LONDON — “The Inheritance,” a two-part, six-and-a-half-hour play about the legacy of AIDS in New York, dominated the Olivier Awards on Sunday night, winning four trophies at the British equivalent of the Tony Awards.
At the Royal Albert Hall in London, the play, by Matthew Lopez, won best new play, best director for Stephen Daldry, best actor for Kyle Soller, and best lighting design for Jon Clark.
It beat strong competition, including “The Lehman Trilogy,” the acclaimed family saga about the founders of the financial firm, which is playing at the Park Avenue Armory until April 20, and “Sweat,” Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play set in working-class Pennsylvania.
Mr. Lopez said in an interview that he hoped “The Inheritance” would transfer to Broadway, especially given the play’s setting. “We’ve seen a lot of Brits come over and take home Tonys, so I think it’s only fair really,” Mr. Lopez said, when asked about the play’s success.
“The Inheritance” received rave reviews in Britain after opening last year at London’s Young Vic. Dominic Cavendish, writing in The Daily Telegraph, called it “a theatrical marathon that instantly looks like a modern classic,” adding that it was “perhaps the most important American play of the century so far.”
The play “pierces your emotional defenses, raises any number of political issues and enfolds you in its narrative,” wrote Michael Billington in The Guardian.
It had been nominated for eight awards, the most for any play.
Mr. Soller, in his acceptance speech, referred to a new law in Brunei that makes gay sex between men punishable by death. “For those that continue the fight in a world where you can still be stoned to death for loving who you love, thank you,” said the London-based American actor.
Last week, numerous celebrities, citing the law, called for a boycott against hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Those include the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles and the Dorchester in London.
The success of “The Inheritance” was matched by only two musicals: a gender-swapping version of Stephen Sondheim’s “Company,” and “Come From Away,” the musical about residents of a small Canadian town who had to accommodate 6,700 travelers whose planes were diverted there after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“Company,” which won best musical revival, was one of the most acclaimed productions in London last year. The New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley wrote that the decision to replace its original male lead with a woman gave the musical “emotional coherence and clout that it never possessed in my previous experiences of the show.”
Marianne Elliott, the musical’s director, thanked Mr. Sondheim in her acceptance speech for being “so open to allowing us to meddle with this piece” and believing “that theater could change and evolve and should be of and for the times.”
Ms. Elliott said in an interview later that she had no idea if it would transfer to New York but hoped it would.
“Come From Away” won best new musical despite receiving less positive reviews in London than it did when it opened on Broadway in 2017.
The other success story of the night was a revival of Tennessee Williams’s 1948 play “Summer and Smoke,” which initially showed at the Almeida Theater. It won best revival for a play and best actress for Patsy Ferran.
Ms. Ferran beat Gillian Anderson and Sophie Okonedo for the prize, cementing her reputation as a rising star in London theater. Reviewing the play for The Times, Matt Wolf praised her performance, writing that she was “a child-woman teetering on the abyss of tragedy.”