Winners of the 29th annual Laurence Olivier Awards, London's equivalent of the Tonys and the UK's most prestigious stage awards, are announced this Sunday evening, 20 February 2005, at a star-studded ceremony, hosted by Richard Wilson, at the London Hilton (See News, 20 Jan 2005).

For the second year in a row, but only the second 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 21+ categories announced to you, as they’re announced to the industry guests.

This year’s list of nominations reflects the autumn’s emphasis on new musicals with the ‘Big Three’ - Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman in White, the Broadway transfer of Mel BrooksThe Producers and the Cameron Mackintosh and Disney co-production of Mary Poppins, which leads with nine nominations – going head-to-head-to-head in several key categories.

In a distinct change from recent years, the National has not dominated this year’s nominations. The three-auditoria South Bank flagship picked up just eight nominations – four of them for the Alan Bennett’s The History Boys, three for His Dark Materials and one for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum - which is matched by the 321-seat single auditorium Almeida Theatre in north London, which has six nominations for Festen, and two for The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, both transferred to the West End.

Two previous awards categories – Best Entertainment and Most Promising Newcomer (in an affiliate theatre) – have been omitted from the 2005 Oliviers. This year's awards, run by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT), are sponsored by hotel group Hilton UK and Ireland.

How will the decisions of this year’s Olivier judges compare with those of the Evening Standard & Critics’ Circle judges as well as the public’s choices in our own Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards? Tune in on Sunday to find out! Our live coverage will be supplemented with photos, speeches & further analysis.


The full list of nominations is as follows:

BEST ACTRESS

- Victoria Hamilton for SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER at the Albery
- Clare Higgins for HECUBA at the Donmar Warehouse
- Anna Maxwell Martin for HIS DARK MATERIALS at the Olivier
- Caroline O'Connor for BOMBSHELLS at the Arts

BEST ACTOR

- Michael Gambon for ENDGAME at the Albery
- Richard Griffiths for THE HISTORY BOYS at the Lyttelton
- Jonathan Pryce for THE GOAT, OR WHO IS SYLVIA? at the Almeida and Apollo
- Ben Whishaw for HAMLET at The Old Vic

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

- Samuel Barnett for THE HISTORY BOYS at the Lyttelton
- Judi Dench for ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL at the Gielgud
- Amanda Harris for OTHELLO at Trafalgar Studios
- Eddie Redmayne for THE GOAT, OR WHO IS SYLVIA? at the Almeida and Apollo

BEST NEW PLAY

- BY THE BOG OF CATS by Marina Carr at Wyndhams
- FESTEN, a dramatisation by David Eldridge Based on the Dogme film and play by Thomas Vinterberg, Mogens Rukov and Bo hr. Hansen at the Almeida and the Lyric
- THE GOAT, OR WHO IS SYLVIA? by Edward Albee at the Almeida and the Apollo
- THE HISTORY BOYS by Alan Bennett at the Lyttelton

BEST REVIVAL

- ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL by William Shakespeare at the Gielgud
- ENDGAME by Samuel Beckett at the Albery
- HAMLET by William Shakespeare at The Old Vic
- JOURNEY’S END by R C Sherriff at the Comedy, Playhouse and Duke of York’s

BEST NEW MUSICAL

- MARY POPPINS a musical based on the stories of PL Travers and the Walt Disney Film, Original music and lyrics by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman; book by Julian Fellowes; new songs and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe; co- created by Cameron Mackintosh at the Prince Edward
- THE PRODUCERS book by Mel Brooks & Thomas Meehan, music and lyrics by Mel Brooks and by special arrangement with StudioCanal at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
- THE WOMAN IN WHITE a new musical freely adapted from the classic novel by Wilkie Collins, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by David Zippel, book by Charlotte Jones at the Palace

OUTSTANDING MUSICAL PRODUCTION

- A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, book by Burt Shevelove & Larry Gelbart, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim at the Olivier
- GRAND HOTEL book by Luther Davis, Music & lyrics by Robert Wright and George Forrest, additional music and lyrics by Maury Yeston based on Vicki Baum’s Grand Hotel at the Donmar Warehouse
- SIMPLY HEAVENLY book and lyrics by Langston Hughes, music by David Martin at Trafalgar Studios
- SWEENEY TODD music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim book by Hugh Wheeler from an adaptation by Christopher Bond at Trafalgar Studios and the New Ambassadors

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

- Maria Friedman for THE WOMAN IN WHITE at the Palace
- Leigh Zimmerman for THE PRODUCERS at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
- Laura Michelle Kelly for MARY POPPINS at the Prince Edward

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

- Lee Evans for THE PRODUCERS at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
- Paul Hegarty for SWEENEY TODD at Trafalgar Studios and New Ambassadors
- Nathan Lane for THE PRODUCERS at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
- Gavin Lee for MARY POPPINS at the Prince Edward

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

- Michael Crawford for THE WOMAN IN WHITE at the Palace
- David Haig for MARY POPPINS at the Prince Edward
- Conleth Hill for THE PRODUCERS at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

BEST DIRECTOR

- Richard Eyre and Matthew Bourne for MARY POPPINS at the Prince Edward
- Nicholas Hytner for THE HISTORY BOYS at the Lyttelton
- Rufus Norris for FESTEN at the Almeida and Lyric
- Susan Stroman for THE PRODUCERS at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER

- Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear for MARY POPPINS at the Prince Edward
- Adam Cooper for GRAND HOTEL at the Donmar Warehouse
- Susan Stroman for THE PRODUCERS at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN

- ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL designed by Paul Pyant at the Gielgud
- FESTEN designed by Jean Kalman at the Almeida and Lyric
- HIS DARK MATERIALS designed by Paule Constable at the Olivier
- MARY POPPINS designed by Howard Harrison at the Prince Edward

BEST SET DESIGN

- FESTEN designed by Ian McNeil at the Almeida and Lyric
- HIS DARK MATERIALS designed by Giles Cadle at the Olivier
- MARY POPPINS designed by Bob Crowley at the Prince Edward
- SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER designed by Christopher Oram at the Albery
- THE WOMAN IN WHITE designed by William Dudley at the Palace

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

- ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL designed by Deirdre Clancey at the Gielgud
- HAMLET designed by John Gunter and Mark Bouman at The Old Vic
- MARY POPPINS designed by Bob Crowley at the Prince Edward
- THE PRODUCERS designed by William Ivey Long at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

BEST SOUND DESIGN

- FESTEN designed by Paul Arditti at the Almeida and Lyric
- SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER designed by Adam Cork at the Albery
- THE WOMAN IN WHITE designed by Mick Potter at the Palace

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT OR PERFORMANCE IN AN AFFILIATE THEATRE

- Kevin Harvey for his performance in YELLOWMAN at Hampstead
- Aidan McArdle for his performance in THE SHADOW OF A GUNMAN at the Tricycle
- Andrew Scott for his performance in A GIRL IN A CAR WITH A MAN at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court
- The Tricycle Theatre for its production of GUANTANAMO

BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION

- The Royal Opera’s LADY MACBETH OF MTSENSK at the Royal Opera House
- Les Arts Florissants, Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu, Théâtre Du Châtelet and BITE 04’s LES PALADINS at the Barbican
- The Royal Opera’s PETER GRIMES at the Royal Opera House

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA

- Ben Heppner for The Royal Opera’s PETER GRIMES
- John McFarlane for his designs of The Royal Opera’s PETER GRIMES and LADY MACBETH OF MTSENSK at the Royal Opera House
- The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House under the musical direction of Antonio Pappano for their season’s work
- Thomas Adès and the Royal Opera House for the world premiere of THE TEMPEST

BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION

- Northern Ballet Theatre’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM at Sadler’s Wells
- Royal New Zealand Ballet’s MILAGROS at Sadler’s Wells
- Royal New Zealand Ballet’s ROMEO AND JULIET at Sadler’s Wells
- Rambert Dance Company’s SWAMP at Sadler’s Wells

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE

- Julien Macdonald for his costume designs for Richard Alston Dance Company’s SHIMMER at Sadler’s Wells
- San Francisco Ballet for their season at Sadler’s Wells
- The Royal Ballet for their recreation of SYLVIA at the Royal Opera House
- Rambert Dance Company for the range and quality of new work in their November season at Sadler’s Wells