Chicago in for Olivier awards

The two stars of the hit musical Chicago are competing for a best actress prize in the Laurence Olivier Awards. In the nominations announced yesterday Chicago received seven nominations. And its leading ladies Ruthie Henshall and Ute Lemper are both vying for best actress in a musical.

Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Zoe Wanamaker, Michael Gambon, Rupert Graves, Maureen Lipman, Ronald Pickup, Ian Holm and Simon Russell Beale are among the actors in the running for other theatre awards.

Chicago, an all-British production of a smash-hit Broadway revival about a women's prison, opened at the West End Adelphi Theatre to rave reviews and massive box offices last October. It also gains Olivier nominations for best actor, best director, best choreography for Ann Reinking and best costume design.

Not far behind is Lady In The Dark at the Lyttleton Theatre with five nominations including the Amex award for best new musical. King Lear at the National Theatre, gets four including Ian Holm for King Lear. The awards will be held on 16 February.