Harry Potter And The Cursed Child most nominated new play in Olivier history

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child is now the most nominated new play in the history of the Olivier awards.

The lavish production has been nominated in 11 categories including best director, best new play and outstanding achievement in music for the awards in April.

Jamie Parker, who plays Potter in the sequel to JK Rowling's books, is up against Buried Child actor Ed Harris, Travesties star Tom Hollander and six-time winner Sir Ian McKellen, who receives his tenth nomination in the best actor category.

The musical category nominations include Groundhog Day, which opened on Broadway this month and has eight nominations, while Andrew Lloyd-Webber, as a composer, takes three nods for three separate shows, Sunset Boulevard, Jesus Christ Superstar and School Of Rock The Musical.

Former Labour MP Glenda Jackson's role in King Lear sees her up for her first Olivier since 1984 in the best actress category, along with Billie Piper, who has been showered with plaudits for her performance in the title role of Yerma, The Glass Menagerie's Cherry Jones and Hedda Gabler's Ruth Wilson.

Written by Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, who has been nominated for best director, The Cursed Child has also been put forward for best set design, best lighting design, best costume and best sound.

Noma Dumezweni, who plays Hermione, has been shortlisted for best actress in a supporting role while the production's choreographer, Steve Hoggett, has also been nominated.

In the best supporting actor category, Anthony Boyle, who plays Scorpius Malfoy, is up against Rafe Spall, who is nominated for his performance as the sinister Judge Brack in Hedda Gabler.

Sir Kenneth Branagh is also to be honoured for his contribution to theatre at this year's awards.

Julian Bird, executive producer of the Olivier Awards, said: "In a year of global change, the nominees for this year's awards demonstrate London theatre's ability to challenge our perceptions, stir our emotions, and entertain us.

The nominations were announced by former winners Denise Gough and Matt Henry and the awards take place at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 9 April.

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