In this, our fourth annual public-voted awards, over 1,000 theatregoers took part in determining the shortlisted contenders across 23 awards categories including Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best New Musical, Best New Play as well as less conventional categories like Best Ensemble Performance, Best Overall Fringe Production, Best Regional Production and the Planet Hollywood Theatre Event of the Year.
Amongst some of this year's headline nominations:
In many performance and production categories, half of the six nominees hail from NT productions. The NT's cult hit-turned-musical-blockbuster Jerry Springer - The Opera chalks up six nominations alone - in Best Actor in a Musical, co-stars David Bedella and Springer doppelganger Michael Brandon are pitted against one another. Another NT musical, previous director Trevor Nunn's swansong production of Anything Goes, just pips Jerry with a total of seven nominations, amongst them Best Actress and Actor in a Musical (for Sally Ann Triplett and John Barrowman) and Best Supporting Performance in a Musical, in which Simon Day competes with original co-star Denis Quilley, who passed away last month.
Elsewhere, the Donmar Warehouse and Young Vic each receive five nominations apiece, as does Shakespeare's Globe which has created a battle of the sexes in the Best Ensemble Performance category, both its acclaimed all-male and its all-female companies being nominated.
Edward Hall's two productions - the Propeller company staging of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Edmond, starring Kenneth Branagh - both garner four nominations apiece, not least a Best Actor bid for Branagh, who competes with other big screen names like Ralph Fiennes (The Talking Cure, Brand), Michael Sheen (Caligula) and Tom Hollander (The Hotel in Amsterdam).
Amongst those stage stars who attended today's launch event were Alex Ferns, Amanda Holden, Andrew C Wadsworth, Anna Carteret, Anna Francolini, Benjamin Lake, Caroline Blakiston, Cathy Tyson, Celia Imrie, Conleth Hill, Dale Rapley, David Bedella, Desmond Barrit, Diana Kent, Dianne Pilkington, Essie Davis, Graham Bickley, Hattie Morahan, Helen Baker, Hugo Speer, Janie Dee, Jasper Britton, Jerome Flynn, Joanne Moseley, John Barrowman, Julie Alanah Brighten, Madeleine Potter, Mark Ravenhill, Michael McKell, Nicola Hughes, Paterson Joseph, Richard Shelton, Richard Thomas, Roy Williams, Sally Ann Triplett, Sarah Ball, Stephen Triffitt, Susan Tracy, Susannah Harker, Tim Howar, Tracie Bennett, Trevor Jary, Valda Aviks, Vivienne Carlyle, William Hootkins, Edward Hall’s all-male Propeller company and this year's Evening Standard Best Actor award winner Michael Sheen.
Voting for the final winners of the 2004 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Awards commences from Monday 1 December 2003 and continues through December and January with winners announced in February 2004. Each week over the next two months, a different awards field will be highlighted on the site.
THE FULL LIST OF 2004 NOMINATIONS
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:
BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL:
BEST SOLO PERFORMANCE:
BEST ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE:
BEST TAKEOVER IN A ROLE:
BEST NEW PLAY:
BEST NEW COMEDY:
BEST NEW MUSICAL:
BEST PLAY REVIVAL:
BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL:
BEST SHAKESPEAREAN PRODUCTION:
BEST SET DESIGNER:
John Gunter - Anything Goes & Love's Labour's Lost at the NT Olivier
BEST OVERALL FRINGE PRODUCTION:
BEST REGIONAL OR TOURING PRODUCTION:
LONDON NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR:
THE PLANET HOLLYWOOD THEATRE EVENT OF THE YEAR: