Time Out London Backs 2012 Whatsonstage.com AwardsDate: 21 November 2011
Whatsonstage.com is pleased to announce Time Out London as our presentation rights sponsor for the 2012 Whatsonstage.com Awards. The original “theatregoers’ choice” prizes are the only major UK theatre accolades decided across the board by the public.
The 12th annual Whatsonstage.com Awards season kicks off with an exclusive Launch Party at Café De Paris on Friday 2 December, attended by 500+ actors, directors, playwrights and other leading theatre professionals. The season culminates with a star-studded Awards Ceremony and Concert at the West End’s 1100-seat Prince of Wales Theatre on Sunday 19 February. Both major Awards events will be held in association with Time Out in aid of this year’s adopted charity, Stage One.
As part of the sponsorship package, Time Out will have naming rights to the Best Off-West End Production prize. Time Out’s theatre editor Caroline McGinn will also sit on the panel alongside Whatsonstage.com’s editors to review the thousands of nominations submitted by theatregoers in order to come up with the final shortlists.
More than 46,000 theatregoers vote each year in the Whatsonstage.com Awards. For 2012, Whatsonstage.com will work closely with Time Out London across its weekly print magazine and online properties to extend the reach of the Awards, increasing voter turnout and raising wider awareness of this unique celebration of the best that London theatre has to offer.
Time Out editor-in-chief Tim Arthur commented: “London is the theatre capital of the world, it’s absolutely central to the city’s rich and vibrant cultural landscape. We are sure that Time Out’s readers, who are among the most passionate theatregoers in the UK, are already busy nominating their favourites from the past year. We’re thrilled to be associated with these famous awards and can’t wait to find out the results.”
Terri Paddock, managing and editorial director of Whatsonstage.com, added: “The Whatsonstage.com Awards were founded as a simple online vote in response to the Olivier shortlists in 2000. Since then, they have grown to become one of UK theatre’s most important – and definitely the most fun and populist – accolades on the back of tremendous industry support and audience enthusiasm. With the involvement of such a respected and forward-thinking media partner as Time Out, we are able to take the Awards to the next level. We are thrilled to have Tim and his team on board.”
Every year the Whatsonstage.com Awards adopts a different arts-related charity to showcase as part of the Awards campaign. This year, the selected charity is Stage One, which is committed to developing new producers and productions in order to sustain the future of quality commercial theatre in the UK.
Inspired by Stage One, Whatsonstage.com has recently launched the Year of the Producer, comprising a 12-month editorial series which gives theatregoers a greater understanding of the crucial role of the producer and an insight into the people who put on the shows they love. Other special events during the Year of the Producer include Stage One’s West End Lots, an exclusive online auction in which theatregoers can bid for truly spectacular theatrical experiences and treasured memorabilia. All proceeds raised via the auction go direct to the charity.
The Whatsonstage.com Awards also enjoys widespread backing from the theatre industry. Amongst the Awards’ industry sponsors, many of whom have been on board for years, are: Cameron Mackintosh Ltd, the Really Useful Group, Equity, See Tickets, Nick Hern Books, Theatre Tokens (part of the Society of London Theatre), and leading advertising agencies AKA, Dewynters and EMG, as well as the Awards’ Official Hotel Partner, Radisson Edwardian. This year we’ve also secured a new financial sponsor in Oakley Capital Ltd, the private equity and asset management firm.
Awards Launch Party Line-up
At the invitation-only Launch Party, held at Café de Paris at lunchtime on Friday 2 December 2011, celebrities and other guests will be entertained with live performances by Rock of Ages and X Factor star Shayne Ward, Ghost the Musical’s Richard Fleeshman and the “Beatles” from Backbeat, while 2011 Whatsonstage.com Award winners Meera Syal and Nigel Lindsay (now playing the title role in Shrek) and 2011 nominee Jemima Rooper (now starring opposite James Corden in One Man, Two Guvnors) and Equity president Malcolm Sinclair will help Whatsonstage.com and Time Out editors read the shortlists.