Olivier Awards 2013: Stars of the silver screen Helen Mirren, James McAvoy and Rupert Everett in competition for top theatre gongs

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Film and television stars have stormed the stage at Britain’s showpiece theatre awards, with Helen Mirren, James McAvoy and Kristin Scott Thomas vying for the top acting gongs.

The nominations for the 2013 Olivier Awards were announced at The May Fair hotel earlier today, and Mirren was instantly installed among the favourites to secure the best actress award for her latest turn as the Queen in The Audience.

She will come up against Scott Thomas, star of The English Patient, for her performance in Old Times, Billie Piper, who was in The Effect, and Hattie Morahan for A Doll's HouseThe Audience was also nominated for best new play, and Stephen Daldry is in the running for best director.

Another production to open in recent weeks was Macbeth at the Trafalgar Studios, and  it was nominated for best revival as well as a nod for film star McAvoy in the lead role.

He will face Everett, for his role as Oscar Wilde in The Judas Kiss, as well as Mark Rylance for Twelfth Night, Rafe Spall – recently seen in Life of Pi – for Constellations and Luke Treadaway, who starred in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Julian Bird, chief executive of The Society of London Theatre, said: “You have people who mix theatre with TV with film showing through very strongly in the nominations.”

“We do have a great thing in this country that people may have started their career in regional theatre; they build up another career but they keep coming back to the theatre.”

Judi Dench is acting in the West End currently, with Daniel Radcliffe and Jude Law set to return to the stage this year. “Britain’s very biggest film stars seem to keep coming back,” Mr Bird said.

The nominees were almost entirely British. Mr Bird said: “What we create in this country are things that go around the world. We create stars and creative talent.” Yet he added: “It is cyclical. Next year we will be talking about Book of Mormon and Once.”

The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time secured the most nominations with eight, including best new play, and director Marianne Elliott. Another front-runner was musical Top Hat which gained seven nominations; while the West End transfer of Chichester Festival Theatre’s Sweeney Todd starring Imelda Staunton scored six.

The Audience and Kiss Me, Kate have five nominations apiece. New writing is also strongly represented this year with Nick Payne’s Constellations gaining four nominations and other new plays, The Effect, This House, Cinderella (St James’ Theatre) and Goodnight Mister Tom gaining nods across the categories.

Billy Elliot: The Musical, Matilda The Musical, The Phantom Of The Opera and Wicked won the public vote – a record 65,000 contributors this year- to become BBC Radio 2 Audience Award nominees.

Dance nominations are split between The Royal Ballet and Sadler’s Wells, with notable opera nominations including three out of four nominations for English National Opera for ‘best new opera , and the stage management teams at ENO London Coliseum and the Royal Opera House nominated for ‘outstanding achievement in opera’.

Former Olivier Award winners Gillian Lynne CBE and Michael Frayn are get 'special awards' for their outstanding contributions to theatre, as previously announced.

The awards ceremony will take place at the Royal Opera House, London on Sunday 28 April and will be hosted by Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville and Legally Blonde: The Musical star Sheridan Smith.

There was some surprise that Smith, who has won two Oliviers, was not nominated for a third following her highly acclaimed performance in Hedda Gabler. Eve Best, who received plaudits for her powerhouse performance in Duchess of Malfi also missed out.

Gillian Lynne, who has choreographed over 50 Broadway, West End and international shows, said she felt “shock” at receiving the lifetime achievement award.

“I’m not particularly now in the public eye, I just work, work, work,” she said, adding: “I didn’t think they’d be aware of me for this award, so I’m thrilled.” Actress and singer Elaine Paige said Ms Lynne was “one of our premier choreographers”.

Ms Lynne worked on high profile shows including Cats and Phantom of the Opera. “I work on them all. When I get a minute I dash in,” she said.

“I’m just as mad about theatre and rehearsal. If I could be in a rehearsal with people who are brilliantly talented I really wouldn’t ask for much more of life.”

She also called on the government and wealthy individuals to “get behind theatre more” adding “there’s not a lot around to get your interesting offbeat performance off the ground.”

Olivier Awards 2013 nominations in full:

BEST ACTOR

Rupert Everett - The Judas Kiss

James McAvoy - Macbeth

Mark Rylance - Twelfth Night

Rafe Spall - Constellations

Luke Treadaway - The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time

BEST ACTRESS

Helen Mirren - The Audience

Hattie Morahan - A Doll's House

Billie Piper - The Effect

Kristin Scott Thomas - Old Times

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Paul Chahidi - Twelfth Night

Richard McCabe - The Audience

Adrian Scarborough - Hedda Gabler

Kyle Soller - Long Day's Journey Into Night

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Janie Dee - NSFW

Anastasia Hille - The Effect

Cush Jumbo - Julius Caesar (Donmar Warehouse)

Helen McCrory - The Last Of The Haussmans

Nicola Walker - The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time

MASTERCARD BEST NEW PLAY

Constellations

The Audience

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time

This House

BEST DIRECTOR

Stephen Daldry - The Audience

Marianne Elliott - The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time

Jeremy Herrin - This House

Simon McBurney - The Master And Margarita

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Michael Ball - Sweeney Todd

Alex Bourne - Kiss Me, Kate

Tom Chambers - Top Hat

Will Young - Cabaret

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Heather Headley - The Bodyguard

Imelda Staunton - Sweeney Todd

Summer Strallen - Top Hat

Hannah Waddingham - Kiss Me, Kate

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Adam Garcia - Kiss Me, Kate

Debbie Kurup - The Bodyguard

Sian Phillips - Cabaret

Leigh Zimmerman - A Chorus Line

BEST NEW MUSICAL

Loserville

Soul Sister

The Bodyguard

Top Hat

BEST REVIVAL

Long Day's Journey Into Night

Macbeth

Old Times

Twelfth Night (Apollo Theatre)

BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL

A Chorus Line

Cabaret

Kiss Me, Kate

Sweeney Todd

BEST ENTERTAINMENT AND FAMILY

Cinderella (St James Theatre)

Goodnight Mister Tom

Hansel And Gretel

Room On The Broom

WHITE LIGHT AWARD FOR BEST LIGHTING DESIGN

Paul Anderson - The Master And Margarita

Paule Constable - The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time

Lee Curran - Constellations

Mark Henderson - Sweeney Todd

BEST SOUND DESIGN

Ian Dickinson - The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time

Paul Groothuis - Sweeney Todd

David McSeveney - Constellations

Gareth Owen - Top Hat

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Bob Crowley - The Audience

Jon Morrell - Top Hat

Jenny Tiramani - Twelfth Night

Anthony Ward - Sweeney Todd

XL VIDEO AWARD FOR BEST SET DESIGN

Hildegard Bechtler - Top Hat

Miriam Buether & Wang Gongxin - Wild Swans

Bunny Christie & Finn Ross - The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time

Tim Hatley - The Bodyguard

BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION

Aeternum by the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon

Cacti by Nederlands Dans Theatre 2 at Sadler's Wells, choreographed by Alexander Ekman

A Streetcar Named Desire by Scottish Ballet at Sadler's Wells

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE

Lez Brotherston for the set and costumes for Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty, New Adventures at Sadler's Wells

ILL-Abilities company in Breakin' Convention at Sadler's Wells

Marianela Nunez for Aeternum, Diana & Actaeon and Viscera, The Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER

Scott Ambler - Chariots Of Fire

Bill Deamer - Top Hat

Scott Graham & Steven Hoggett - The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time

Stephen Mear - Kiss Me, Kate

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN AN AFFILIATE THEATRE

Caroline Horton for You're Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy at the Bush Theatre

The production of Red Velvet at the Tricycle Theatre

The season of new writing at the Royal Court Upstairs

Kate Bond and Morgan Lloyd for You Me Bum Bum Train, presented by Theatre Royal Stratford East

BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION

Billy Budd, English National Opera at the London Coliseum

Caligula, English National Opera at the London Coliseum

Einstein On The Beach at the Barbican Theatre

La Traviata, English National Opera at the London Coliseum

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA

Edward Gardner for his conducting of The Flying Dutchman and Billy Budd at the English National Opera, London Coliseum

Bryan Hymel for his performances in Les Troyens, Robert Le Diable and Rusalka at the Royal Opera House

Music Theatre Wales for In The Locked Room/Ghost Patrol at the Linbury Theatre, the Royal Opera House

The Stage Management teams at English National Opera, London Coliseum and the Royal Opera House

BBC RADIO 2 AUDIENCE AWARD

Billy Elliot The Musical

Matilda The Musical

The Phantom Of The Opera

Wicked

SPECIAL AWARD

Gillian Lynne

Michael Frayn

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