The Olivier Awards | Dame Monica Mason, outgoing Director of the Royal Ballet, is to join Sir Tim Rice as a Special Award winner

The Olivier Awards with MasterCard on Sunday 15 April 2012
A star-studded night of awards and unique entertainment for all to enjoy

two ballet dancers on stage

Lauren Cuthbertson as Alice and Sergei Polunin as Jack in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Photograph : ROH/Johan Persson

  • ·      A spectacular show with unique musical performances plus special guest stars including Ronan Keating
    ·      Dame Monica Mason, outgoing Director of the Royal Ballet, is to join Sir Tim Rice as a Special Award winner
    ·      Extensive live uninterrupted coverage from the BBC on television (via the Red Button) and on BBC Radio 2, and streamed live online around the world
    ·      Free public Covent Garden event with live show relay and West End entertainment

    The most prestigious event in the UK theatrical calendar, the 36th Olivier Awards with MasterCard will offer a star-studded night of awards and exclusive entertainment at the Royal Opera House on Sunday 15 April hosted by West End stars Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton.

    The exclusive entertainment planned for the night includes performances from some of the nominated musicals and tributes to this year’s Special Award Winners. Dame Monica Mason, outgoing Director of the Royal Ballet, joins previously announced award-winning lyricist Sir Tim Rice, as a recipient marking their lifetime contribution to theatre and the arts. Monica Mason’s career with the Royal Ballet spans half a century and has seen her grow from a celebrated dancer into a hugely admired and influential leader in her field. Among other guest performers on the night will be multi-million selling artist Ronan Keating.

    The illustrious list of presenters includes Hayley Atwell, Douglas Booth, Zach Braff, Jim Carter, Tom Chambers, Tyne Daly, Jack Davenport, Agyness Deyn, Jonathan Edwards, Susannah Fielding, Vittorio Grigolo, Lenny Henry, Ronan Keating, Katherine Kelly, Harry Lloyd, James McAvoy, Natascha McElhone, Laurie Metcalf, Elaine Paige, Dan Stevens, Sir Patrick Stewart, David Suchet, Kara Tointon, Will Young, Zoe Wanamaker, Jodie Whittaker and Barbara Windsor with a few more surprises on the night.

    This year the public will be able to enjoy the show through extensive live coverage from the BBC on television (Red Button), on BBC Radio 2 and online. Anneka Rice hosts red carpet interviews for the Red Button from 5.30pm, followed by uninterrupted show coverage from 6-9pm. The BBC Radio 2 coverage will be hosted by Ken Bruce, broadcasting live from the ceremony with special guests from 5.30-9.30pm.

    A global audience can enjoy the awards this year streamed live via the Olivier Awards website and BBC Radio 2 website.

    In London, theatre-lovers are invited to gather in Covent Garden piazza from 4pm, for a new free public Olivier Awards celebration, where there will be a big-screen live show relay and other games and entertainment. There will also be live performances from all of the BBC Radio 2 Olivier Audience Award nominees – Billy Elliot The Musical, Jersey Boys, Les Misérables and Wicked – alongside a couple of surprise guest shows. The event will be presented in conjunction with Magic 105.4, and hosted by breakfast presenter Neil Fox, alongside West End leading lady Louise Dearman. The public are also invited to see their favourite stars walk up the red carpet at the Royal Opera House from 4.30pm.

    The nominations for the Olivier Awards with MasterCard were announced on Thursday 15 March 2012.

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