Scherzinger shot to fame as a member of the Pussycat Dolls and has been an X Factor judge [Marc Brenner]

Stars of the stage are gearing up for the 2024 Olivier Awards, which take place later at the Royal Albert Hall.

Hollywood names are leading the nominations this year with the likes of Sarah Snook, Nicole Scherzinger and Sarah Jessica Parker all recognised.

Shows including Stranger Things: The First Shadow, Guys & Dolls and Dear England are also up for awards.

The Oliviers celebrate the best of British theatre and is the industry’s most prestigious awards ceremony.

Which plays and musicals are nominated?

Dear England production pictureDear England production picture

Joseph Fiennes is nominated for his role as the England boss Gareth Southgate [Marc Brenner]

Hit musical Sunset Boulevard is leading nominations this year with 11 nods, including Nicole Scherzinger and Tom Francis for best actress and actor in a musical respectively.

The minimalist production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s story of a fading film star, also received nominations for best musical revival and best director for Jamie Lloyd.

Meanwhile, Dear England, James Graham’s play about Gareth Southgate is the most nominated play.

The footballing drama has received nine nods, with Joseph Fiennes receiving his first Olivier nomination.

The National Theatre scored 15 nominations in total across its shows Dear England, Hadestown, The Motive and the Cue, Till the Stars Come Down and The Effect.

The best new musical nominees are The Little Big Things, Next to Normal, Operation Mincemeat and A Strange Loop.

The best musical revival category also has a number of strong favourites, including Groundhog Day, which won the Olivier Award for best new musical in 2017 and Guys & Dolls.

Which actors are nominated?

Sarah Snook in The Picture of Dorian GraySarah Snook in The Picture of Dorian Gray

Snook impressed critics for her performance in The Picture of Dorian Gray [Marc Brenner]

A host of Hollywood stars are nominated this year. Sarah Jessica Parker has scored her first Olivier nomination for Plaza Suite where she appears opposite her husband Matthew Broderick.

Several one-person plays received nominations in the best actor and actress categories – including Sarah Snook for The Picture of Dorian Gray, Andrew Scott for Vanya and Sheridan Smith for Shirley Valentine.

Snook, who recently won an Emmy for her performance in Succession, plays 26 characters in the play and is surrounded by a camera crew so her performance can be beamed onto overhead screens.

The Adelaide-born actress told the BBC last month she was “stoked and just a bit overwhelmed” upon learning of her nomination.

Elsewhere, Happy Valley star James Norton is up for an award for his performance in a stage adaptation of Hanya Yanagihara’s hugely popular and Booker-nominated novel A Little Life.

David Tennant also scored a best actor nomination for his portrayal of Macbeth at the Donmar Warehouse.

And Eleanor Worthington-Cox has been nominated for best actress in a supporting role in a musical for her performance in Next To Normal. In 2012, at just 10 years old, she was the youngest ever Olivier winner, gaining an award for her role as Matilda.

Who is hosting the Olivier Awards?

Hannah WaddinghamHannah Waddingham

Hannah Waddingham began her career in theatre [Christie Goodwin]

For a second year in a row, actress Hannah Waddingham will be hosting the awards.

She is best known for playing Richmond FC owner Rebecca Welton in Apple TV+ comedy Ted Lasso, which won her an Emmy, a Critics’ Choice Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

The star, from south London, has also been in Game of Thrones and Sex Education, and was a fan favourite when she co-hosted last year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Before making her breakthrough on screen, she was a leading lady on stage in the West End and on Broadway.

How can I watch the Olivier Awards?

The ceremony starts at 18:00, but there will be a TikTok live stream from the green carpet from 16:30 on the Official London Theatre’s channel.

A highlights package from the evening will be broadcast on ITV1 at 22:10.

And you can listen live to coverage of the awards ceremony on Magic radio.

What can we expect from the ceremony?

Throughout the ceremony, there will be performances from several nominees including The Little Big Things, Next To Normal, Operation Mincemeat, A Strange Loop, Guys & Dolls and Hadestown.

Awards will be presented by actors including Freema Agyeman, Adrian Dunbar, Anna Maxwell Martin and Dominic West.

Ruth Jones and Beverley Knight, both currently starring in Sister Act, will also present awards.

Model and actor Cara Delevingne, who is playing Sally Bowles in Cabaret, and Michael Sheen, who plays Nye Bevan in the National Theatre’s Nye, are handing out awards as well.

Why are the Olivier Awards important?

Olivier AwardOlivier Award

The Olivier Award is modelled off a young Laurence Olivier as Henry V at the Old Vic in 1937. [BBC]

The Olivier Awards are the theatre equivalent of the Baftas or Brits. They are the most prestigious stage honours in the UK and recognise performances across theatre, opera and dance in the West End.

The awards have been running since 1976 and were originally known as the Society of West End Theatre Awards.

In 1984, British theatre actor Laurence Olivier gave his consent to have the awards renamed in recognition of his contribution to British theatre.

The judging panel is put together by the Society of London Theatre and is comprised of industry professionals and members of the public who love theatre.

The record for the most wins by one show is held by Harry Potter And The Cursed Child which picked up nine awards in 2017.

The most awarded musical is split by Matilda, Hamilton and Cabaret which all have seven wins, while Dame Judi Dench holds the individual record for awards with eight.

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