Love Never Dies leads Laurence Olivier nominations

Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo in Love Never Dies (photo by Catherine Ashmore) Love Never Dies had mixed reviews when it opened in March 2010

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Phantom of the Opera sequel Love Never Dies leads the way at the Laurence Olivier awards with seven nominations.

The Andrew Lloyd Webber show is up for best new musical, while its stars Ramin Karimloo, Sierra Boggess and Summer Strallen are in line for acting prizes.

The National's revival of Terence Rattigan's After the Dance has six nods, while the Donmar's King Lear and the musical Legally Blonde have five.

The awards will be held at London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 13 March.

Love Never Dies, which received mixed reviews when it opened in March last year, is also nominated for best lighting, set and costume design.

Its nominations follow a four-day closure in November, during which some changes were made to the show.

Love Never Dies and Legally Blonde will compete against Fela! and Love Story for the best new musical honour.

Legally Blonde star Sheridan Smith, previously seen in BBC sitcom Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, is up for best actress in a musical, as is Love Story's Emma Williams.

In the best actor category, David Suchet's performance in All My Sons is nominated alongside Roger Allam's in Henry IV Parts 1 & 2.

Derek Jacobi's King Lear and Rory Kinnear's Hamlet are also cited, as is Mark Rylance - winner of the award last year for Jerusalem - for his work in La Bete.

Sir Derek Jacobi in King Lear (photo by Johan Persson) The Donmar's production of King Lear has five nominations

Tamsin Greig and Sophie Thompson are up for the best actress prize for their roles in The Little Dog Laughed and Clybourne Park respectively.

Tracie Bennett is also shortlisted for playing Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow, as is Nancy Carroll for After the Dance.

End of the Rainbow, The Little Dog Laughed and Clybourne Park are all up for the best new play award.

The National Theatre scored the most nominations for its productions - 17 in all - while the Royal Court and Donmar have nine each.

There will be live coverage of this year's awards ceremony on BBC Radio 2 and on TV via the BBC Red Button.

Last year's awards saw Rachel Weisz honoured for her performance in A Streetcar Named Desire and Katori Hall's The Mountaintop named best new play.

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