Hollywood names up for Olivier awards

British theatre's top accolades

LONDON -- Hollywood stars Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Keira Knightley and Gillian Anderson were nominated on Monday for Laurence Olivier Awards, British theatre's top accolades.

Anderson and Weisz are contesting the best actress category for their turns in "A Doll's House" and "A Streetcar Named Desire" respectively, and are up against Imelda Staunton ("Entertaining Mr Sloane"), Juliet Stevenson ("Duet For One") and Lorraine Burroughs ("The Mountaintop").

Knightley was nominated for a best supporting actress award for "The Misanthrope," her West End debut.

In the best actor category, Law is shortlisted for his portrayal of the title role of Shakespeare's "Hamlet," while James McAvoy, also best known for his films, is nominated for "Three Days of Rain."

With six nominations apiece are Lucy Prebble's "Enron," about the collapsed U.S. energy trading company, and "Jerusalem," Jez Butterworth's portrayal of less-than-idyllic life in rural England.

The Royal Court Theatre garnered the most nominations with 15, followed by the Donmar with 10 and the National Theatre with nine.

London's West End enjoyed a bumper 2009, with attendances rising 5.5% to £14.3 million ($22.3 million) and revenues 7.6% higher than 2008 at £505 million pounds ($790 million).

The 2010 Laurence Olivier Awards will be handed out in London on March 21.
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