The Laurence Olivier Award are presented annually to recognise excellence in professional theatre in London at an annual ceremony in the capital. The awards were originally known as the Society of West End Theatre, but they were renamed in honour of British actor Laurence Olivier in 1984.
The awards are given to individuals involved in West End productions and other leading non-commercial theatres based in London across a range of categories including plays, comedies, musicals, dance, opera and affiliate theatre. The Olivier Awards are recognised internationally as the highest honour in British theatre, equivalent to the BAFTA Awards for film and television, and the BRIT Award for music. The Olivier Awards are also considered the equivalent to the Broadway's Tony Awards and France's Molière Awards.
Since its inception, the awards have been held at various venues across London, and most recently the Royal Opera House since 2012. The 2017 Olivier Award were held on Sunday 9 April at the Royal Albert Hall. The ceremony was hosted by comedian Jason Manford. A highlights show was shown on ITV shortly after the live show ended. The winners were: Billie Pier (best actress), Jamie Parker (best actor), John Tiffany (best director), Matthew Bourne (best theatre choreographer)..