Nominations for the 2011 Olivier Awards, recognizing excellence in London theatre, were announced Feb. 7. Winners will receive their awards at a March 13 ceremony at Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The 2011 Olivier nominees are:
Tracie Bennett for End of the Rainbow
Nancy Carroll for After the Dance
Tamsin Greig for The Little Dog Laughed
Sophie Thompson for Clybourne Park
Best New Musical
Legally Blonde – The Musical
Love Never Dies
Dominic Cooke for Clybourne Park
Howard Davies for The White Guard
Michael Grandage for King Lear
Thea Sharrock for After the Dance Mastercard Best New Play
Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris
End of the Rainbow by Peter Quilter
Sucker Punch by Roy Williams
The Little Dog Laughed by Douglas Carter Beane
Tribes by Nina Raine
Best Actor in a Musical
Alex Gaumond for Legally Blonde – The Musical
Ramin Karimloo for Love Never Dies
Sahr Ngaujah for Fela!
Michael Xavier for Love Story
Best New Opera Production
English National Opera and Young Vic’s Elegy for Young Lovers at the Young Vic
De Nederlandse Opera, English National Opera and Complicité's A Dog's Heart at the London Coliseum
Royal Opera, Vienna State Opera, San Francisco Opera, the Liceu, Barcelona and Opéra Bastille's Adriana Lecouvreur at the Royal Opera House
OperaUpClose and Soho Theatre's La Bohème at Soho Theatre
Best New Dance Production
Mambo 3XX1 by Danza Contemporanea de Cuba choreographed by George Cespedes at Sadler's Wells
Babel (Words) by Eastman vzw and Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet at Sadler's Wells
Cinderella by New Adventures choreographed by Matthew Bourne at Sadler's Wells
The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) also announced a three-year partnership with MasterCard that will provide major investment in the development of the global profile of the Olivier Awards. The Best Play Award is now called the Mastercard Best New Play Award.
A new broadcast partnership with the BBC was also announced, bringing the Olivier Awards to audiences across the U.K. There will be live coverage on BBC Television of the red carpet and a full results and reactions after the ceremony. Radio 2 will broadcast direct from the theatre in a special program presented by Michael Ball, from 5:30-9:30 PM, with live coverage of the event and all performances from the stage plus, red carpet interviews with attending stars.
For the first time viewers can watch the proceedings live on television via the BBC Red Button.
This year also sees the return of the Radio 2 Audience Award, renamed as the BBC Radio 2 Olivier Audience Award, in which members of the public are able to vote for their favorite long-running production from a shortlist of 18 shows. Elaine Paige will present the Award at the ceremony with the cast from last year's winning show Wicked.