Winners of the 30th annual Laurence Olivier Awards, London's equivalent of the Tonys and the UK's most prestigious stage awards, are announced this Sunday evening, 26 February 2006, at a star-studded ceremony at the London Hilton (See News, 18 Jan 2006).

From 6.45pm 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 are led by the year’s two big musicals – the world premiere stage adaptation of Billy Elliot with nine nods (including Best New Musical and Best Director for Stephen Daldry, who also directed the original 2000 Brit flick), and Michael Grandage’s revival of Broadway classic Guys and Dolls with eight (including head-to-heads in both Best Actor and Actress in a Musical categories for its four original leads, Ewan McGregor versus Douglas Hodge, Jane Krakowski versus Jenna Russell).

Meanwhile, amongst plays, it’s Schiller versus Schiller as Don Carlos and Mary Stuart both have six nominations apiece, going head-to-head in the races for Best Revival and Best Director. The former was directed by Michael Grandage, originally at Sheffield Crucible, while the latter, which also subsequently transferred to the commercial West End, was directed by Phyllida Lloyd for the Donmar Warehouse, where Grandage is artistic director. The Schillers are equalled by Richard Eyre’s revival of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, with six nominations of its own.

Two awards categories which haven’t been seen in recent years – Best New Comedy and Best Entertainment – have returned for the 2006 running. This year's Oliviers, run by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT), are sponsored once again 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 2006 Olivier nominations is as follows:

BEST ACTRESS

- Eve Best for HEDDA GABLER at the Almeida and Duke of York’s
- Clare Higgins for DEATH OF A SALESMAN at the Lyric
- Helen McCrory for AS YOU LIKE IT at Wyndham’s
- Janet McTeer for MARY STUART at the Donmar Warehouse and Apollo
- Harriet Walter for MARY STUART at the Donmar Warehouse and Apollo

BEST ACTOR

- Brian Dennehy for DEATH OF A SALESMAN at the Lyric
- Richard Griffiths for HEROES at Wyndham’s
- Derek Jacobi for DON CARLOS at the Gielgud
- Con O'Neill for TELSTAR at the New Ambassadors
- David Threlfall for SOMEONE WHO’LL WATCH OVER ME at the New Ambassadors

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

- David Bradley for HENRY IV PARTS I & II at the Olivier
- Benedict Cumberbatch for HEDDA GABLER at the Almeida and Duke of York’s
- Noma Dumezweni for A RAISIN IN THE SUN, Young Vic at the Lyric Hammersmith
- Anne Reid for EPITAPH FOR GEORGE DILLON at the Comedy
- Paul Ritter for CORAM BOY at the Olivier

BEST NEW PLAY

- CORAM BOY adapted by Helen Edmundson from a novel by Jamila Gavin at the Olivier
- HARVEST by Richard Bean at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court
- ON THE SHORE OF THE WIDE WORLD by Simon Stephens at the Cottesloe
- PAUL by Howard Brenton at the Cottesloe

BEST NEW COMEDY

- GLORIOUS! by Peter Quilter at the Duchess
- HEROES by Gérald Sibleyras translated by Tom Stoppard at Wyndham’s
- SHOOT THE CROW by Owen McCafferty at Trafalgar Studio 1

BEST ENTERTAINMENT

- BLUE MAN GROUP at the New London
- DUCKTASTIC at the Albery
- DERREN BROWN - SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES at the Cambridge

BEST REVIVAL

- DEATH OF A SALESMAN by Arthur Miller at the Lyric
- DON CARLOS by Friedrich Schiller in a new adaptation by Mike Poulton at the Gielgud
- HEDDA GABLER by Henrik Ibsen in a new version by Richard Eyre at the Almeida and Duke of York’s
- MARY STUART by Friedrich Schiller in a new version by Peter Oswald at the Donmar Warehouse and Apollo

BEST NEW MUSICAL

- ACORN ANTIQUES – THE MUSICAL! Book, music and lyrics by Victoria Wood at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket
- THE BIG LIFE written by Paul Sirett, music by Paul Joseph at the Apollo
- BILLY ELLIOT – THE MUSICAL book and lyrics by Lee Hall, music by Elton John at the Victoria Palace

OUTSTANDING MUSICAL PRODUCTION

- GUYS AND DOLLS based on a story and characters of Damon Runyon, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows at the Piccadilly
- HMS PINAFORE a new version by Herbert Appleman, music by Arthur Sullivan. Original libretto by WS Gilbert at the Open Air

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

- Haydn Gwynne for BILLY ELLIOT – THE MUSICAL at the Victoria Palace
- Jane Krakowski for GUYS AND DOLLS at the Piccadilly
- Jenna Russell for GUYS AND DOLLS at the Piccadilly
- Julie Walters for ACORN ANTIQUES – THE MUSICAL! at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

- Douglas Hodge for GUYS AND DOLLS at the Piccadilly
- Ewan McGregor for GUYS AND DOLLS at the Piccadilly
- James Lomas, George Maguire and Liam Mower for BILLY ELLIOT - THE MUSICAL at the Victoria Palace

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL

- Tameka Empson for THE BIG LIFE at the Apollo
- Tim Healy for BILLY ELLIOT - THE MUSICAL at the Victoria Palace
- Celia Imrie for ACORN ANTIQUES – THE MUSICAL! at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket
- Scarlett Strallen for HMS PINAFORE at the Open Air

BEST DIRECTOR

- Stephen Daldry for BILLY ELLIOT – THE MUSICAL at the Victoria Palace
- Richard Eyre for HEDDA GABLER at the Almeida and Duke of York’s
- Michael Grandage for DON CARLOS at the Gielgud
- Phyllida Lloyd for MARY STUART at the Donmar Warehouse and Apollo
- Melly Still for CORAM BOY at the Olivier

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER

- Rob Ashford for GUYS AND DOLLS at the Piccadilly
- Peter Darling for BILLY ELLIOT - THE MUSICAL at the Victoria Palace

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN

- BILLY ELLIOT – THE MUSICAL designed by Rick Fisher at the Victoria Palace
- DON CARLOS designed by Paule Constable at the Gielgud
- MARY STUART designed by Hugh Vanstone at the Donmar Warehouse and Apollo
- GUYS AND DOLLS designed by Howard Harrison at the Piccadilly

BEST SET DESIGN

- BILLY ELLIOT – THE MUSICAL designed by Ian MacNeil at the Victoria Palace
- DON CARLOS designed by Christopher Oram at the Gielgud
- HEDDA GABLER designed by Rob Howell at the Almeida and Duke of York’s

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

- THE DOG IN THE MANGER designed by Es Devlin at the Playhouse
- DON CARLOS designed by Christopher Oram at the Gielgud
- HEDDA GABLER designed by Rob Howell at the Almeida and Duke of York’s
- MARY STUART designed by Anthony Ward at the Donmar Warehouse and Apollo

BEST SOUND DESIGN

- BILLY ELLIOT – THE MUSICAL designed by Paul Arditti at the Victoria Palace
- CORAM BOY designed by Christopher Shutt at the Olivier
- GUYS AND DOLLS designed by Terry Jardine & Chris Full at the Piccadilly

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN AN AFFILIATE THEATRE

- BLOODY SUNDAY – SCENES FROM THE SAVILLE INQUIRY at the Tricycle
- COMFORT ME WITH APPLES at Hampstead
- MY NAME IS RACHEL CORRIE at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court
- Laura Wade for BREATHING CORPSES at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court and COLDER THAN HERE at Soho

BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION

- Rambert Dance Company’s CONSTANT SPEED at Sadler’s Wells
- Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre’s GISELLE at the Barbican
- Sylvie Guillem and Russell Maliphant’s PUSH at Sadler’s Wells
- Akram Khan/Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui/Antony Gormley/Nitin Sawhney’s ZERO DEGREES at Sadler’s Wells

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE

- Ballet Nacional de Cuba’s corps de ballet for their season at Sadler’s Wells
- Pina Bausch for the creation of NELKEN and PALERMO PALERMO at Sadler’s Wells
- Johan Kobborg for his performance in the Royal Ballet’s THE LESSON and his production of LA SYLPHIDE at the Royal Opera House
- Russell Maliphant for his choreography and performance in PUSH at Sadler’s Wells

BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION

- English National Opera’s BILLY BUDD at the London Coliseum
- English National Opera’s LA CLEMENZA DI TITO at the London Coliseum
- English National Opera’s MADAM BUTTERFLY at the London Coliseum
- English National Opera’s ON THE TOWN at the London Coliseum

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA

- Sarah Connolly for her performance in English National Opera’s LA CLEMENZA DI TITO at the London Coliseum
- Simon Keenlyside for his performances in the Royal Opera’s 1984 at the Royal Opera House and English National Opera’s BILLY BUDD at the London Coliseum
- David McVicar for his direction of English National Opera’s LA CLEMENZA DI TITO at the London Coliseum
- Anthony Minghella and Carolyn Choa for the direction and choreography of English National Opera’s MADAM BUTTERFLY at the London Coliseum


For further analysis of the 2006 Laurence Olivier nominations, click here. .