Though the awards themselves are now in their ninth year, this is only the second time that Whatsonstage.com has held a public event to celebrate the announcement of the winners. Corden and Smith co-hosted last year’s inaugural concert, a sell-out at Shaftesbury Avenue’s 950-seat Lyric Theatre, to hilarious effect. Unmissable highlights included a steamy on-stage kiss between Corden and 2008 Newcomer of the Year Daniel Radcliffe (See WOS TV, 28 Feb 2008), which made headlines around the world.
Household names for their television successes, both Corden and Smith have strong stage pedigrees. Amongst other credits, Corden was one of Alan Bennett’s original Award-winning History Boys, while Smith was Whatsonstage.com Award nominated for the 2007 revival of Little Shop of Horrors.
On TV, Smith has starred in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Love Soup and Grownups. Corden is the co-creator and star of the BAFTA Award-winning Gavin and Stacey and will this year appear, with his Gavin co-star Mathew Horne, in the film Lesbian Vampire Killers and the new TV series Horne & Corden. Three days after the Whatsonstage.com Awards, Corden – along with Mathew Horne and pop’s Kylie Minogue – will host the 2009 Brit Awards at Earl’s Court.
Corden and Smith said today: "We had such a good time at the Whatsonstage.com Awards last year that we couldn't resist hosting them again. The Whatsonstage.com Awards have grown massively to become one of the most prestigious awards in Theatreland, and they're definitely the most fun. We're both really proud to be associated with them and can't wait to see who's won what!"
The evening’s entertainment will also include performances by: Niki Evans, Kim Criswell, Siobhan McCarthy, Samantha Barks, Sarah Lark, Elena Roger, Leila Benn Harris, Suranne Jones, Julie Atherton, Ray Shell, Jimmy Johnston, Jackie Marks, Ryan Molloy, Stephen Ashfield and the casts of Jersey Boys, Spring Awakening and Mamma Mia!.
The Awards Concert incorporates live trophy presentations to selected winners in the only major theatre prize-giving decided by members of the public, over 30,000 of whom have already voted since shortlists were announced on 5 December. Beyond the Awards link, the aim is to offer a review of 2008 as well as a preview of what’s coming up in 2009, featuring the best of both the West End and Broadway seasons.
The Concert is directed and devised by Russell Labey, with musical supervision by Iain Vince Gatt, lighting by Mike Robertson, sound by Ben Harrison and staging by Andrew Wright. It’s produced by Stuart Piper and Jason Haigh-Ellery on behalf of Whatsonstage.com and held in aid of our 2009 adopted charity TheatreMAD (Theatre: Make a Difference), which supports those living with HIV, AIDS and other long-term conditions.
Voting in the 2009 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards, covering the 2008 theatregoing year, continues until this Saturday 31 January 2009.
Awards Concert tickets are priced from £15 to £40 and are selling fast! To book yours, call the Prince of Wales box office on 0844 482 5133 or click here to book online!
For the full list of Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards
nominations and to vote before 31 January – click here.
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