Winners of the 32nd annual Laurence Olivier Awards, London's equivalent of the Tonys and the UK's most prestigious stage awards, are announced this Sunday evening, 9 March 2008 (See News, 7 Feb 2008).

Full coverage & entertainment

On the night, Whatsonstage.com will be reporting live from the event, with details of winners across all 24 categories – the 23 shortlisted below and the annual Special Award given for overall career achievement - announced to you as they’re announced to the industry guests. In addition to up-to-the-minute results, our multimedia Oliviers coverage will include photo galleries, podcasts, speech highlights, interactive discussion and in-depth analysis, capturing all of the event’s glitz, glamour and overall buzz.

ALL AWARDS COVERAGE IS AVAILABLE VIA OUR DEDICATED
LAURENCE OLIVIERS’ PAGE – CLICK HERE NOW!

This year’s star-studded Oliviers ceremony is hosted by Richard E Grant at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, with nominees and guest presenters confirmed to attend including: Michael Ball, Bill Bailey, Darius Danesh, Anne Marie Duff, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tamsin Greig, Leanne Jones, Alistair McGowan, Ian McKellen, Kelly Reilly, Mark Rylance, Kristin Scott Thomas, Fiona Shaw, John Simm, Sheridan Smith, Summer Strallen, Jessie Wallace, Penelope Wilton and Barbara Windsor.

The evening’s entertainment will comprise performances from many of this year’s nominated musicals: “All the Wasted Time/ The Old Red Hills of Home” from Parade; “Do You Love Me?” from Fiddler on the Roof; “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from Hairspray; “Suddenly Seymour” from Little Shop of Horrors; “Papageno’s Aria” and “The Sun Has Risen” from The Magic Flute; and “Song of Hope” from The Lord of the Rings.

Who’s in the running?

In terms of nomination tallies, Hairspray has received a record-breaking 11 nominations including Best New Musical, Best Actor in a Musical (a cross-dressing Michael Ball), Best Actress in a Musical (Leanne Jones, who made her professional debut as Tracy Turnblad), Best Director (Jack O'Brien) and Best Choreographer (Jerry Mitchell), while in the Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical, the show’s Tracie Bennett and Elinor Collett go head-to-head. The previous record for Olivier nominations was nine, which has been achieved by three productions, all musical revivals, to date: the Broadway transfer of Kiss Me, Kate (2002) and the National Theatre productions of Oklahoma! (1999) and Carousel (1993).

Amongst plays, the NT adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s children’s novel War Horse leads the way with six nominations, including Best New Play. And fast on War Horse’s heels are two Shakespeares: the Chichester Festival transfer of Macbeth and the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Othello, with five and four nominations apiece.

A Newcomer category has been introduced this year, though it is limited to performances in plays. The category sees Tom Hiddleston in competition with himself for two Bard performances - Cymbeline at the Barbican and the Donmar Othello. By theatre, the National has made the strongest showing with 15 nominations, followed closely by the Donmar Warehouse with 13.

The Laurence Olivier Awards were created in 1976, then called the Society of West End Theatre Awards, to recognise excellence on the London stage. They were rebranded in 1984 when Lord Olivier agreed to have his name associated with them. The full list of nominations follows. (For full analysis of this year’s nominations: See News, 18 Jan 2007).

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!


The full list of 2008 Olivier nominations is as follows:

BEST ACTRESS

- Anne-Marie Duff for SAINT JOAN at the Olivier
- Kelly Reilly for OTHELLO at the Donmar Warehouse
- Kristin Scott Thomas for THE SEAGULL at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court
- Fiona Shaw for HAPPY DAYS at the Lyttelton
- Penelope Wilton for JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN at the Donmar Warehouse

BEST ACTOR

- Chiwetel Ejiofor for OTHELLO at the Donmar Warehouse
- Ian McKellen for KING LEAR at the New London
- Mark Rylance for BOEING-BOEING at the Comedy
- John Simm for ELLING at the Trafalgar Studios 1
- Patrick Stewart for MACBETH at the Gielgud

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

- Michelle Fairley for OTHELLO at the Donmar Warehouse
- Pam Ferris for THE ENTERTAINER at The Old Vic
- Conleth Hill for PHILISTINES at the Lyttelton
- Rory Kinnear for THE MAN OF MODE at the Oliver

BEST NEWCOMER IN A PLAY

- David Dawson for THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF NICHOLAS NICKLEBY at the Gielgud
- Tom Hiddleston for CYMBELINE at the Barbican
- Tom Hiddleston for OTHELLO at the Donmar Warehouse
- Stephen Wight for DEALER’S CHOICE at the Trafalgar Studios 1

BEST NEW PLAY

- A DISAPPEARING NUMBER by Simon McBurney at the Barbican
- THE REPORTER by Nicholas Wright at the Cottesloe
- VERNON GOD LITTLE by DBC Pierre, adapted by Tanya Ronder at the Young Vic
- WAR HORSE based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford at the Olivier

BEST NEW COMEDY

- ABSURDIA: THE CRIMSON HOTEL by Michael Frayn at the Donmar Warehouse
- ELLING based on a novel by Ingvar Ambjørnsen, stage adaptation by Axel Hellstenius in collaboration with Peter Næss translated by Nicholas Norris
- RAFTA RAFTA by Ayub Khan-Din based on All in Good Time by Bill Naughton at the Lyttelton
- WHIPPING IT UP by Steve Thompson at the New Ambassadors

BEST REVIVAL

- BOEING-BOEING by Marc Camoletti, translated by Beverley Cross at the Comedy Theatre
- DEALER’S CHOICE by Patrick Marber at Trafalgar Studios 1
- MACBETH by William Shakespeare at the Gielgud
- SAINT JOAN by Bernard Shaw at the Olivier
- THE SEAGULL by Anton Chekhov, a version by Christopher Hampton at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court.

BEST NEW MUSICAL

- THE DROWSY CHAPERONE music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar, by special arrangement with Paul Mack at the Novello
- HAIRSPRAY book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, based upon the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters
- THE LORD OF THE RINGS book and lyrics by Shaun McKenna and Matthew Warchus, music by A.R. Rahman, Värttinä with Christopher Nightingale at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
- PARADE book by Alfred Uhry, music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, co-conceived by Harold Prince at the Donmar Warehouse

BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL

- FIDDLER ON THE ROOF book by Joseph Stein, music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick at the Savoy
- LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS based on the film by Roger Corman, screenplay by Charles Griffiths, book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken at the Duke of York’s and Ambassadors
- THE MAGIC FLUTE- IMPEMPE YOMLINGO adapted from Mozart by Mark Dornford-May, words and music by Mandisi Dyantyis, Mbali Kgosidintsi, Pauline Malefane and Nolufefe Mtshabe at the Young Vic

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

- Leanne Jones for HAIRSPRAY at the Shaftesbury
- Lara Pulver for PARADE at the Donmar Warehouse
- Sheridan Smith for LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at the Duke of York’s and Ambassadors
- Summer Strallen for THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at the Novello

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

- Michael Ball for HAIRSPRAY at the Shaftesbury
- Bertie Carvel for PARADE at the Donmar Warehouse
- Henry Goodman for FIDDLER ON THE ROOF at the Savoy
- Bob Martin for THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at the Novello

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

- Tracie Bennett for HAIRSPRAY at the Shaftesbury
- Elinor Collett for HAIRSPRAY at the Shaftesbury
- Shaun Escoffery for PARADE at the Donmar Warehouse
- Alistair McGowan for LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at the Duke of York’s and Ambassadors

BEST DIRECTOR

- Rob Ashford for PARADE at the Donmar Warehouse
- Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris for WAR HORSE at the Olivier
- Rupert Goold for MACBETH at the Gielgud
- Jack O'Brien for HAIRSPRAY at the Shaftesbury

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER

- Rob Ashford for PARADE at the Donmar Warehouse
- Jerry Mitchell for HAIRSPRAY at the Shaftesbury
- Casey Nicholaw for THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at the Novello
- Toby Sedgwick for WAR HORSE at the Olivier

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN

- HAIRSPRAY designed by Kenneth Posner at the Shaftesbury
- THE LORD OF THE RINGS designed by Paul Pyant at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
- MACBETH designed by Howard Harrison at the Gielgud
- WAR HORSE designed by Paule Constable at the Olivier

BEST SET DESIGN

- HAIRSPRAY designed by David Rockwell at the Shaftesbury
- THE LORD OF THE RINGS designed by Rob Howell at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
- MACBETH designed by Anthony Ward and Lorna Heavey at the Gielgud
- WAR HORSE designed by Rae Smith and Handspring Puppet Company at the Olivier

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

- THE DROWSY CHAPERONE designed by Gregg Barnes for at the Novello
- HAIRSPRAY designed by William Ivey Long at the Shaftesbury
- THE LORD OF THE RINGS designed by Rob Howell at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
- THE MAN OF MODE designed by Vicki Mortimer at the Olivier

BEST SOUND DESIGN

- HAIRSPRAY designed by Steve C. Kennedy at the Shaftesbury
- THE LORD OF THE RINGS designed by Simon Baker at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
- PARADE designed by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster for Autograph at the Donmar Warehouse
- SAINT JOAN designed by Paul Arditti with music by Jocelyn Pook at the Olivier
- WAR HORSE designed by Christopher Shutt with music by Adrian Sutton and John Tams at the Oliver

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN AN AFFILIATE THEATRE

- THE BROTHERS SIZE at the Maria, Young Vic
- CINDERELLA at Theatre Royal, Stratford East
- GONE TOO FAR at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court
- The cast of THAT FACE at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court

BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION

- English National Opera’s AGRIPPINA at the Coliseum
- The Royal Opera’s LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT at the Royal Opera House
- The Royal Opera’s PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE at the Royal Opera House
- English National Opera’s TURN OF THE SCREW at the Coliseum

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA

- Natalie Dessay for her performance in LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT at the Royal Opera House
- Gerald Finley for his performance in PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE at the Royal Opera House
- Angelika Kirchschlager for her performance in PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE at the Royal Opera House
- David McVicar for directing English National Opera’s TURN OF THE SCREW and AGRIPPINA at the Coliseum

BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION

- Fabulous Beast Dance’s THE BULL at the Barbican
- The Royal Ballet’s JEWELS at the Royal Opera House
- Mark Morris Dance Group’s MOZART DANCES at the Barbican
- Northern Ballet Theatre’s THE THREE MUSKETEERS at Sadler’s Wells

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE

- Savion Glover for his performance in LIVE FOR LONDON at Sadler’s Wells
- Jonathan Goddard for his performances with the Richard Alston Dance Company at Sadler’s Wells
- The Royal Ballet Company for their performances in JEWELS
- Wendy Whelan for her performance in The Christopher Wheeldon Company’s FOOL’S PARADISE at Sadler’s Wells

ALL AWARDS COVERAGE IS AVAILABLE VIA OUR DEDICATED
LAURENCE OLIVIERS’ PAGE – CLICK HERE NOW!