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WOS Theatregoers' Choice Nominees Announced

By • West End
The full list of nominations for our 2005/6 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Awards were announced today, 30 November 2005, at a star-studded celebratory event held at Planet Hollywood.

In this, our sixth annual public-voted awards, more than 1,000 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 Off-West End Production, Best Regional Production and the Planet Hollywood Theatre Event of the Year.

Amongst some of this year's headline nominations:

  • The two new blockbuster West End musicals of the year, Billy Elliot – fresh from its win at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards – and Mary Poppins lead the way with ten and nine nominations respectively, with the revival of Broadway classic Guys & Dolls following close behind with eight nominations.

  • It is certainly the year for director Michael Grandage. In addition to Guys & Dolls, his production of Don Carlos came tops in the straight play categories with six nominations, while the Donmar Warehouse production of another Schiller thriller, Mary Stuart, is vying for four awards, including competing Best Actress contenders in leading ladies Harriet Walter and Janet McTeer. In addition, the Donmar revival of The Philanthropist is up for two prizes.

  • Big names dominate the acting categories, with Rob Lowe, Brian Dennehy, Kevin Spacey, Derek Jacobi and Simon Russell Beale amongst the contenders fighting it out for the Best Actor gong, and Kristin Scott Thomas, Sheila Hancock, Clare Higgins and Helen McCrory rounding out the Best Actress field. Other notable nominees include Ewan McGregor, Jane Krakowski, Suranne Jones, Julie Walters, Celia Imrie, Stephen Daldry, Matthew Bourne, Anthony Head, Gary Kemp and, swapping his actor’s hat for the director’s chair, Alan Rickman.

  • Undisputedly the one to watch, the Menier Chocolate Factory, named Outstanding Newcomer at this week’s Evening Standard Awards, boasts a record three nods in one category – Best Off-West End Production – bringing its total nominations haul to nine, including five for its revival of Sondheim musical Sunday in the Park with George, which just opened last night (29 November).

  • In the always surprising Planet Hollywood Theatre Event of the Year category, Harold Pinter’s Nobel Prize win squares up against Mike Leigh’s theatrical return after a 12-year absence, Ian McKellen’s pantomime dame debut, the long-overdue black British conquering of the West End and, less happily, the notorious musical flop Behind the Iron Mask and the cancellations caused by the 7 July terrorist attacks.

  • Taking part in the awards presentations today at Planet Hollywood was Rosemary Squire - the new president of the Society of London Theatre and co-founder and executive director of the Ambassador Theatre Group, one of the UK’s largest theatre owners - who spoke encouragingly about the resilience of the West End post-7 July. Each year, an arts-related charity is nominated by the organisers. This year’s launch party was held in support of Sophie’s Silver Lining Fund, which was represented today by patrons David Haig (a Best Supporting Actor in a Musical nominee for Mary Poppins) and Jenny Agutter.


    The awards presentation finished with a happy birthday toast to three theatrical legends – playwright Harold Pinter, director Sir Peter Hall and American composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim – all of whom turned 75 this year. Amongst some of the stage stars who were in attendance to raise their glasses were: Alan Rickman, Jane Krakowski, Jenna Russell, Suranne Jones, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Daldry, Sheila Hancock, Haydn Gwynne, Tim Healy, Anthony Head, Gary Kemp, David Soul, Lesley Manville, John Gordon Sinclair, Claire Price, Rosemary Ashe, Amanda Drew, Peter Wight, Charlotte Emmerson, Una Stubbs, Jefferson Mays, Martyn Ellis, Rolf Saxon, Clint Dyer, Saskia Reeve, Jenny Agutter, Michelle Ryan, Toby Young, Rhashan Stone, Olivia Williams, Charlotte Randle, Daniel Kramer, Earl Carpenter, Clint Dyer, Joseph Millson, Rebecca Johnson, Liza Sadovy, Giles Terera, Michael O'biora, Jason Pennycooke, Laura Wade, Roger Lloyd Pack, Robert Delamere, Sara Crowe, Scarlet Strallen, Sean Foley, Tamara Harvey, Peter Quilter, Lucy Bailey, Ian Gelder, Alistair Petrie, Richard Baron, Melly Still, Amelia Bullmore, Andrea Riseborough, Mike Bradwell, David Lan, Sally Ann Triplett and Charles Aitken.

    Voting for the final winners of the 2005/6 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Awards commences from tomorrow, Thursday 1 December 2005 and continues through December and January with winners announced online simultaneously with the live Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards ceremony – a demonstration of the spectrum of popular and critical opinion – at midday on 31 January 2006. Each week over the next two months, a different awards field will be highlighted on the site.

    Every registered voter will be automatically entered into a prize draw to win a luxury three-day theatre break for two, courtesy of one of our sponsors, Superbreak. What’s more, every voter will also receive a £20 voucher to redeem against any Superbreak purchase on www.superbreak.com.

  • For photos from the awards launch party, click here
  • For guest speaker highlights, click here
  • For the complete texts of Rosemary Squire & David Haig’s speeches, click here
  • For your chance to vote in this year’s awards, click here


    THE FULL LIST OF 2005/6 NOMINATIONS

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

  • Anne Reid - Epitaph for George Dillon at the Comedy
  • Claire Price - Don Carlos at the Gielgud
  • Deborah Findlay - The House of Bernarda Alba at the NT Lyttelton
  • Eileen Atkins - Birthday Party at the Duchess
  • Lesley Manville - Some Girl(s) at the Gielgud & Pillars of the Community at the NT Lyttelton
  • Suranne Jones - A Few Good Men at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

  • Andrew Scott - Aristocrats at the NT Lyttelton
  • Anthony Head - Otherwise Engaged at the Criterion
  • Ben Miles - Richard II at the Old Vic
  • Douglas Henshall - Death of a Salesman at the Lyric
  • Gary Kemp - The Rubenstein Kiss at the Hampstead
  • Richard Coyle - Don Carlos at the Gielgud

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:

  • Ann Emery - Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace
  • Caroline O’Connor - On the Town, ENO at the London Coliseum
  • Celia Imrie - Acorn Antiques at the Theatre Royal Haymarket
  • Linzi Hateley - Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward
  • Rosemary Ashe - Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward
  • Tameka Empson - The Big Life at the Theatre Royal Stratford East & the Apollo

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:

  • Adam Garcia - On the Town, ENO at the London Coliseum
  • David Haig - Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward
  • Joe Caffrey - Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace
  • Martyn Ellis - Guys & Dolls at the Piccadilly
  • Simon Gleeson - The Far Pavilions at the Shaftesbury
  • Tim Healy - Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace

    BEST SET DESIGNER:

  • Bob Crowley - Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward
  • Christopher Oram - Don Carlos at the Gielgud
  • David Farley (set) & Timothy Bird (video projection) - Sunday in the Park with George at the Menier Chocolate Factory
  • Ian MacNeil - Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace
  • Paul Brown - As You Desire Me at the Playhouse
  • Rae Smith - Theatre of Blood & Pillars of the Community at the NT Lyttelton

    BEST CHOREOGRAPHER:

  • Adam Cooper - Les Liaisons Dangereuses at Sadler’s Wells
  • Ann Yee - Hair at the Gate
  • Jason Pennycooke - The Big Life at Theatre Royal Stratford East & the Apollo
  • Matthew Bourne & Stephen Mear - Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward
  • Peter Darling - Billy Elliot at the Victoria Place
  • Rob Ashford - Guys & Dolls at the Piccadilly

    BEST SOLO PERFORMANCE:

  • Corin Redgrave - Tynan, RSC at the Arts
  • Jefferson Mays - I Am My Own Wife at the Duke of York’s
  • Megan Dodds - My Name Is Rachel Corrie at the Royal Court
  • Stephen Dillane - Macbeth at the Almeida

    BEST ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE:

  • Heroes - at Wyndham’s
  • RSC Golden Age season - at the Playhouse
  • Shoot the Crow - at Trafalgar Studios
  • Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me - at the New Ambassadors
  • Talking to Terrorists - at the Royal Court
  • The Big Life - at Theatre Royal Stratford East & the Apollo

    BEST OFF-WEST END PRODUCTION:

  • Comfort Me with Apples at Hampstead
  • Hair at the Gate
  • Private Fears in Public Places at the Orange Tree
  • Sunday in the Park with George at the Menier Chocolate Factory
  • Tick Tick Boom at the Menier Chocolate Factory
  • What We Did to Weinstein at the Menier Chocolate Factory

    BEST REGIONAL OR TOURING PRODUCTION:

  • The Winter’s Tale (Propeller) - at the Watermill, Newbury & on tour
  • A Doll’s House - at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
  • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying - at Chichester Festival Theatre
  • Mack & Mabel - at the Watermill, Newbury
  • Look Back in Anger - at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh & Theatre Royal, Bath
  • Tristan & Yseult - (Kneehigh) on tour

    THE Ms LONDON NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR:

  • Amelia Bullmore (playwright) - Mammals at the Bush
  • Andrea Riseborough (actor)- A Brief History of Helen of Troy at Soho
  • Charles Aitken (actor) - Hair at the Gate
  • George Maguire, James Lomas & Liam Mower (actors) - Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace
  • Nick Moran (playwright) - Telstar at the New Ambassadors
  • Sienna Miller (actor) - As You Like It at Wyndham’s

    BEST TAKEOVER IN A ROLE:

  • Desmond Barrit - The History Boys at the NT Lyttelton
  • Giles Terera - The Rat Pack at the Strand & Savoy
  • John Gordon Sinclair - The Producers at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • Michael Ball - The Woman in White at the Palace
  • Ruthie Henshall - The Woman in White at the Palace
  • Sally Ann Triplett - Chicago at the Adelphi

    BEST NEW COMEDY:

  • Glorious! by Peter Quilter – at the Duchess
  • Heroes by Gerald Sibleyras, translated by Tom Stoppard – at Wyndham’s
  • Mammals by Amelia Bullmore – at the Bush
  • Shoot the Crow by Owen McCafferty – at Trafalgar Studios
  • Theatre of Blood adapted by Lee Simpson & Phelim McDermott – at the NT Lyttelton
  • Who’s the Daddy? by Lloyd Evans & Toby Young - at the King’s Head

    BEST SHAKESPEAREAN PRODUCTION:

  • As You Like It - at Wyndham’s
  • Henry IV parts 1 & 2 - at the NT Olivier
  • Julius Caesar - at the Barbican
  • Richard II - at the Old Vic
  • Macbeth (with Simon Russell Beale) - at the Almeida
  • Macbeth (with Stephen Dillane) - at the Almeida

    THE SAMUEL FRENCH BEST PLAY REVIVAL:

  • Death of a Salesman - at the Lyric
  • Don Carlos - at the Gielgud
  • Mary Stuart - at the Apollo
  • Otherwise Engaged - at the Criterion
  • Pillars of the Community - at the NT Lyttelton
  • The Philanthropist - at the Donmar Warehouse

    BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL:

  • Guys & Dolls - at the Piccadilly
  • Hair - at the Gate
  • HMS Pinafore - at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park
  • On the Town - ENO at the London Coliseum
  • Scrooge - at the London Palladium
  • Sunday in the Park with George - at the Menier Chocolate Factory

    THE LONDON CALLING BEST DIRECTOR:

  • Alan Rickman - My Name Is Rachel Corrie at the Royal Court
  • Melly Still - Coram Boy at the NT Oliver
  • Michael Grandage - Guys & Dolls at the Piccadilly & Don Carlos at the Gielgud
  • Phyllida Lloyd - Mary Stuart at the Apollo
  • Richard Eyre & Matthew Bourne - Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward
  • Stephen Daldry - Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace

    BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:

  • Anna-Jane Casey - Sunday in the Park with George at the Menier Chocolate Factory
  • Haydn Gwynne - Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace
  • Jane Krakowski - Guys & Dolls at the Piccadilly
  • Jenna Russell - Guys & Dolls at the Piccadilly
  • Julie Walters - Acorn Antiques at the Theatre Royal Haymarket
  • Laura Michelle Kelly - Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward

    BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:

  • Daniel Evans - Sunday in the Park with George at the Menier Chocolate Factory
  • Douglas Hodge - Guys & Dolls at the Piccadilly
  • Ewan McGregor - Guys & Dolls at the Piccadilly
  • Gavin Lee - Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward
  • George Maguire, James Lomas & Liam Mower - Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace
  • Neil Patrick Harris - Tick Tick Boom at the Menier Chocolate Factory

    BEST ACTRESS:

  • Clare Higgins - Death of a Salesman at the Lyric
  • Helen McCrory - As You Like It, Wyndham’s
  • Harriet Walter - Mary Stuart at the Donmar Warehouse & Apollo
  • Janet McTeer - Mary Stuart at the Donmar Warehouse & Apollo
  • Kristin Scott Thomas - As You Desire Me at the Playhouse
  • Sheila Hancock - The Anniversary at the Garrick

    BEST ACTOR:

  • Brian Dennehy - Death of a Salesman at the Lyric
  • Con O’Neill - Telstar at the New Ambassadors
  • Derek Jacobi - Don Carlos at the Gielgud
  • Kevin Spacey - Richard II at the Old Vic
  • Rob Lowe - A Few Good Men at the Theatre Royal Haymarket
  • Simon Russell Beale - The Philanthropist at the Donmar Warehouse

    BEST NEW PLAY:

  • A Few Good Men by Aaron Sorkin - at the Theatre Royal Haymarket
  • Coram Boy adapted by Helen Edmundson from Jamila Gaviin's novel - at the NT Olivier
  • Harvest by Richard Bean - at the Royal Court
  • My Name Is Rachel Corrie developed by Katharine Viner & Alan Rickman - at the Royal Court
  • On the Shore of the Wide World by Simon Stephens - at the NT Cottesloe
  • Some Girl(s) by Neil LaBute - at the Gielgud

    THE SUPERBREAK BEST NEW MUSICAL:

  • Acorn Antiques – The Musical by Victoria Wood - at the Theatre Royal Haymarket
  • Billy Elliot - The Musical by Elton John & Lee Hall - at the Victoria Palace
  • Mary Poppins adapted by Julian Fellowes from Pamela Travers’ stories, original music by the Sherman Brothers with additional songs by George Stiles & Anthony Drewe - at the Prince Edward
  • The Big Life by Paul Sirett & music by Paul Joseph - at Theatre Royal Stratford East & the Apollo
  • Tick Tick Boom by Jonathan Larson - at the Menier Chocolate Factory
  • The Next Big Thing by Mark Burton & Pete Sinclair, with additional songs & arrangements by Willie Dowling - at the New Players

    THE PLANET HOLLYWOOD THEATRE EVENT OF THE YEAR:

  • Harold Pinter winning the Nobel Prize for Literature
  • Mike Leigh's return to theatre after a 12-year absence
  • Sir Ian McKellen making his pantomime dame debut in Aladdin
  • Theatres closing after the 7 July terrorist attacks
  • The notoriety surrounding Behind the Iron Mask
  • The arrival of the first play by a contemporary black British playwright (Kwame Kwei-Armah’s Elmina’s Kitchen), the first British-created musical about black British life (The Big Life) & the first black British director (The Big Life’s Clint Dyer) in the West End

    Special mentions:

  • Tim Fountain’s Sex Addict & its brushes with the law
  • The Billy Elliot School developing the stars of tomorrow
  • The 75th birthdays of Stephen Sondheim, Harold Pinter & Sir Peter Hall – HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THEM ALL!


  • For photos from the awards launch party, click here
  • For guest speaker highlights, click here
  • For the complete texts of Rosemary Squire & David Haig’s speeches, click here
  • For your chance to vote in this year’s awards, click here


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