Kinky Boots a hit at Tony awards

Kinky Boots won best musical, best original score for its writer - 80s pop star Cyndi Lauper - and best leading man

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Kinky Boots, the musical adaptation of the 2005 British comedy film, was a hit at the Tony awards in New York, picking up six trophies.

It won best musical, original score for its writer - 80s pop star Cyndi Lauper - and best leading man for Bill Porter.

The Broadway transfer of the West End stage hit Matilda also won four awards including best book of a musical.

Pam MacKinnon and Diane Paulus took home the awards for best direction of a play and a musical respectively.

It is the first time in 15 years that two women have won the honours for direction in the same year.

Kinky Boots Kinky Boots tells of a struggling shoemaker and his drag queen business partner

Mackinnon's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? also won best revival of a play and best actor for Tracy Letts.

Paulus's Pippin won the musical revival award with Patina Miller named best actress for her role in the musical.

There was also an prize for Andrea Martin for best actress in a featured role.

British success

Writer Dennis Kelly won best book of a musical for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) co-produced Matilda, which won a record seven awards at the Oliviers during its West End run.

Gabriel Ebert won best actor in a featured role for playing the wheeling-dealing Mr Wormwood in the musical, based on the novel by Roald Dahl.

The four actresses that portray Matilda on stage also received a Tony honour for excellence in the theatre.

In a statement, the RSC's artistic director Gregory Doran said the company was "so proud" to win the awards.

"It's an honour to be on Broadway and we want to pay tribute to the fantastic American cast and crew who have worked on the show since January and to the incredible response we have had from New York audiences," he said.

Diane Paulus (left) and Pam MacKinnon The evening was a great success for female directors Diane Paulus (left) and Pam MacKinnon

Courtney B Vance won best featured actor in a play for portraying a newspaper editor opposite Tom Hanks in Lucky Guy. Hanks himself lost out to Letts in his acting category.

Christopher Durang's comical Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike - which centres on three middle-aged siblings negotiating with age - won best play.

Actor Neil Patrick Harris returned for his fourth turn as host and opened the show with a big song and dance number which began with him singing in an Irish-style pub - from the hit musical Once.

It then morphed into a number showcasing performers from almost a dozen musicals.

It remains to be seen whether the awards will bolster Broadway's earnings which have fallen over the past year despite higher ticket prices.

Attendance was also down from 12.3 million in the 2011-12 season to 11.6 million.

The full list of winners can be found on the Tonys website.

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