Mary Poppins leads race for theatre awards

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West End musicals Mary Poppins and The Producers lead the nominations for this year's Laurence Olivier Awards.

West End musicals Mary Poppins and The Producers lead the nominations for this year's Laurence Olivier Awards.

Mary Poppins has nine nominations including best new musical, best actress in a musical for Laura Michelle Kelly and best actor in a musical for her co-star Gavin Lee.

Kelly plays the magical nanny and Lee is Bert the chimneysweep in Sir Cameron Mackintosh's £9 million production.

The Producers, the stage show based on Mel Brooks' hit comedy, was close behind with eight nominations.

Its two leads, Lee Evans and Nathan Lane, are in competition with each other for the prize of best actor in a musical, while Leigh Zimmerman is a nominee in the best actress category.

Both Mary Poppins and The Producers have proved huge hits with critics and audiences since they opened at the end of last year.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest West End production The Woman In White, which was less well received, has five nominations.

They include best new musical and best supporting performance in a musical for Michael Crawford, who returned to the West End for the first time in 18 years to play the villainous Count Fosco.

There are four nominees for best new play: The History Boys; The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia?; Festen; and By The Bog Of Cats, starring Holly Hunter.

The best actor category includes a nomination for newcomer Ben Whishaw, who won rave reviews for his performance as Hamlet at the Old Vic.

He is up against veterans Michael Gambon for Endgame, Richard Griffiths for The History Boys and Jonathan Pryce for The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia?

Best actress will go to Victoria Hamilton for Suddenly Last Summer, Clare Higgins for Hecuba, Anna Maxwell Martin for His Dark Materials or Caroline O'Connor for Bombshells.

Dame Judi Dench receives her 13th Olivier nomination for best performance in a supporting role for her role as the Countess of Rossillion in All's Well That Ends Well.

The 29th Olivier Awards will be held at the London Hilton on Park Lane on 20 February.

Here is the full list of nominations:

BEST ACTRESS
* Victoria Hamilton for Suddenly Last Summer (The Albery)
* Clare Higgins for Hecuba (Donmar Warehouse)
* Anna Maxwell Martin for His Dark Materials (The Olivier)
* Caroline O'Connor for Bombshells (The Arts Theatre)

BEST ACTOR
* Michael Gambon for Endgame (The Albery)
* Richard Griffiths for The History Boys (The Lyttelton)
* Jonathan Pryce for The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia? (The Almeida and The Apollo)
* Ben Whishaw for Hamlet (The Old Vic)

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
* Samuel Barnett for The History Boys (The Lyttelton)
* Dame Judi Dench for All's Well That Ends Well (The Gielgud)
* Amanda Harris for Othello (Trafalgar Studios)
* Eddie Redmayne for The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia? (The Almeida and The Apollo)

BEST NEW PLAY
* By The Bog Of Cats (Wyndhams)
* Festen (The Almeida and The Lyric)
* The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia? (The Almeida and The Apollo)
* The History Boys (The Lyttelton)

BEST REVIVAL
* All's Well That Ends Well (The Gielgud)
* Endgame (The Albery)
* Hamlet (The Old Vic)
* Journey's End (The Comedy, The Playhouse and The Duke of York's)

BEST NEW MUSICAL
* Mary Poppins (The Prince Edward)
* The Producers (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane)
* The Woman In White (The Palace)

OUTSTANDING MUSICAL PRODUCTION
* A Funny THing Happened On The Way To The Forum (The Olivier)
* Grand Hotel (Donmar Warehouse)
* Simply Heavenly (Trafalgar Studios)
* Sweeney Todd (Trafalgar Studios and The New Ambassadors)

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
* Maria Friedman for The Woman In White (The Palace)
* Leigh Zimmerman for The Producers (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane)
* Laura Michelle Kelly for Mary Poppins (The Prince Edward)

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
* Lee Evans for The Producers (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane)
* Paul Hegarty for Sweeney Todd (Trafalgar Studios and The New Ambassadors)
* Nathan Lane for The Producers (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane)
* Gavin Lee for Mary Poppins (The Prince Edward)

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
* Michael Crawford for The Woman In White (The Palace)
* David Haig for Mary Poppins (The Prince Edward)
* Conleth Hill for The Producers (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane)

BEST DIRECTOR
* Richard Eyre for Mary Poppins (The Prince Edward)
* Nicholas Hytner for The History Boys (The Lyttelton)
* Rufus Norris for Festen (The Almeida and The Lyric)
* Susan Stroman for The Producers (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane)

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER
* Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear for Mary Poppins (The Prince Edward)
* Adam Cooper for Grand Hotel (Donmar Warehouse)
* Susan Stroman for The Producers (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane)

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN
* All's Well That Ends Well (The Gielgud)
* Festen (The Almeida and Lyric)
* His Dark Materials (The Olivier)
* Mary Poppins (The Prince Edward)

BEST SET DESIGN
* Festen (The Almeida and The Lyric)
* His Dark Materials (The Olivier)
* Mary Poppins (The Prince Edward)
* Suddenly Last Summer (The Albery)
* The Woman In White (The Palace)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
* All's Well That Ends Well (The Gielgud)
* Hamlet (The Old Vic)
* Mary Poppins (The Prince Edward)
* The Producers (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane)

BEST SOUND DESIGN
* Festen (The Almeida and The Lyric)
* Suddenly Last Summer (The Albery)
* The Woman In White (The Palace)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT OR PERFORMANCE IN AN AFFILIATE THEATRE
* Kevin Harvey for Yellowman (The Hampstead)
* Aidan McArdle for The Shadow Of A Gunman (The Tricycle)
* Andrew Scott for A Girl In A Car With A Man (The Jerwood Theatre)
* The Tricycle Theatre for its production of Guantanamo

BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION
* Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Royal Opera House)
* Les Paladins (The Barbican)
* Peter Grimes (Royal Opera House)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA
* Ben Heppner for The Royal Opera's Peter Grimes
* John McFarlane for his designs of The Royal Opera's Peter Grimes and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Royal Opera House)
* The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House under the musical direction of Antonio Pappano for their season's work
* Thomas Ades and the Royal Opera House for the world premiere of The Tempest

BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION
* Northern Ballet Theatre's A Midsummer Night's Dream (Sadler's Wells)
* Royal New Zealand Ballet's Milagros (Sadler's Wells)
* Royal New Zealand Ballet's Romeo And Juliet (Sadler's Wells)
* Rambert Dance Company's Swamp (Sadler's Wells)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE
* Julien Macdonald for his costume designs for Richard Alston Dance Company's Shimmer at Sadler's Wells
* San Francisco Ballet for their season at Sadler's Wells
* The Royal Ballet for their recreation of Sylvia at the Royal Opera House
* Rambert Dance Company for the range and quality of new work in their November season at Sadler's Wells

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