Winners of the 28th annual Laurence Olivier Awards, London's equivalent of the Tonys and the UK's most prestigious stage awards, are announced this Sunday evening, 22 February 2004, at a star-studded ceremony, hosted by Clive Anderson, at the London Hilton.

For the first time since the awards were established in 1976, the ceremony will not be televised. However, from 6.30pm on Sunday, Whatsonstage.com will be reporting live from the event at the Hilton, with details of winners across all 23 categories announced to you, as they’re announced to the industry guests. We’ll also follow up with photos, speeches and further analysis.

In addition to the unpopular change of format (See News, 15 Jan 2004), the run-up to this year’s Oliviers has attracted controversy for critically acclaimed omissions amongst the nominations - most notably, Eve Best who was overlooked for the Best Actress shortlist in favour of her Mourning Becomes Electra co-star Helen Mirren. Further revelations in the press about the awards’ two-tier judging led one Olivier public panellist to contact Whatsonstage.com and call for an overhaul of the awards’ voting processes (See News, 17 Feb 2004).

This year's awards, run by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT), are sponsored by hotel group Hilton UK and Ireland.


The full list of 2004 nominations is as follows:

BEST ACTRESS

- Eileen Atkins for HONOUR at the NT Cottesloe
- Helen Mirren for MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA at the NT Lyttelton
- Ann Mitchell for THROUGH THE LEAVES at the Duchess
- Kelly Reilly for AFTER MISS JULIE at the Donmar Warehouse
- Kristin Scott Thomas for THREE SISTERS at the Playhouse

BEST ACTOR

- Roger Allam for DEMOCRACY at the NT Cottesloe
- Kenneth Branagh for EDMOND at the NT Olivier
- Greg Hicks for CORIOLANUS, RSC at the Old Vic
- Matthew Kelly for OF MICE AND MEN, Birmingham Rep at the Savoy
- Michael Sheen for CALIGULA at the Donmar Warehouse

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

- Joe Dixon for THE ROMAN ACTOR, RSC at the Gielgud
- Oliver Ford Davies for ABSOLUTELY! (PERHAPS) at Wyndham’s
- Paul Hilton for MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA at the NT Lyttelton
- Warren Mitchell for THE PRICE, Tricycle at the Apollo

BEST NEW PLAY

- DEMOCRACY by Michael Frayn at the NT Cottesloe
- ELMINA’S KITCHEN by Kwame Kwei-Armah at the NT Cottesloe
- HITCHCOCK BLONDE by Terry Johnson at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court & the Lyric
- THE PILLOWMAN by Martin McDonagh at the NT Cottesloe

BEST REVIVAL

- ABSOLUTELY! (PERHAPS) by Luigi Pirandello in a new version by Martin Sherman at Wyndham’s
- CALIGULA by Albert Camus in a new translation by David Greig at the Donmar Warehouse
- MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA by Eugene O’Neill at the NT Lyttelton
- OF MICE AND MEN - by John Steinbeck, Birmingham Rep at the Savoy

BEST NEW MUSICAL

- JERRY SPRINGER – THE OPERA music by Richard Thomas, book a&nd lyrics by Stewart Lee & Richard Thomas at the NT Lyttelton & Cambridge
- RAGTIME book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, based on the novel by E L Doctorow at the Piccadilly
- THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE book by Richard Morris & Dick Scanlan, new music by Jeanine Tesori, new lyrics by Dick Scanlan, at the Shaftesbury

OUTSTANDING MUSICAL PRODUCTION

- HIGH SOCIETY music & lyrics by Cole Porter, book by Arthur Kopit at the Open Air
- Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber’s JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at the New London
- PACIFIC OVERTURES music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by John Weidman, additional material by Hugh Wheeler at the Donmar Warehouse
- TELL ME ON A SUNDAY music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Don Black at the Gielgud

BEST ENTERTAINMENT

- Duckie’s C’EST BARBICAN! devised & written by Mark Whitelaw, Ursula Martinez, Christopher Green, Marisa Carnesky, Francesca Baglione & Simon Vincenzi, scored by Ian Hill at The Pit
- Fascinating Aida’s ONE LAST FLUTTER at the Comedy
- JUS’ LIKE THAT written & created by John Fisher at the Garrick
- MY BRILLIANT DIVORCE by Geraldine Aron at the Apollo
- THE RAT PACK – LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS by Paul Walden, Mitch Sebastian & Derek Nicol at the Strand

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

- Maria Friedman for RAGTIME at the Piccadilly
- Amanda Holden for THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE at the Shaftesbury
- Alison Jiear for JERRY SPRINGER – THE OPERA at the NT Lyttelton & Cambridge
- Maureen Lipman for THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE at the Shaftesbury

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

- David Bedella for JERRY SPRINGER – THE OPERA at the NT Lyttelton & Cambridge
- Graham Bickley for RAGTIME at the Piccadilly
- Michael Brandon for JERRY SPRINGER – THE OPERA at the NT Lyttelton & Cambridge
- Kevyn Morrow for RAGTIME at the Piccadilly

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL

- Tracie Bennett for HIGH SOCIETY at the Open Air
- The Chorus of JERRY SPRINGER – THE OPERA at the NT Lyttelton & Cambridge
- Richard Henders for PACIFIC OVERTURES at the Donmar Warehouse
- Jerome Pradon for PACIFIC OVERTURES at the Donmar Warehouse
- Matthew White for RAGTIME at the Piccadilly

BEST DIRECTOR

- Stafford Arima for RAGTIME at the Piccadilly
- Michael Grandage for CALIGULA at the Donmar Warehouse
- Gary Griffin for PACIFIC OVERTURES at the Donmar Warehouse
- Stewart Lee for JERRY SPRINGER – THE OPERA at the NT Lyttelton & Cambridge

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER

- Jenny Arnold for JERRY SPRINGER – THE OPERA at the NT Lyttelton & Cambridge
- Rob Ashford for THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE at the Shaftesbury
- Karen Bruce for PACIFIC OVERTURES at the Donmar Warehouse

BEST SET DESIGN

- ABSOLUTELY! (PERHAPS) designed by Franco Zeffirelli at Wyndham’s
- HITCHCOCK BLONDE designed by William Dudley at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court & the Lyric
- MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA designed by Bob Crowley at the NT Lyttelton

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

- ABSOLUTELY! (PERHAPS) designed by Raimonda Gaetani at Wyndham’s
- PACIFIC OVERTURES designed by Mara Blumenfeld at the Donmar Warehouse
- POWER designed by Christopher Oram at the NT Cottesloe
- THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE designed by Martin Pakledinaz at the Shaftesbury

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN

- HITCHCOCK BLONDE designed by Simon Corder at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court & the Lyric
- PACIFIC OVERTURES designed by Hugh Vanstone at the Donmar Warehouse
- RAGTIME designed by Howard Harrison at the Piccadilly

BEST SOUND DESIGN

- JERRY SPRINGER – THE OPERA designed by Mike Walker at the Lyttelton and Cambridge
- PACIFIC OVERTURES designed by Nick Lidster at the Donmar Warehouse
- RAGTIME designed by Peter Hylenski for Autograph at the Piccadilly
- THE PILLOWMAN designed by Paul Arditti at the NT Cottesloe

MOST PROMISING PERFORMER IN AN AFFILIATE THEATRE

- Debbie Tucker Green for BORN BAD at Hampstead Theatre
- Lucy Prebble for THE SUGAR SYNDROME at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court
- Tom Hardy for his performance in IN ARABIA, WE’D ALL BE KINGS at Hampstead Theatre
- Ruth Negga for her performance in DUCK at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN AN AFFILIATE THEATRE

- The Young Vic for an audacious season under the artistic direction of David Lan
- Tanika Gupta for FRAGILE LAND at Hampstead Theatre & her adaptation of HOBSON’S CHOICE at the Young Vic
- The Almeida Theatre for its production of THE LADY FROM THE SEA
- The Lyric Hammersmith for its production of PERICLES

BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION

- English National Opera’s COSÌ FAN TUTTE at the Barbican
- The Royal Opera’s MADAMA BUTTERFLY at the Royal Opera House
- The Royal Opera’s ORLANDO at the Royal Opera House
- English National Opera’s THE TROJANS (Part I & II) at the London Coliseum

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA

- Cristina Gallardo-Domas for The Royal Opera’s MADAMA BUTTERFLY at the Royal Opera House
- Simon Keenlyside for The Royal Opera’s HAMLET & DIE ZAUBERFLOTE at the Royal Opera House
- Bejun Mehta for The Royal Opera’s ORLANDO at the Royal Opera House
- Felicity Palmer for The Royal Opera’s ELEKTRA & SWEENEY TODD at the Royal Opera House

BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION

- Nederlands Dans Theater 2’s DREAM PLAY at Sadler’s Wells
- George Piper Dances’ MESMERICS at Sadler’s Wells
- Paul Taylor Dance Company’s PROMETHEAN FIRE at Sadler’s Wells
- BROKEN FALL, a George Piper Dances commission in association with The Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE

- Carlos Acosta for his TOCORORO – A CUBAN TALE at Sadler’s Wells
- Thomas Edur & Agnes Oaks their performances in English National Ballet’s 2 HUMAN at Sadler’s Wells
- Javier De Frutos for his choreography of Rambert Dance Company’s ELSA CANASTA at Sadler’s Wells
- The dancers of Rambert Dance Company for their season at Sadler’s Wells