In advance of the winners being announced at the Whatsonstage.com Awards at 7pm this Sunday, 19 February 2012, here's a reminder of our full Awards shortlist.

The Awards from the UK’s leading theatre website are the only UK event for the theatre industry voted for purely by the ticket-buying public. Nearly 12,000 theatregoers have cast nominations for their favourite performances and productions across 26 different award categories.

Voting in the 2012 Awards started after our Launch at Cafe de Paris on 2 December 2011. Voting closed on 31 January 2012, with over 70,000 people taking part this year - smashing last year's record of 46,000.

A major year for musicals

In the battle of the big musicals, screen-to-stager Ghost the Musical goes head-to-head with the RSC’s musical adaptation of Matilda, which opened in the West End after a sell-out season at Stratford-upon-Avon, with both grabbing nine nominations each.

In addition to competing for the Best New Musical, the shows’ stars are running neck and neck in all the musical performance categories: Best Actor in a Musical (Ghost’s Richard Fleeshman vs Matilda’s Bertie Carvel), Best Actress in a Musical (Caissie Levy vs the four young girls who alternate as Matilda), Best Supporting Actor in a Musical (Andrew Langtree vs Paul Kaye) and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical (Sharon D Clarke vs Lauren Ward).

The two blockbusters share key members of their creative teams with Matthew Warchus (Best Director) and Rob Howell (Best Designer) duly nominated for their work on both productions. Matilda’s composer and lyricist, comedian Tim Minchin, is also singled out for London Newcomer of the Year for his musical debut.

Several of the year’s other big musicals are also nominated, including Crazy for You, Betty Blue Eyes (with six apiece), Rock of Ages, Shrek the Musical (with five apiece) and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of The Wizard of Oz (with four).

Also in the running for Best Actress in a Musical are: Amanda Holden (Shrek), Clare Foster (Crazy for You), Emma Williams (Love Story) and Sarah Lancashire (Betty Blue Eyes). Additional Best Actor in a Musical nominees are: Nigel Lindsay (Shrek), Oliver Tompsett (Rock of Ages), Reece Shearsmith (Betty Blue Eyes) and Sean Palmer (Crazy for You).

Les Miserables, which won three awards in the 2011 Awards for its 25th anniversary celebrations, receives three nominations for the 2012 Awards: co-stars Alfie Boe and Matt Lucas (who reprised their O2 birthday gala performances in a limited West End season this year) compete for Best Takeover in a Role, and the Cameron Mackintosh production battles other long-runners Jersey Boys, The Phantom of the Opera, War Horse, We Will Rock You and Wicked for Best West End Show bragging rights.

The play’s the thing

Waving the flag for big-hitter plays are the Donmar Warehouse’s revival of Anna Christie and the National’s One Man, Two Guvnors, with five nods each. One Man’s James Corden (a two-time host of the Whatsonstage.com Awards in 2008 and 2009) and Anna Christie’s Jude Law are both nominated for Best Actor in a Play, one of this year’s toughest fields, where the other nominees are Benedict Cumberbatch (Frankenstein), Kevin Spacey (Richard III), David Tennant (Much Ado About Nothing, Wyndham’s) and James Earl Jones (Driving Miss Daisy).

One Man, Two Guvnors is also tipped for Best New Comedy and earns nominations elsewhere for Jemima Rooper (Best Supporting Actress), Oliver Chris (Best Supporting Actor) and Nicholas Hytner (Best Director). And Anna Christie is shortlisted for Best Play Revival and Best Supporting Actor (David Hayman), while its leading lady Ruth Wilson faces stiff competition from Eve Best (Much Ado About Nothing, Globe), Kristin Scott Thomas (Betrayal), Samantha Spiro (Chicken Soup with Barley), Vanessa Redgrave (Driving Miss Daisy) and Tamsin Greig (Jumpy), who won this past year’s Whatsonstage.com Best Supporting Actress prize for The Little Dog Laughed.

Richard Bean (One Man Two Guvnors and The Heretic) is one of two playwrights nominated in two different categories. His Royal Court play, The Heretic, is up for Best New Play, competing with Grief, the latest stage play by Mike Leigh, whose Hampstead production of his 1976 play Ecstasy is shortlisted for Best Play Revival.

Sheridan Smith, who last year won the Whatsonstage.com and Olivier Best Actress in a Musical gongs for Legally Blonde, is nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Play for Flare Path. Hers is one of four nods for Flare Path, including Best Play Revival and Best Director for Trevor Nunn, who has overseen this year’s full in-house programme at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and is jointly nominated for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

Big names, big events

This summer’s West End production of Much Ado About Nothing, reuniting Doctor Who’s David Tennant and Catherine Tate, caused such a stir that it has been nominated for Theatre Event of the Year, as well as Best Director (for Donmar Warehouse artistic director-in-waiting Josie Rourke) and Best Actor for Tennant. The 1980s-set Much Ado battles it out with Jeremy Herrin’s period production of the same play (and opened just a week earlier) at the Globe for Best Shakespearean Production.

The always-eclectic Theatre Event of the Year category also pays tribute to the RSC’s 50th anniversary season and reopening of its Royal Shakespeare Theatre home after a four-year, £112 million makeover. Other events in the running are: the Bush Theatre’s 24-hour cycle of 66 Books, Michael Sheen and Bill Mitchell’s The Passion for the National Theatre of Wales, Headlong’s 9/11 milestone Decade and The Phantom of the Opera’s 25th anniversary spectacular at the Royal Albert Hall.

The London Newcomer of the Year shortlist fields wide-ranging nominees from across plays and musicals. In addition to Tim Minchin for Matilda, there is Danielle Hope (The Wizard of Oz), X Factor winner Shayne Ward (Rock of Ages), musician-turned-actor Johnny Flynn (The Heretic), former EastEnder-cum-Strictly Come Dancing victor Kara Tointon (Pygmalion) and Kyle Soller (The Glass Menagerie, Government Inspector and The Faith Machine).

Other big names on this year’s shortlists include: Danny Boyle (nominated for Best Director for his return to the stage with Frankenstein), Catherine Tate (Best Supporting Actress for Season’s Greetings), Mark Gatiss (Best Supporting Actor for Season’s Greetings), Doon Mackichan (Best Supporting Actress for Jumpy), Niamh Cusack (Best Supporting Actress for Playboy of the Western World), Tara Fitzgerald (Best Takeover in a Role, Broken Glass) and outgoing Donmar boss Michael Grandage (Best Director for King Lear and Luise Miller).

Scores on the doors, next steps

Venue-wise, for another year, the National Theatre leads the shortlists with 22 nominations (including the five for One Man, Two Guvnors, four for Frankenstein and two for London Road), followed by the Royal Court with ten, the Donmar Warehouse and the RSC with nine, the Open Air Theatre with seven, the Theatre Royal Haymarket with five, Hampstead Theatre with four and the Old Vic and Shakespeare's Globe with three.


THE FULL LIST OF 2011/12 NOMINATIONS

Best Actress in a Play

  • Eve BestMuch Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare’s Globe
  • Kristin Scott ThomasBetrayal at the Comedy
  • Ruth WilsonAnna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse
  • Samantha SpiroChicken Soup with Barley at the Royal Court Downstairs
  • Tamsin GreigJumpy at the Royal Court Downstairs
  • Vanessa RedgraveDriving Miss Daisy at Wyndham’s
  • Best Actor in a Play

  • Benedict CumberbatchFrankenstein at the National, Olivier
  • Jude LawAnna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse
  • Kevin SpaceyRichard III at the Old Vic
  • David TennantMuch Ado About Nothing at Wyndham’s
  • James Earl JonesDriving Miss Daisy at Wyndham’s
  • James CordenOne Man, Two Guvnors at the National, Olivier & Adelphi
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Play

  • Bryony HannahThe Children’s Hour at the Comedy
  • Catherine TateSeason’s Greetings at the National, Lyttelton
  • Doon MackichanJumpy at the Royal Court Downstairs
  • Jemima RooperOne Man, Two Guvnors at the National, Olivier & Adelphi
  • Niamh CusackPlayboy of the Western World at the Old Vic
  • Sheridan SmithFlare Path at the Theatre Royal Haymarket
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Play

  • Arthur DarvillDr Faustus at Shakespeare’s Globe
  • Charles EdwardsTwelfth Night at the National, Cottesloe
  • David HaymanAnna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse
  • Harry Hadden-PatonFlare Path at the Theatre Royal Haymarket
  • Mark GatissSeason’s Greetings at the National, Lyttelton
  • Oliver ChrisOne Man, Two Guvnors at the National, Olivier & Adelphi
  • The BABY GRAND Best Actress in a Musical

  • Amanda HoldenShrek the Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • Caissie LevyGhost the Musical at the Piccadilly
  • Clare FosterCrazy for You at the Open Air & Novello
  • Emma WilliamsLove Story at the Duchess
  • Cleo Demetriou, Kerry Ingram Eleanor Worthington Cox & Sophia Kiely – Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge
  • Sarah LancashireBetty Blue Eyes at the Novello
  • The THEATRE TOKENS Best Actor in a Musical

  • Bertie CarvelMatilda the Musical at the Cambridge
  • Nigel LindsayShrek the Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • Oliver TompsettRock of Ages at the Shaftesbury
  • Reece ShearsmithBetty Blue Eyes at the Novello
  • Richard FleeshmanGhost the Musical at the Piccadilly
  • Sean PalmerCrazy for You at the Open Air & Novello
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Musical

  • Ann EmeryBetty Blue Eyes at the Novello
  • Hannah WaddinghamThe Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium
  • Harriet ThorpeCrazy for You at the Open Air & Novello
  • Lauren WardMatilda the Musical at the Cambridge
  • Meow MeowThe Umbrellas of Cherbourg at the Gielgud
  • Sharon D ClarkeGhost the Musical at the Piccadilly
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Musical

  • Andrew LangtreeGhost the Musical at the Piccadilly
  • Ben GoddardMillion Dollar Quartet at the Noël Coward
  • David BurtCrazy for You at the Open Air & Novello
  • Nigel HarmanShrek the Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • Paul KayeMatilda the Musical at the Cambridge
  • Simon LipkinRock of Ages at the Shaftesbury
  • The LES MISÈRABLES Best Ensemble Performance

  • Backbeat – at the Duke of York’s
  • London Road – at the National, Cottesloe
  • Richard III & The Comedy of Errors – Propeller at Hampstead
  • Some Like It Hip Hop – Sadler’s Wells at the Peacock
  • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee – at the Donmar Warehouse
  • Top Girls – at Trafalgar Studios 1
  • The JO HUTCHISON INTERNATIONAL Best Solo Performance

  • Daniel KitsonIt’s Always Right Now Until It’s Later at the National, Lyttelton
  • John LeguziamoGhetto Klown at Charing Cross
  • Kerry EllisAnthems at the Royal Albert Hall
  • Ruby WaxLosing It at the Menier Chocolate Factory & Duchess
  • Simon CallowBeing Shakespeare at Trafalgar Studios 1
  • Stephanie StreetThe Nightwatchman at the National, Paintframe
  • The SEATLIVE Best Takeover in a Role

  • Alex GaumondWe Will Rock You at the Dominion
  • Alfie BoeLes Misèrables at the Queen’s
  • Kimberley WalshShrek the Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • Matt LucasLes Misèrables at the Queen’s
  • Susan McFaddenLegally Blonde at the Savoy
  • Tara FitzgeraldBroken Glass at the Vaudeville
  • The NICK HERN BOOKS Best New Play

  • Belongings by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm – at Hampstead & Trafalgar Studios 2
  • Collaborators by John Hodge – at the National, Cottesloe
  • Grief by Mike Leigh – at the National, Cottesloe
  • Mogadishu by Vivienne Franzmann – at the Lyric Hammersmith
  • The Heretic by Richard Bean – at the Royal Court Downstairs
  • Three Days in May by Ben Brown – at Trafalgar Studios 1
  • The EMG Best New Comedy

  • Get Santa! by Anthony Neilson, music by Nick Powell – at the Royal Court Downstairs
  • Jumpy by April de Angelis – at the Royal Court Downstairs
  • No Naughty Bits by Steve Thompson – at Hampstead
  • One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean – at the National, Lyttelton & Adelphi
  • Potted Panto by Daniel Clarkson, Jefferson Turner & Richard Hurst – at the Vaudeville
  • The Village Bike by Penelope Skinner – at the Royal Court Upstairs
  • The SEE TICKETS Best New Musical

  • Betty Blue Eyes by George Stiles, Antony Drewe, Ron Cowen & Daniel Lipman – at the Novello
  • Ghost the Musical by Dave Stewart, Glen Ballard & Bruce Joel Rubin – at the Piccadilly
  • London Road by Adam Cork & Alecky Blythe – at the National, Cottesloe
  • Matilda the Musical by Tim Minchin & Dennis Kelly – at the Cambridge
  • Rock of Ages by Chris D'Arienzo – at the Shaftesbury
  • Shrek the Musical by Jeanine Tesori & David Lindsay-Abaire – at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • The SAMUEL FRENCH Best Play Revival

  • Anna Christie – at the Donmar Warehouse
  • Chicken Soup with Barley – at the Royal Court Downstairs
  • Driving Miss Daisy – at Wyndham’s
  • Ecstasy – at Hampstead & the Duchess
  • Flare Path – at the Theatre Royal Haymarket
  • Saved – at the Lyric Hammersmith
  • The RADISSON EDWARDIAN Best Musical Revival

  • Crazy for You – at the Open Air & Novello
  • Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be – at the Union
  • Parade – at Southwark Playhouse
  • Ragtime – at the Landor
  • South Pacific – at the Barbican
  • The Wizard of Oz – at the London Palladium
  • Best Shakespearean Production

  • Hamlet – at the Young Vic
  • King Lear – at the Donmar Warehouse
  • Much Ado About Nothing – at Shakespeare’s Globe
  • Much Ado About Nothing – at Wyndham’s
  • Richard III – at the Old Vic
  • The Tempest – at the Theatre Royal Haymarket
  • The OAKLEY CAPITAL Best Director

  • Danny BoyleFrankenstein at the National, Olivier
  • Josie RourkeMuch Ado About Nothing at Wyndham’s
  • Matthew WarchusGhost the Musical at the Piccadilly & Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge
  • Michael GrandageKing Lear & Luise Miller at the Donmar Warehouse
  • Nicholas HytnerOne Man, Two Guvnors at the National, Lyttelton & Adelphi
  • Trevor NunnFlare Path & Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead at the Theatre Royal Haymarket
  • Best Set Designer

  • Mark TildesleyFrankenstein at the National, Olivier
  • Jon BausorLord of the Flies at the Open Air
  • Miriam BuetherDecade at St Katharine’s Docks
  • Paul WillsAnna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse
  • Rob HowellGhost the Musical at the Piccadilly & Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge
  • Robert JonesThe Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium
  • The WHITE LIGHT Best Lighting Designer

  • Bruno PoetFrankenstein at the National, Olivier
  • Hugh VanstoneGhost the Musical at the Piccadilly
  • Mark HendersonThe Kitchen & 13 at the National, Olivier & The Emperor & Galilean at the National, Olivier
  • Neil AustinBetty Blue Eyes at the Novello
  • Oliver FenwickMy City at the Almeida
  • Paule ConstableLuise Miller at the Donmar Warehouse
  • Best Choreographer

  • Aline DavidThe Kitchen at the National, Olivier
  • Ashley WallenGhost the Musical at the Piccadilly
  • Kate PrinceSome Like It Hip Hop at the Peacock
  • Kelly DevineRock of Ages at the Shaftesbury
  • Peter DarlingMatilda the Musical at the Cambridge
  • Stephen MearCrazy for You at the Open Air & Betty Blue Eyes at the Novello
  • The DEWYNTERS London Newcomer of the Year

  • Danielle HopeThe Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium
  • Johnny FlynnThe Heretic at the Royal Court Downstairs
  • Kara TointonPygmalion at the Garrick
  • Kyle SollerThe Glass Menagerie & Government Inspector at the Young Vic & The Faith Machine at the Royal Court Downstairs
  • Shayne WardRock of Ages at the Shaftesbury
  • Tim MinchinMatilda at the Cambridge
  • The TIME OUT Best Off-West End Production

  • Accolade – at the Finborough
  • Realism – at Soho
  • The Animals & Children Took to the Streets – at Battersea Arts Centre
  • The Belle’s Stratagem – at Southwark Playhouse
  • The Riots – at the Tricycle
  • Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story – at the Tristan Bates & Charing Cross
  • The LUCKINGS Best Regional Production

  • 20th Century Boy – at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
  • Love Love Love – at the Drum Theatre, Plymouth & on tour
  • Macbeth – at Liverpool Everyman
  • Othello – at Sheffield Crucible
  • Sweeney Todd – at Chichester Festival
  • The Go Between – at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Derby Live & the Royal & Derngate, Northampton
  • The EQUITY Best West End Show

  • Jersey Boys – at the Prince Edward
  • Les Misérables – at the Queen’s
  • The Phantom of the Opera – at Her Majesty’s
  • War Horse – at the New London
  • We Will Rock You – at the Dominion
  • Wicked – at the Apollo Victoria
  • The AKA Theatre Event of the Year

  • David Tennant & Catherine Tate reuniting on stage in Much Ado About Nothing
  • Headlong’s commemoration of 9/11 with Decade, written by 18 authors & staged in a disused office block at St Katharine’s Dock
  • Michael Sheen & Bill Mitchell's National Theatre of Wales staging of The Passion on the streets of Port Talbot
  • The Bush Theatre’s 24-hour cycle of 66 Books, in response to the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, to open its new Shepherd’s Bush Library home
  • The Phantom of the Opera’s 25th anniversary concert at the Royal Albert Hall & screened to cinemas worldwide
  • The Royal Shakespeare Company’s 50th anniversary season & reopening of the Royal Shakespeare & Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Danny Boyle’s return to the stage with Frankenstein and his alternate casting of Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller in the leads
  • Duckie’s Lullaby, the Barbican’s first-ever sleepover show
  • The National’s opening of its Paintframe as a one-off performance space
  • Benefit concert to rescue Dress Circle

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