SAM TUTTY has won best actor in a musical at the Olivier Awards for his role as Evan in Dear Evan Hansen.

The 22-year-old from Crawley was presented with the award in a virtual ceremony on Sunday night.

The West End star, who attended Imberhorne Secondary School in East Grinstead, has played the role of Evan Hansen in the production at the Noel Coward Theatre in London’s West End since November, 2019.

He told The Argus that winning a prestigious Olivier Award has been a “life goal”.

He said: “I can’t really put it into words.I just never thought it would happen as early as it has and I am just a bit stumped now as to what to do next.

The Argus: Sam Tutty plays the lead role in Dear Evan Hansen. Photo by Matt CrockettSam Tutty plays the lead role in Dear Evan Hansen. Photo by Matt Crockett

“It feels incredible, I feel very privileged and very grateful.

“I can’t really believe it, it is crazy to think that I’m getting awards for shows I haven’t performed in for seven months, it feels a bit criminal.”

Dear Evan Hansen, which also received an Olivier Award for best new musical, tells the story of Evan Hansen, a young man with social anxiety disorder.

Performances of the musical stopped in March when the nation entered lockdown, and are not due to resume until 2021.

Sam said: “It feels very strange, I’ve been in lockdown actually longer than I’ve been doing the show now.”

“We’ve been very lucky, our producers have said it’s not a matter of if but a matter of when we can return, so I am very grateful because a lot of my friends in other productions haven’t been so lucky.

The Argus: Sam Tutty, from Crawley, starring in Dear Evan Hansen.Sam Tutty, from Crawley, starring in Dear Evan Hansen.

“I put into perspective a lot of the time whenever I get upset or impatient I just remember and look at the big picture and remember I am actually quite fortunate.

“I’m just going to keep going, put one foot in front of the other and get out of this mess and then get back to performing when I have the luxury of doing so.”

However, the award-winning performer is concerned for the future of regional theatre, which has been struggling financially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Regional theatre has been hit worse than all of us and my heart goes out to all of them and I hope they can rebuild,” he said.

“But some of them have already lost too much to be what they once were and that’s the saddest thing, we can’t really sugar coat it.

“We’ve lost things that we’ll never get back and it will take years to come back but we will and we’ll be back bigger and better than ever.”