The Laurence Olivier Awards, or simply the Olivier Awards, are presented annually by the Society of London Theatre to recognise excellence in professional theatre in London.
Abeysekera picked up the award for his performances as the leading man on the Wes-End play ‘Life of Pi’, which also scooped a host of top prizes.
The production, based on Yann Martel’s Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name, scooped the best play prize as part of its haul.
The story follows a teenager stranded on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean with a tiger on board.
In a touching speech, the show’s star Abeysekera said he was “overwhelmed” to win best actor.
He paid tribute to his home country of Sri Lanka, which he said was going through a “tough time now… I think of you and wish I was there with you”.
Sri Lanka is facing a serious financial crisis and there have been protests in recent days calling for the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his government.
Life of Pi, a philosophical novel by Yann Martel, was also adapted into an film in 2012 which starred Suraj Sharma and won four Oscars.
Click on the link below to watch the speech: