatre from the sculptor Harry Franchetti.