Nominations in this year’s 35th annual Laurence Olivier Awards – as well as details of a major new sponsor, further broadcast tie-ins and other details of the rebranded ceremony format – will be announced in a press conference from 11.00am today (7 February) at the West End’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane, where the 2011 event will take place on Sunday 13 March.

The Oliviers have not been televised for the past eight years after a change in programming policy at the BBC, which used to air hour-long highlights of the ceremony and the year’s theatre. The Society of London Theatre (SOLT), the theatre marketing body which organises the awards, have already announced that in 2011 the Beeb will be back on board with “extensive coverage” across their television, radio and online news services. The evening’s entertainment will also be backed by the BBC Concert Orchestra.

During its time off-air, the Oliviers reverted to a private black-tie event, including sit-down dinner, at a London hotel, most recently Grosvenor House on Park Lane, for industry guests. It has also been without a headline sponsor for several years. With the event now returning to a theatrical venue, it’s expected that today’s announcement will include details of publicly available tickets. In addition, for a third year, a nominees' lunch will be held at the Haymarket Hotel on 22 February 2011, two days after the culmination of this year’s Whatsonstage.com Awards.


Ahead of the Olivier events, the Winners’ Concert in our own 2011 Whatsonstage.com Awards, the only major theatre prize-giving decided by the paying public, takes place once again at the West End’s Prince of Wales Theatre, co-hosted by Miranda Hart, Sheridan Smith and Christopher Biggins. The Concert event is now completely sold out. To join the waiting list for to be alerted about last-minute returns, click here.