Benedict Cumberbatch has picked up a best actor nomination at this year’s Olivier awards, for his role as Hamlet at London’s Barbican theatre last summer. The annual awards, which are in their 40th year, celebrate the best in British theatre, with the winners announced on April 3rd.

Benedict CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch is up for best actor at this year’s Olivier awards.

Cumberbatch’s Hamlet is up for three awards in total, including best revival and best sound design for Christopher Shutt. In the best actor category, Cumberbatch will be competing against Kenneth Brannagh, Kenneth Cranham, Adrian Lester and Mark Rylance, who took home the best supporting actor award at last night’s Oscars.

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Jonathan Kent’s revival of musical Gypsy at the Savoy theatre picked up eight nominations, including best actress for Imelda Staunton and best musical revival. Kenneth Branagh’s season at the Garrick also scored seven nominations including best supporting actress for Dame Judi Dench for The Winter’s Tale.

Nicole Kidman’s return to the West End in Photograph 51, has given the Australian actress her second best actress Olivier nomination. Kidman is up against Gemma Arterton who also made her return to the West End after six years away in Nell Gwynn as well as Denise Gough, Janet McTeer and Lia Williams.

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The nominees were announced on Monday by two time Olivier winner Michael Ball who said: “I think these nominations show that British theatre is really healthy, with great new writing, great new productions and great new comedies, which is the lifeblood of what we do. It’s alive and it’s thrilling.”