West End musical Hairspray has earned a record 11 nominations for the Laurence Olivier awards.

The 60s-set hit has beaten the previous record of nine nods for a single production in one year, shared by Carousel (1993), Oklahoma! (1999) and Kiss Me, Kate (2002).

Michael Ball is nominated for the best actor in a musical award for his performance as agoraphobic housewife Edna Turnblad, while the show is also nominated for best new musical, best director and twice in the best performance in a supporting role in a musical category.

Lead actress Leanne Jones, 22, is nominated for the best actress in a musical prize and faces stiff competition from Lara Pulver for Parade and Sheridan Smith for Little Shop of Horrors.

The Drowsy Chaperone's Summer Strallen is also nominated, before she steps into the shoes of Connie Fisher as Maria in The Sound Of Music after a crossover storyline involving Hollyoaks.

Hairspray is nominated alongside Parade, The Drowsy Chaperone and JRR Tolkien adaptation The Lord Of The Rings in the best new musical category, despite the latter having received mixed reviews.

Shakespearean thespians lead the way in the best actor category, with Chiwetel Ejiofor nominated for the lead role in Othello, Patrick Stewart for Macbeth and Sir Ian McKellen for his lengthy stint in King Lear.

John Simm (Elling) and Mark Rylance (Boeing Boeing) are also in contention.

The best actress award is contested between Anne-Marie Duff for Saint Joan, Kristin Scott Thomas for The Seagull, Kelly Reilly for Othello, Penelope Wilton for John Gabriel Borkman and Fiona Shaw for Happy Days.

The Seagull, Boeing Boeing, Saint Joan and Macbeth are also named in the best revival category, while the best musical revival nominees are Fiddler on the Roof, Little Shop of Horrors and The Magic Flute.

The 32nd annual Laurence Olivier awards are to be held at London's Grosvenor House hotel on March 9th.

07/02/2008 11:50:53