NOTE: To view some photos from the launch party at Planet Hollywood, click here.

The full list of nominations for our 2005 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Awards were announced today, 30 November 2004, at a star-studded celebratory event held at Planet Hollywood.

In this, our fifth annual public-voted awards, a record 2,000 theatregoers took part in determining the shortlisted contenders across 20+ 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:

  • A strong year for musicals sees Mel Brooks’ The Producers and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman in White going head-to-head seven standard nominations apiece. The Producers’ leading men, Lee Evans and Nathan Lane, compete against each other, as well as The Woman in White’s Martin Crewes, for Best Actor in a Musical, while Lane also makes it into the Theatre Event of the Year running for his last-minute replacement of Hollywood star Richard Dreyfuss.

    Legendary American composer Stephen Sondheim also figures heavily in musical categories with revivals of Sweeney Todd (three nominations) in the West End and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at the National (five), while the Young Vic’s production of Simply Heavenly (four), now transferred to the West End, makes it into awards contention for a second year.

  • Other big head-to-heads include: Suddenly Last Summer’s Diana Rigg and Victoria Hamilton both vying for Best Actress; A Funny Thing’s Philip Quast and Sam Kelly both up for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical; David Hare competing with himself for Best New Play (The Permanent Way versus Stuff Happens); and high-profile contenders for Best Actor including Jonathan Pryce, Michael Gambon, Richard Griffiths and Hollywood’s Christian Slater.

  • New talent has made a big impact in 2004, with three of those shortlisted in the Ms London London Newcomer of the Year category also earning nominations elsewhere for their performances: Ben Whishaw for Best Actor, and Samuel Barnett and Eddie Redmayne for Best Supporting Actor.

  • Once again, the National Theatre dominates the shortlists, with 34 nominations in total, six of them for Alan Bennett’s The History Boys, five for Buried Child and four apiece for David Hare’s Stuff Happens and the adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. Other plays with strong support include One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Festen, Hamlet at the Old Vic and The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, each with four nominations. Venue-wise, the closest rival to the National is the Almeida with ten nominations, followed by the Donmar Warehouse, the Young Vic and the Royal Shakespeare Company with six apiece and the Royal Court with four.

  • Amongst some of the other big names in awards contention are: Michael Crawford, back in the West End for the first time since The Phantom of the Opera; Judi Dench; Frances de la Tour; Maria Friedman; Antony Sher; Adam Cooper; Marti Webb, nominated for taking over a role she first created more than 20 years ago; Romola Garai; Elizabeth Franz, the 63-year-old Broadway veteran up for Newcomer of the Year; Six Feet Under's Lauren Ambrose; Anita Dobson; Jason Donovan; former Steps pop star Ian H Watkins and Hollywood actors Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, M Emmet Walsh, Molly Ringwald and Michael Landes.


    Amongst some of the stage stars who attended today's launch event were Andrew Lloyd Webber, Anthony Clark, Adrian Scarborough, Alan Cox, Alexandra Gilbreath, Amanda Harris, Anna Carteret, Annette McLaughlin, Benjamin Lake, Caroline Sheen, Charlotte Randle, Christian Coulson, Christopher Godwin, Claire Price, Conleth Hill, Daniel Evans, Daniel Flynn, Danny Sapani, Daniel Weyman, David Eldridge, Deborah Findlay, Derek Griffiths, Deven May, Dominic Cooper, Edward Hogg, Edward Petherbridge, Emma Williams, Geoffrey Streatfield, Gilz Terera, Hattie Morahan, Jake Broder, Jane Asher, Janie Dee, Joanna Riding, John Barr, Jonathan Rigby, Justine Mitchell, Karen Mann, Kate Brown, Leigh Zimmerman, Lisa Palfrey, Mario Kombou, Marcia Warren, Marcy Kahan, Mark Setlock, Michael Jibson, Michael Praed, Michael Simkins, Monica Dolan, Paul Hegarty, Philip Hedley, Rebecca Jenkins, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Richard Griffiths, Robert Delamere, Robin Sebastian, Rory Kinnear, Ruby Turner, Rupert Wickham, Sean Campion, Stephen Moore, Stephen Tompkinson, Steven Berkoff, Stuart Piper, Susannah Wise, Thea Sharrock, Trevor Jary, Una Stubbs and Vince Leigh.

    Voting for the final winners of the 2005 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Awards commences from tomorrow, Wednesday 1 December 2004 and continues through December and January with winners announced in February 2005. Each week over the next two months, a different awards field will be highlighted on the site.

    NOTE: Photos from today’s event will be available online from tomorrow. Thanks to all those who attended.


    THE FULL LIST OF 2004 NOMINATIONS

    BEST ACTRESS:

  • Anna Maxwell Martin - His Dark Materials at the NT Olivier
  • Clare Higgins - Hecuba at the Donmar Warehouse
  • Diana Rigg - Suddenly Last Summer at the Albery
  • Frances Barber - One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at the Gielgud
  • Joanna Riding - Blithe Spirit at the Savoy
  • Victoria Hamilton - Suddenly Last Summer at the Albery

    BEST ACTOR:

  • Ben Whishaw - Hamlet at the Old Vic
  • Christian Slater - One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at the Gielgud
  • Jonathan Pryce - The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? at the Almeida & Apollo
  • Michael Gambon - Endgame at the Albery
  • Richard Griffiths - The History Boys at the NT Lyttelton
  • Stanley Townsend - Shining City at the Royal Court

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

  • Amanda Harris - Othello, RSC at Trafalgar Studios
  • Annette Crosbie - The Night Season at the NT Cottesloe
  • Claire Rushbrook - Festen at the Almeida & Lyric
  • Frances de la Tour - The History Boys at the NT Lyttelton
  • Judi Dench - All’s Well That Ends Well, RSC at the Gielgud
  • Lauren Ambrose - Buried Child at the NT Lyttelton

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

  • Adrian Scarborough - The False Servant at the NT Cottesloe
  • M Emmet Walsh - Buried Child at the NT Lyttelton
  • David Bradley - The Night Season at the NT Cottesloe
  • Eddie Redmayne - The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? at the Almeida & Apollo
  • Joe Morton - Stuff Happens at the NT Olivier
  • Samuel Barnett - The History Boys at the NT Olivier

    BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:

  • Joanna Francis - Purlie at the Bridewell
  • Karen Mann - Sweeney Todd, Watermill at Trafalgar Studios & New Ambassadors
  • Leigh Zimmerman - The Producers at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • Maria Friedman - The Woman in White at the Palace
  • Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio - Grand Hotel at the Donmar Warehouse
  • Rebecca Vere - Bat Boy at the Shaftesbury

    BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:

  • Desmond Barritt - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at the NT Olivier
  • Deven May - Bat Boy at the Shaftesbury
  • Julian Ovenden - Grand Hotel at the Donmar Warehouse
  • Lee Evans - The Producers at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • Martin Crewes - The Woman in White at the Palace
  • Nathan Lane - The Producers at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:

  • Clive Rowe - Simply Heavenly, Young Vic at Trafalgar Studios
  • Conleth Hill - The Producers at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • Gilz Terera - Jailhouse Rock at the Piccadilly
  • Michael Crawford - The Woman in White at the Palace
  • Philip Quast - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at the NT Olivier
  • Sam Kelly - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at the NT Olivier

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:

  • Angela Christian - The Woman in White at the Palace
  • Emma Williams - Bat Boy at the Shaftesbury
  • Harriet Thorpe - Brighton Rock at the Almeida
  • Ronni Ancona - Singin' in the Rain at Sadler’s Wells
  • Ruby Turner - Simply Heavenly, Young Vic at Trafalgar Studios
  • Tameka Empson - The Big Life at the Theatre Royal Stratford East

    BEST SOLO PERFORMANCE:

  • Anjelica Torn - Edge at the King’s Head
  • Antony Sher - Primo at the NT Cottesloe
  • Barbara Cook - Barbara Cook’s Broadway at the Gielgud & Theatre Royal Haymarket
  • Caroline O’Connor - Bombshells at the Arts
  • Mark Setlock - Fully Committed at the Menier & Arts
  • Richard Dormer - Hurricane at Soho Theatre & the Arts

    BEST ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE:

  • Festen - at the Almeida & Lyric
  • Journey’s End - at the Comedy & Playhouse
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest - at the Gielgud
  • Stuff Happens - at the NT Olivier
  • Sweeney Todd - at Trafalgar Studios & the New Ambassadors
  • The Permanent Way - at the NT Cottesloe & Lyttelton

    BEST TAKEOVER IN A ROLE:

  • Anita Dobson - Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Shaftesbury
  • David Soul - Jerry Springer – The Opera at the Cambridge
  • Ian ‘H’ Watkins - Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the New London
  • Jason Donovan - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium
  • Marti Webb - Tell Me on a Sunday at the Gielgud
  • Michael Landes & Molly Ringwald - When Harry Met Sally at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

    BEST NEW PLAY:

  • Festen, adapted by David Eldridge – at the Almeida & Lyric
  • Shining City by Conor McPherson – at the Royal Court
  • Stuff Happens by David Hare – at the NT Olivier
  • The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? by Edward Albee – at the Almeida & Apollo
  • The Night Season by Rebecca Lenkiewicz – at the NT Cottesloe
  • The Permanent Way by David Hare – at the NT Cottesloe & Lyttelton

    BEST NEW COMEDY:

  • Dumb Show by Joe Penhall – at the Royal Court
  • Fully Committed by Becky Mode – at the Menier & Arts
  • Honeymoon Suite by Richard Bean – English Touring Theatre at the Royal Court
  • Round the Horne…Revisited by Brian Cooke – at The Venue
  • The History Boys by Alan Bennett – at the NT Lyttelton
  • When Harry Met Sally, adapted by Marcy Kahan – at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

    BEST NEW MUSICAL:

  • Bat Boy by Laurence O’Keefe, Keythe Farley & Brian Flemming - at the Shaftesbury
  • Brighton Rock by John Barry, Don Black & Giles Havergal - at the Almeida
  • Jailhouse Rock by Rob Bettinson & Alan Janes - at the Piccadilly
  • The Big Life by Paul Joseph & Paul Sirett - at the Theatre Royal Stratford East
  • The Producers by Mel Brooks & Thomas Meehan - at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • The Woman in White by Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Zippel & Charlotte Jones - at the Palace

    BEST PLAY REVIVAL:

  • Buried Child - at the NT Lyttelton
  • Hecuba - at the Donmar Warehouse
  • Iphigenia at Aulis - at the NT Cottesloe
  • Journey’s End - at the Comedy & Playhouse
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - at the Gielgud
  • Suddenly Last Summer - at the Albery

    BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL:

  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum - at the NT Olivier
  • Grand Hotel - at the Donmar Warehouse
  • Purlie - at the Bridewell
  • Simply Heavenly - Young Vic at Trafalgar Studios
  • Snoopy - at the New Players Theatre
  • Sweeney Todd - at Trafalgar Studios & the New Ambassadors

    BEST SHAKESPEAREAN PRODUCTION:

  • Hamlet - at the Old Vic
  • Hamlet - RSC at the Albery
  • Macbeth - Out of Joint at the Arcola
  • Measure for Measure - NT/Complicite at the NT Olivier
  • Othello - RSC at Trafalgar Studios
  • The Taming of the Shrew - RSC at the Queen's

    THE LONDON CALLING BEST DIRECTOR:

  • Gregory Doran - The Taming of the Shrew at the Queen’s, All's Well That Ends Well at the Gielgud & Othello at Trafalgar Studios
  • Katie Mitchell - Iphigenia at Aulis at the NT Cottesloe
  • Max Stafford-Clark - The Permanent Way at the NT Cottesloe & Lyttelton & Macbeth at the Arcola
  • Nicholas Hytner - His Dark Materials & Stuff Happens at the NT Olivier & The History Boys at the NT Lyttelton
  • Rufus Norris - Festen at the Almeida & Lyric
  • Trevor Nunn - Hamlet at the Old Vic & The Woman in White at the Palace

    BEST SET DESIGNER:

  • Christopher Oram - Suddenly Last Summer at the Albery
  • Giles Cadle - His Dark Materials at the NT Olivier
  • Richard Hudson - The Skin of Our Teeth at the Young Vic
  • Rob Howell - Buried Child at the NT Lyttelton
  • Robin Wagner - The Producers at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • William Dudley - The Woman in White at the Palace

    BEST CHOREOGRAPHER:

  • Adam Cooper - Grand Hotel at the Donmar Warehouse & Singin' in the Rain at Sadler’s Wells
  • Jhesus Aponte - Murderous Instincts at the Savoy
  • Mykal Rand - Purlie at the Bridewell
  • Paul J Medford - Simply Heavenly, Young Vic at Trafalgar Studios
  • Rob Ashford - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at the NT Olivier
  • Susan Stroman - The Producers at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

    BEST OVERALL FRINGE PRODUCTION:

  • Cruel & Tender at the Young Vic
  • Fully Committed at the Menier & Arts
  • Guantanamo: Honour Bound to Protect Freedom at the Tricycle
  • Purlie at the Bridewell
  • The Big Life at the Theatre Royal Stratford East
  • Woyzeck at the Gate

    BEST REGIONAL OR TOURING PRODUCTION:

  • Don Carlos at The Crucible, Sheffield
  • Man & Boy at Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford, & on tour
  • Out of This World at Chichester Festival Theatre
  • Starlight Express on tour
  • The Master & Margarita at Chichester Festival Theatre
  • The Postman Always Rings Twice at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

    THE Ms LONDON NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR:

  • Ashley Walters - Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads at the NT Cottesloe
  • Ben Whishaw - Hamlet at the Old Vic
  • Eddie Redmayne - The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? at the Almeida & Apollo
  • Elizabeth Franz - Buried Child at the NT Lyttelton
  • Romola Garai - Calico at the Duke of York’s
  • Samuel Barnett - The History Boys at the NT Lyttelton

    THE PLANET HOLLYWOOD THEATRE EVENT OF THE YEAR:

  • Adapting Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials for the stage at the National
  • Renovations of the West End's Prince of Wales & Whitehall (now the new Trafalgar Studios)
  • Nathan Lane replacing Richard Dreyfuss in The Producers
  • The offstage dramas of salsa musical Murderous Instincts
  • Kevin Spacey's arrival as artistic director of the Old Vic
  • Air of excitement about the autumn's 'Big three' (The Woman in White, The Producers, Mary Poppins)

    Special mentions:

  • Adult cabaret C’est Barbican at the Barbican Pit
  • Critic Toby Young making stage debut in How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
  • First night / last night for Oscar Wilde the musical

    To view some photos from the launch party at Planet Hollywood, click here.

    TO VOTE FOR THE EVENTUAL WINNERS, CLICK HERE