Choreographer Gillian Lynne and writer Michael Frayn will both receive Special Awards at this year's Oliviers, in recognition of their contribution to theatre and the arts.

Lynne started her career as a ballet dancer before earning an international reputation for her innovative stage work, including choreographing Cats and The Phantom of the Opera.

She said of the honour: "I am humbled to receive such a high honour from my peers at the Society of London Theatre. It has been a true privilege to spend my entire working life in an industry that I love. However, my lifetime of achievement is not over yet and I am looking forward to many more years of creativity ahead."

Frayn's considerable writing output includes 17 plays, most notably the award-winning farce Noises Off and the dramas Copenhagen and Democracy.

Mark Rubinstein, president of the Society of London Theatre, said: "I am delighted that the Society of London Theatre has recognised the prolific work of Michael and Gillian who, in very different ways, have both had a vital and lasting influence on our theatre and dance stages. It is only fitting that these two ambassadors of British Theatre be recognised with the Special Award at this year's ceremony."

This years Olivier Awards, nominations for which are announced tomorrow (26 March 2013), take place at the Royal Opera House on Sunday 28 April, hosted by Hugh Bonneville and Sheridan Smith. The ceremony will be live on BBC Radio 2 from 6.30pm with a highlights package broadcast on ITV later in the evening.