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Chiwetel Ejiofor

Chiwetel Ejiofor to battle Ian McKellen & Patrick Stewart for the Laurence Olivier Best Actor Award

Thursday 7 February 2008, by Webmaster

Record Olivier nods for Hairspray

West End hit Hairspray has received a record 11 nominations at the Laurence Olivier Awards.

Leading lady Leanne Jones, 22, is up for best actress in a musical for her role as Tracy Turnblad.

The musical’s other nominations include best new musical and best actor in a musical for Michael Ball, who plays Tracy’s mother Edna.

The stage version of The Lord Of The Rings is also a best new musical contender, despite mixed reviews.

The JRR Tolkien adaptation - one of the most expensive West End shows in history - also has nominations for best lighting, set design, costume and sound.

Booker winner

Three Shakespearean actors will battle it out in the best actor category.

Sir Ian McKellen as King Lear, Patrick Stewart as Macbeth and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Othello have each been nominated, alongside Mark Rylance for Boeing Boeing and John Simm for Elling.

The best actress contenders are Anne-Marie Duff for Saint Joan, Kelly Reilly for Othello, Kristin Scott Thomas for The Seagull, Fiona Shaw for Happy Days and Penelope Wilton for John Gabriel Borkman.

Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse and an adaptation of DBC Pierre’s Booker Prize-winning novel Vernon God Little are nominated for best new play.

Young Rada graduate Tom Hiddleston has a double nomination in the best newcomer category, for his performances in Cymbeline and Othello.

The 32nd annual Laurence Olivier Awards ceremony will be held on 9 March at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, hosted by actor Richard E Grant.