Olivier Awards 2024: Everything you need to know ahead of the ceremony

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

The Olivier Awards take place on Sunday, with Hollywood stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicole Scherzinger and Sarah Snook among the nominees.

The hit musical Sunset Boulevard has 11 nods, including Scherzinger and Tom Francis for best actress and actor in a musical respectively.

And Dear England, James Graham's play about Gareth Southgate, has nine, with Joseph Fiennes receiving his first.

The Oliviers are seen as the most prestigious awards event in UK theatre.

Joseph Fiennes, playing Gareth Southgate
Joseph Fiennes plays Gareth Southgate in Dear England [Getty Images]

Sunset Boulevard, a new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's story of a fading film star, also received nominations in all the acting categories for a musical, as well as best musical revival, and best director for Jamie Lloyd.

The National Theatre garnered the most nominations for a single company, with its productions Dear England, Hadestown, The Motive and the Cue, Till the Stars Come Down and The Effect all recognised across a number of categories.

Footballing drama Dear England is the most nominated play, with nods including Fiennes for best actor, Gina McKee for best actress in a supporting role, Rupert Goold for best director and best new play.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick in Plaza Suite
Parker and Broderick star in Plaza Suite [Marc Brenner]

Many television, film and music stars received recognition, including James Norton for A Little Life and Parker, who scored her first Olivier nomination, for Plaza Suite.

The Sex and the City star is appearing opposite her husband Matthew Broderick in Neil Simon's 1968 play, with critics praising her performance as "a revelation".

A number of one-person plays received nominations in the best actor and actress categories - include Snook's first, for The Picture of Dorian Gray, Andrew Scott for Vanya and Sheridan Smith for Shirley Valentine.

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

The Picture of Dorian Gray, based on Oscar Wilde's 1890 novel, is running in London's West End until May.

Snook, who starred 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 felt "stoked and just a bit overwhelmed" upon learning of her nomination.

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

Others who made the shortlist include Haydn Gwynne, posthumously nominated for best actress in a supporting role for When Winston Went to War with the Wireless.

Marisha Wallace
Marisha Wallace starred in Guys And Dolls [Getty Images]

Elsewhere, Marisha Wallace is up for best actress in a musical for her portrayal of nightclub singer Adelaide in Guys And Dolls.

When the nominations were announced, Wallace was taking part in Celebrity Big Brother alongside the likes of Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh.

Big Brother originally said she would not be told about her nomination until she left the house - but later reversed its decision, and Wallace's housemates were seen celebrating with her when she received the news.

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, Guys & Dolls, Hadestown and Sunset Boulevard.

The annual awards ceremony takes place on 14 April at the Royal Albert Hall, hosted by Hannah Waddingham.

Olivier nominations 2024:

Best actress

  • Laura Donnelly for The Hills Of California

  • Sophie Okonedo for Medea

  • Sarah Jessica Parker for Plaza Suite

  • Sheridan Smith for Shirley Valentine

  • Sarah Snook for The Picture Of Dorian Gray

Best actor

  • Joseph Fiennes for Dear England

  • Mark Gatiss for The Motive And The Cue

  • James Norton for A Little Life

  • Andrew Scott for Vanya

  • David Tennant for Macbeth

Best new play

  • Dear England

  • The Hills Of California

  • The Motive And The Cue

  • Till The Stars Come Down

Best actress in a musical

  • Natasha Hodgson for Operation Mincemeat

  • Caissie Levy for Next To Normal

  • Nicole Scherzinger for Sunset Boulevard

  • Marisha Wallace for Guys & Dolls

Best actor in a musical

  • David Cumming for Operation Mincemeat

  • Tom Francis for Sunset Boulevard

  • Daniel Mays for Guys & Dolls

  • Charlie Stemp for Crazy For You

Best new musical

  • The Little Big Things

  • Next To Normal

  • Operation Mincemeat

  • A Strange Loop

Sir Peter Hall Award for Best Director

  • Stephen Daldry & Justin Martin for Stranger Things: The First Shadow

  • Rupert Goold for Dear England

  • Jamie Lloyd for Sunset Boulevard

  • Sam Mendes for The Motive And The Cue

Best revival

  • The Effect by Lucy Prebbletelton

  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare

  • Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell

  • Vanya by Anton Chekhov, adapted by Simon Stephens

Best musical revival

  • Groundhog Day, music & lyrics by Tim Minchin, book by Danny Rubin

  • Guys & Dolls, music & lyrics by Frank Loesser, book by Jo Swerling & Abe Burrows

  • Hadestown, music, lyrics & book by Anaïs Mitchell

  • Sunset Boulevard, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics & book by Don Black & Christopher Hampton