It’s the first time that the Oliviers are being held in a theatre since 2003 and the first time in more than ten years that the public are being invited to attend (what a good idea for a theatre awards ceremony...). Of the 2,200+ seats in Drury Lane, 600 – in the Upper Circle and Balcony – will be sold to the public.
Tickets are priced from £25, £45 and £65, which will include a complimentary programme and interval glass of champagne. There will also be screens in the auditorium showing the red carpet arrivals of all the stars.
The headline sponsor for this year’s Oliviers is MasterCard, which may be a problem for holders of Visa or any other credit or debit card who’d like to buy Olivier tickets. If you’re paying by card, you can only use a MasterCard, whether you’re doing so in person at the tkts booth in Leicester Square (which is also run by Olivier organisers and theatre marketing association, the Society of London Theatre), online at OlivierAwards.com and via See Tickets. Otherwise, get down in person quick as you can to the tkts booth, with cash or Theatre Tokens in hand.
Also for the first time since 2003, the Oliviers will be back on television this year, thanks to a tie-up with the BBC, which will see live coverage throughout the night on the interactive Red button.
In the payment card battle, Visa, which sponsors the 2012 London Olympics, recently attracted negative press – and an Office of Fair Trading investigation - for insisting that only Visa can be used for booking tickets to next summer’s games. MasterCard is also a headline sponsor for Southbank Centre’s upcoming Festival of Britain programme, but other cards are currently being accepted for those bookings.