Entertainment News

  • 13 April 2014, 16:41

Abba Members On Stage At Olivier Awards

Abba's Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus will join the cast of Mamma Mia on stage at the Royal Opera House in central London tonight.

To celebrate the show's 15-year run in the West End, the pair will perform together at the finale of this year's Olivier Awards ceremony.

There will also be live performances by the casts of The Book Of Mormon, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Once and The Scottsboro Boys.

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and Merrily We Roll Along lead the way with seven award nominations.

Matilda, which won an unprecedented seven awards last year, is nominated again for the Audience Award - the only category to be decided by public vote.

Matilda is up against Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked.

The ceremony will be hosted by Gemma Arterton and Stephen Mangan.

"I think events like this are hugely important," Mangan told Sky News.

"We have probably the best theatre scene in the world in this country. I've worked on Broadway so I can say that.

"I think London has something really unique - not only great theatre but great musical theatre, amazing opera, ballet, contemporary dance."

Once, The Book of Mormon and The Scottsboro Boys receive six nominations each - all three are nominated in the Best New Musical category.

Jude Law and Dame Judi Dench are nominated for their performances in Henry V and Peter And Alice respectively.

They were both part of the Michael Grandage Season at the Noel Coward Theatre, which receives four acting nominations in total.

With seven awards to her name already, no other actor or actress has won as many Oliviers as Dame Judi.

"I think it's my year for being nominated and not winning," she said when asked how it would feel to win a seventh time.

"I'm looking forward to it very much as long as I can find a dress."

The Best Director category is dominated by women with Maria Friedman (Merrily We Roll Along), Susan Stroman (The Scottsboro Boys) and Lyndsey Turner (Chimerica) up against Richard Eyre for Ghosts.

Despite the tough economic climate, 2013 was a record-breaking year for London's theatres with gross takings up 11% to 585m and audience numbers up 4% to 14.5m.