The wait is almost over for the most prestigious theatre awards of the year. The Olivier Awards with MasterCard take place this Sunday at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Relaunched for the awards’ 35th anniversary, the 2011 Olivier Awards with MasterCard are set to be the most exciting and glamorous yet with exclusive performances, starry presenters and a host of surprises in store.
Presented by Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton, this year’s nominees hoping to take home one of the coveted accolades include Derek Jacobi, Tracie Bennett, Sheridan Smith, David Suchet, Roger Allam, Emma Williams, Sierra Boggess, Sophie Thompson, Tamsin Greig, Mark Rylance, Rory Kinnear, Elena Rogers and the twice-nominated Michael Xavier.
Strong competition comes from musical Love Never Dies, which is nominated for seven awards, and the National theatre, which boasts an impressive 17 nominations in total, six of which are for Thea Sharrock’s critically acclaimed production of After The Dance.
Long-runners Billy Elliot The Musical, Jersey Boys, Les Misérables and We Will Rock You will also fight it out to take home the BBC Radio 2 Olivier Audience Award which has been voted for by members of public.
British TV viewers can follow the action from red carpet to stage via the BBC Red Button, and watch a results and reaction programme following the ceremony on BBC News. The BBC’s live coverage, which starts from 16:00, will also include exclusive performances from the ceremony including appearances from the legendary Barry Manilow, dance groups Thick Skin and ZooNation and unique performances from all of the nominated musicals.
Radio listeners can tune into BBC Radio 2 from 17:30 when Paul Gambaccini will be following the ceremony live and catching up with the winners as they step off stage.
Members of the public have been invited to attend the ceremony with tickets on sale at the tkts booths in Leicester Square and Brent Cross Shopping Centre. There are still a limited number of tickets left which can be purchased using MasterCard, cash or Theatre Tokens until 14:00 on 13 March.
You can follow all the latest news, view photos of the illustrious guests and award winners, and watch exclusive video footage at www.olivierawards.com.