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Olivier Awards nominees arrive ahead of ceremony

Dame Helen Mirren and Billie Piper are going head-to-head at tonight's Olivier Awards which recognise some of the biggest stars of the stage.

Dame Helen Mirren is nominated for Best Actress for her performance in The Audience. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Dame Helen is up for Best Actress for her role as the Queen in The Audience, which has garnered five nominations.

Best Actor nominee Rafe Spall, who's up for Constellations, and Elize du Toit. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

X-Men star James McAvoy, who has earned rave reviews for his role in Macbeth, goes up against Rafe Spall for Constellations and Rupert Everett for The Judas Kiss for the Best Actor award.

Summer Strallen is nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for Top Hat. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, based on the best-selling novel about a boy with Asperger's syndrome, leads the way with eight nominations, including Best Actor, New Play and Director.

Stars walk the red carpet at the Olivier Awards

The stars of stage and screen have taken to the red carpet for this evening's Oliver Awards, which will be hosted by Hugh Bonneville and Sheridan Smith.

Anne-Marie Duff and James McAvoy. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Tim Minchin, who wrote the music and lyrics for the nominated Matilda The Musical, and his wife Sarah. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Former Pop Idol star Will Young is up for Best Actor In A Musical for his West End debut in Cabaret. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

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James McAvoy up for Best Actor award

James McAvoy Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

X-Men star James McAvoy, who has earned rave reviews for his role in Macbeth, will go up against Rafe Spall for Constellations and Rupert Everett for The Judas Kiss for the Best Actor award at the Olivier Awards tonight.

Twelfth Night's Mark Rylance and The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time's Luke Treadaway are also nominated.

Billie Piper competes for Best Actress award tonight

Billie Piper Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Billie Piper is competing with Dame Helen Mirren for Best Actress in tonight's Olivier Awards.

The former star of Secret Diary of a Call Girl is nominated for her performance in The Effect, a play depicting the world of pharmaceutical drug trials.

Also nominated in the same category are Kristin Scott Thomas (Old Times) and Hattie Morahan (A Doll's House).

Dame Helen Mirren up for Best Actress

Dame Helen Mirren Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Dame Helen Mirren and Billie Piper are going head-to-head at tonight's Olivier Awards which recognise some of the biggest theatre stars.

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, based on the best-selling novel about a boy with Asperger's syndrome, leads the way with eight nominations, including Best Actor, New Play and Director.

Dame Helen is up for Best Actress for her role as the Queen in The Audience, which has garnered five nominations.

The Book of Mormon smashes West End sales record

Trey Parker (left) and Matt Stone's musical won nine Tony Awards after opening in the United States. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The Book Of Mormon, the new musical by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, has set a record for the biggest day of sales in West End and Broadway history.

The award-winning show, about a pair of young Mormon boys sent on a mission a long way from home, had its official opening at London's Prince Of Wales Theatre last Thursday.

The following day, between 10:00am and midnight on Friday, a total of £2,107,972 was taken in ticket sales when an additional 150,000 tickets were made available.

The theatre's owner Cameron Mackintosh said: "The Mormons have truly delivered a heavenly hit!."

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Curtain call for Chicago after nearly 15 years in the West End

West End show Chicago is to close after nearly 15 years.

Catherine Zeta Jones starred in the film version of Chicago. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Archive

The musical, which went on to be made into an Oscar-winning film starring Catherine Zeta Jones, will see the curtain come down on September 1. Guest roles have gone to celebrities such as Brooke Shields, Christie Brinkley and David Hasselhoff over the years.

Barry Weissler, who has produced the show along with his wife Fran in New York and London, said: "Bringing Chicago to the West End was a pivotal moment in Fran's and my career.

"Running 15 years has been a dream come true. We may be taking our parting shots for now, but the Razzle Dazzle will never fade."

Victoria Beckham: 'Amazing' to see Spice Girls

Spice Girl Victoria Beckham has tweeted about her 'amazing' day back with the band:

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