Mark Rylance kicks Olivier Awards off in style wearing trilby on the red carpet


Oscar winner Mark Rylance kicked off the Olivier Awards red carpet in style wearing one of his trademark trilbies.

The actor will go head to head with Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch at tonight's awards, which is considered the most prestigious event in the UK's theatrical calendar.

Both actors are nominated in the best actor category alongside Sir Kenneth Branagh for The Winter's Tale, Adrian Lester for Red Velvet and Kenneth Cranham for The Father.

This is Cumberbatch's first nomination, while Rylance has been nominated eight times and won twice.

Other stars attending the event, held at London's Royal Opera House, include Hollywood star Nicole Kidman, who is in the running for her star turn in Photograph 51.

She is joined in the best actress category by Gemma Arterton for Nell Gwynn, Denise Gough for People, Places And Things, Janet McTeer for Les Liaisons Dangereuses, and Lia Williams for Oresteia.

The evening will also feature a special performance to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, with Rory Kinnear introducing Jack Savoretti to perform Sonnet 18.

The Olivier Awards are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year and the ceremony will be hosted by Michael Ball.

Downton Abbey star Jim Carter said he was "very proud" of his wife, actress Imelda Staunton, who has earned her eleventh Olivier nomination for her role in Gypsy.

Musical revival Gypsy is leading the way at the awards this year, with eight nominations overall.

Carter said: "It was a tremendous production, a wonderful show and I'm very proud of Imelda."

Asked what it would mean if she won, he said: "It'd be nice, I mean it means more that she was good in the show."