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EDITIONS
 Thursday, 16 January, 2003, 15:56 GMT
Hollywood stars compete for Oliviers
Gwyneth Paltrow
Paltrow starred in Proof in London's West End
Hollywood stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Emily Watson are lined up to compete with former EastEnder Anita Dobson for the title of best actress in the Laurence Olivier Awards.

The movie stars are both in the running for their stints at the Donmar Warehouse last year.

The awards - to be held next month - will also see a battle between 1980s chart acts Madness and Boy George, who have both written stage shows.

It is fantastic to see such a diverse range in this year's nominations

Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen
But there is still room for Shakespeare among those on the shortlist for the 27th year of the awards.

The 1980s-inspired Our House - featuring the music of the Nutty Boys - and Boy George's Taboo are up against the Andrew Lloyd Webber spectacular Bombay Dreams and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in the musical shortlist.

The Queen production We Will Rock You has been snubbed and picks up only one nomination in total for best supporting actress.

Taboo, the dance production Contact and the Donmar Warehouse production of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya each picked up four nominations.

'Strong year'

And there are three each for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Our House.

Shakespeare is represented with two separate versions of Twelfth Night, each with three nominations, including best director for Sam Mendes for his production of the classic as he bowed out as the theatre's artistic director.

The Donmar landed nine nominations for its productions in total, but the big winner as usual is the National Theatre which picked up 21.

Gwyneth Paltrow's appearance at the Donmar was one of theatreland's hottest tickets in 2002 when she appeared in the production Proof.

Euan Morton as Boy George in Taboo
Theatre saw an 1980s revival with Taboo
Anita Dobson - famous for her role as Angie Watts in the early years of the BBC1 soap EastEnders - is nominated for Frozen at the National Theatre.

Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen, president of the Society of London Theatre, which organises the awards, said: "It has been a strong year for London theatre.

"It is fantastic to see such a diverse range in this year's nominations, from new musicals by two '80s icons - Boy George and Madness - to classic productions of Shakespeare and Chekhov."

The Oliviers take place at London's Lyceum Theatre on February 14 in a ceremony to be hosted by Clive Anderson.

The Awards will be screened by BBC2 the following evening.

See also:

16 Jan 03 | Entertainment
30 Dec 02 | Entertainment
15 Feb 02 | Entertainment
17 Jan 02 | Entertainment
28 Dec 01 | Entertainment
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