Entertainment & Arts

Olivier Awards 2017: Harry Potter breaks nominations record

Jamie Parker (right) plays the grown-up Harry Potter, married to Ginny (Poppy Miller) Image copyright Manuel Harlan
Image caption Best actor nominee Jamie Parker as Harry with Poppy Miller as Ginny in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

It's got witches, wizards and animatronic owls.

And now Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has got 11 Olivier Award nominations. That makes it the most nominated new play in Olivier history.

The musical Groundhog Day, which begins on Broadway this month, has picked up eight nominations.

Glenda Jackson receives her first nomination since 1984 following her return to the stage as King Lear.

Her leading role at London's Old Vic last year was her first stage appearance for 25 years after giving up acting for politics in the early 1990s.

Image copyright Johan Persson
Image caption Billie Piper with Brendan Cowell in Yerma

Joining her in a very strong best actress category are Cherry Jones, Billie Piper and Ruth Wilson for their performances in The Glass Menagerie, Yerma and Hedda Gabler respectively.

The best actor category features Ed Harris for Buried Child and Tom Hollander for Travesties.

Jamie Parker is nominated for his role as Harry Potter while Sir Ian McKellen receives his 10th nomination for No Man's Land.

The nominations were announced on Monday by past acting winners Denise Gough and Matt Henry.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which opened to five-star reviews at the Palace Theatre last July, has already dominated theatre awards season, with multiple wins at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, the Critics' Circle Awards and the recent Whatsonstage.com awards.

Image copyright Jan Versweyveld
Image caption Ruth Wilson and Rafe Spall are both nominated for their roles in the National Theatre's Hedda Gabler

Presented in two parts, the play - showing the stars of the wizarding saga in their mid-30s as their own children head off to school - lasts over five hours.

Cursed Child's record-breaking 11 nominations ties with the current record holder for the most nominated production, Hairspray (2008).

It's up for best new play against Elegy and One Night in Miami, both at the Donmar Warehouse, and The Flick at the National Theatre.

Its other nods include Noma Dumezweni for best supporting actress as Hermione Granger, Anthony Boyle for best supporting actor as Scorpius Malfoy, and composer Imogen Heap for outstanding achievement in music.

John Tiffany is nominated twice in the director category, for both Cursed Child and The Glass Menagerie. He's up against Simon Stone for Yerma and Matthew Warchus for Groundhog Day.

Image copyright Blair Caldwell
Image caption Former Glee star Amber Riley in Dreamgirls

Groundhog Day competes in the best new musical category against Dreamgirls, School of Rock and The Girls.

Jesus Christ Superstar, composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, receives six nominations, including best musical revival.

Dreamgirls receives five nominations, including best actress in a musical for Amber Riley.

"In a year of global change, the nominees for this year's awards demonstrate London theatre's ability to challenge our perceptions, stir our emotions, and entertain us," said Julian Bird, chief executive of the Society of London Theatre, which produces the Olivier Awards.

Sir Kenneth Branagh will receive a special award during the ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 9 April.

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