Helen Mirren, Mark Rylance among contenders for London theatre's Olivier Awards

The Associated Press

LONDON - Helen Mirren is a favourite to reign at London's Olivier theatre awards for her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in "The Audience."

Mirren is a best-actress nominee for the awards, which celebrate London theatre, opera and dance.

She's up against Hattie Morahan for "A Doll's House," Billie Piper for "The Effect" and Kristin Scott Thomas for "Old Times."

Male acting nominees include Rupert Everett, James McAvoy, Mark Rylance and Rafe Spall.

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" — based on Mark Haddon's novel about a mystery-solving boy with Asperger's syndrome — leads the race with eight nominations, while jaunty musical "Top Hat" has seven.

Winners will be announced during a Royal Opera House ceremony Sunday hosted by stage star Sheridan Smith and "Downton Abbey" actor Hugh Bonneville.