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This year’s star-studded Oliviers ceremony is hosted by James Nesbitt at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, with nominees, guest presenters and other VIPs confirmed to attend including: Lindsay Duncan, Penelope Wilton, Michael Gambon, Patrick Stewart, Derek Jacobi, Deanna Dunagan, David Bradley, Elena Roger, Ruthie Henshall, Denis Lawson, Douglas Hodge, Margaret Tyzack, Michael Grandage, Michael Boyd, Sonia Friedman, Sadie Frost, Imelda Staunton, Ian Lavender, Andrea Corr, Dominic Cooper, Sheridan Smith, David Hare, Pete Postlethwaite, Jason Donovan, Tom Chambers, Gareth Gates, Anton du Beke, Kevin Spacey, Jodie Prenger, Sian Phillips, Gillian Anderson, Rosalind Plowright, David Morrissey and Liza Goddard.
The evening’s entertainment comprises performances from many of this year’s nominated - musicals Sunset Boulevard, La Cage aux Folles, Piaf, Zorro, West Side Story and Jersey Boys and cabaret troupe La Clique - as well as West End long-runners The Lion King and Mamma Mia!, both celebrating their tenth anniversaries this year. David Hare also presents a tribute to fellow playwright Harold Pinter, who passed away on Christmas Eve (See News, 25 Dec 2008).
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.
- by Terri Paddock