Theatregoers have an exciting opportunity this year to take part in the Laurence Olivier Awards by selecting both the shortlist and the winner of the newly created Laurence Olivier Audience Award.
Voted for entirely by the public, the new award for 2010 is for the country's favourite long-running London show of 2009. Members of the public can now choose their favourite by clicking onto the official website of the Society of London Theatre, organisers of the Laurence Olivier Awards.
This new category is for shows which opened before 1 January 2009 and ran throughout 2009. For all other categories, only shows that opened during 2009 are eligible for the 2010 awards. The eligible productions for the Laurence Olivier Audience Award 2010 are:
La Cage Aux Folles
The 39 Steps
Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story On Stage
The Woman in Black
Billy Elliot - The Musical
The Phantom of the Opera
The Lion King
We Will Rock You
Voters will have until 12 noon on Monday 1 February to make their choice. The list of 20 eligible shows will then be whittled down to a shortlist. The nominated productions in The category will be announced alongside the other eagerly anticipated Laurence Olivier Award nominations in the week commencing Monday 8 February. A second stage of voting, which will open once the nominations have been announced, will give theatregoers the chance to choose the overall winner.
Anyone who votes on the first round will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a pair of money-can't-buy tickets to the star-studded Laurence Olivier Award ceremony, which will be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, on Sunday 21 March 2010.