Whatsonstage.com Awards

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The WhatsOnStage Awards, or alternatively, the WhatsOnStage "theatregoers' choice" prizes, formerly known as the Theatregoers' Choice Awards, are organised by the theatre website WhatsOnStage.com and recognise performers and productions of British theatre with emphasis on London's West End.[1]

Nominations and eventual winners are selected by the theatre-going public's vote.[2] The awards are held each February. In 2012, they were staged at the West End's Prince of Wales Theatre.


In early 2001, WhatsOnStage.com published the shortlists for that year’s Laurence Olivier Awards and invited site visitors to vote online for who they thought should win. In a fortnight, 5,000 people took part – and their results differed wildly from the Olivier judges. For the 2002 Awards, the editors compiled their own shortlists and in 2003, they held their first Launch Party to announce the shortlists to about 200 industry guests. The first Awards Concert and ceremony was introduced for the 2008 Awards.


Each year, the Awards shortlists are drawn up with the help of thousands of theatregoers who log on to nominate their favourites across all 20+ awards categories. Nominations are announced at a star-studded launch event held in early December. Voting then opens and runs until the end of January the following year. In 2012/13, over 60,000 [3] theatregoers logged on to vote, with leaders in many categories fluctuating dramatically from day to day.

All professional productions that opened in London between 1 December and 30 November are eligible for primary awards consideration. There are a few special categories. Best Takeover in a Role recognises new performers in longer-running productions, while Best Regional Production casts the net beyond the capital. Non-West End productions are eligible for nomination across all fields, there is also a category specifically for Best Off-West End Production. The ever-popular Theatrical Event of the Year award category is more wide-ranging and largely subject to theatregoers' interpretation.



Previous presenters of the WhatsOnStage Awards include James Corden, Sheridan Smith, Christopher Biggins, Mel Giedroyc, Miranda Hart, Alan Davies, Jenny Eclair and Rufus Hound.[4]


Over the years, guest presenters and performers at the Launch Party have included Graham Norton, Elaine Paige, Michael Ball, Lesley Garrett, Ryan Molloy, James Earl Jones, Jools Holland, Patina Miller, Julian Clary, Jeremy Irons, Simon Russell Beale, Bertie Carvel and Meera Syal.[4]

West End stars who have performed at the Awards Concerts at the Prince of Wales have included Alfie Boe, Sally Ann Triplett, Ryan Molloy, Jodie Prenger, Hannah Waddingham, Leanne Jones, Jill Halfpenny, Hadley Fraser, Ramin Karimloo, Rosemary Ashe, Nancy Sullivan, Samantha Barks, Sarah Lark, Kim Criswell, Siobhan McCarthy, Julie Atherton, Suranne Jones, Elena Roger, Sean Palmer, Clare Foster, Hannah Waddingham, Dean Chisnall, Brian May, Kerry Ellis, Tim Minchin and Melanie C.

The Concert is produced by Stuart Piper, on behalf of WhatsOnStage.


The inaugural Launch Party was held at The Venue, before moving to the Dominion Theatre in 2004, Planet Hollywood in 2005 and 2006, and Café de Paris, where it has been every year since with the exception of the 2009 Awards, when it was held at the London Hippodrome as part of their campaign to save the venue as a performance space.

The first Awards Concert and ceremony was introduced for the 2008 Awards and was held at the 960-seat Lyric Theatre. The Concert moved to the 1,100-seat Prince of Wales Theatre for the 2009 Awards and was a sell-out for four straight years - 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The concert moved to the Palace Theatre for the 2013 awards but returned to the Prince of Wales Theatre for 2014.

Award categories[edit]

Recent winners[edit]


  • Best Actress in a Play: Dame Helen Mirren in The Audience
  • Best Actor in a Play: Daniel Radcliffe in The Cripple of Inishmaan
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Play: Haydn Gwynne in The Audience
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Play: David Walliams in A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Best Actress in a Musical: Scarlett Strallen in A Chorus Line and Candide
  • Best Actor in a Musical: Gavin Creel in The Book of Mormon
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Musical: Alexia Khadime in The Book of Mormon
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Musical: Stephen Ashfield in The Book of Mormon
  • Best Solo Performance: Barry Humphries in Eat Pray Laugh!
  • Best Ensemble Performance: A Chorus Line at the London Palladium
  • Best Takeover in a Role: Carrie Hope Fletcher in Les Misérables
  • Best New Play: The Audience by Peter Morgan
  • Best New Comedy: The Play That Goes Wrong by Henry Shields, Henry Lewis and Jonathan Sayer
  • Best New Musical: The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre
  • Best Play Revival: To Kill A Mockingbird at the Open Air Theatre
  • Best Musical Revival: The Sound of Music at the Open Air Theatre
  • Best Shakespearean Production: A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Noël Coward Theatre
  • Best Director: Michael Grandage for the Michael Grandage Season
  • Best Set Designer: Mark Thompson for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Best Lighting Designer: Adam Silverman for Macbeth
  • Best Choreographer: Peter Darling for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Best Original Music: Once by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
  • London Newcomer of the Year: Rupert Grint in Mojo
  • Best Off West End Production: Titanic at Southwark Playhouse
  • Best Regional Production: My Fair Lady at the Crucible
  • Best West End Show: Matilda the Musical
  • Theatre Event of the Year: National Theatre's 50th anniversary gala


  1. ^ David Lister (19 March 2001). "Theatregoers rage at stars who fail to light up stage". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  2. ^ Chris Johnson (9 February 2009). "Yes, We're Back Together and it’s Going Brilliantly". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  3. ^ Claire Allfree (18 February 2013). "Stephen Fry leads star-studded list in WhatsOnStage.com Awards". The Independent. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  4. ^ a b "Whatsonstage Awards History". Whatsonstage.com, accessed 19 November 2013
  5. ^ "Hairspray and Equus sweep theatre awards". The Guardian. 2008-02-22. Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  6. ^ "Donmar and Jersey Boys Dominate Theatregoers' Choice Awards". Official London Theatre. 2009-02-15. Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  7. ^ "Rachel Weisz and Jude Law win at Whatsonstage Awards". The Stage. 2010-02-14. Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  8. ^ "Winners 2011". West End Theatre. 2011-02-21. Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  9. ^ "Full List Of 2012 Whatsonstage.com Award-Winners". Broadway World. 2012-02-19. Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  10. ^ "Sweeney Todd, Sheridan Smith And Stephen Fry Big Winners At Whatsonstage.com Awards". Huffington Post. 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  11. ^ "What would Harry Potter say? Daniel Radcliffe sports long flowing mane as he and Rupert Grint win gongs at What'sOnStage Awards". Mailonline. 23 February 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 

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