Former pop kitten in line for top stage 
award as she grows up to be a big cat

SHE FIRST made her name in a girl pop group, but her growing reputation as a star of the stage has led to a nomination for a coveted Olivier Award.
Nicole ScherzingerNicole Scherzinger
Nicole Scherzinger

Nicole Scherzinger, once a member of Pussycat Dolls, has been shortlisted for her West End debut performance in Cats.

The singer and former X Factor judge starred as Grizabella –originally played by Elaine Paige – in the Andrew Lloyd Webber production, which is also up for best musical revival. She will vie for the title of best supporting actress in a musical at the awards ceremony on April 12 at the Royal Opera House in London.

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The announcement yesterday also sees Gemma Arterton up for best actress in a musical, for her Made In Dagenham performance – her first onstage singing role – as factory worker Rita O’Grady, although the production is to close in April after just six months in the West End. Ms Arterton is pitted against Tamsin Greig (Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown), Beverley Knight (Memphis The Musical) and Katie Brayben (Beautiful – The Carole King Musical).

In the best actress category, Gillian Anderson is up for her much-lauded Young Vic performance in A Streetcar Named Desire. Kristin Scott Thomas (Electra), Imelda Staunton (Good People) and Penelope Wilton (Taken At Midnight) are also up for the award.

Best actor nominees are James McAvoy (The Ruling Class), Mark Strong (A View From The Bridge), Richard Armitage (The Crucible) and Tim Pigott-Smith (King Charles III).