The awards, which will be held at London's Royal Opera House, will be hosted by West End stars Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton. Presenters will include 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.
According to Julian Bird, Chief Executive of The Society for London Theatre which produces the awards, this year's ceremony will continue to take the 36-year-old awards to a new level. In addition to the larger venue and the global streaming, the event will be simulcast for the first time into Covent Garden.
"There will be a great big free public event, where we will relay the show from inside to outside on big screens," says Bird. "In addition, we're going to have a stage out there with entertainment from casts of West End shows. I wanted to come up with something to ensure that the Oliviers genuinely have something for the theater fan, and not just for the industry."
Moreover, on the day of the event, both American and British theater professionals will gather at the Frederick P. Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center for a live relay of the ceremony. "We want to celebrate the links between London and New York," says Bird. "It's not only about the British shows coming here, but producers, directors, actors, and designers move between the two cities with increasing frequency."
In fact, several of this year's nominees are currently working on shows on Broadway, including James Corden and Oliver Chris, who are nominated for their performances in One Man, Two Guvnors, which is currently in previews at Broadway's Music Box Theatre.
In addition, Ghost the Musical, now at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, is nominated for Best New Musical, and lyricist Tim Rice, who is now represented on Broadway by three shows -- Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, and The Lion King -- will be given the Olivier Special Award. In addition, it has been recently announced that Dame Monica Mason, outgoing director of the Royal Ballet, will also be a recipient of a Olivier Special Award.