Jodie Prenger (pictured) – the I’d Do Anything winner who will open next month alongside Rowan Atkinson in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane – will headline the Winners’ Concert for the 2009 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards, which will take place on Sunday 15 February 2009 at the West End’s 1,100-seat Prince of Wales theatre, home of 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 5,000 of whom have already voted since shortlists were announced on Friday. 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.

In the two-hour concert, Prenger will be joined on stage by her former would-be Nancys from I’d Do Anything, Samantha Barks (now starring in Cabaret on tour) and Sarah Lark (also appearing in Oliver!).

Amongst the 2009 Award nominees who will perform are Piaf’s Elena Roger and Imagine ThisLeila Benn Harris, both Best Actress in a Musical contenders, and Jersey BoysRyan Molloy and Stephen Ashfield, up for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in a Musical respectively.

The Jersey Boys stars, including Philip Bulcock and Glenn Carter, will sing an extended medley of Four Seasons classics from the blockbuster Broadway import, a leading contender for the 2009 prize for Best New Musical. Looking forward, theatregoers will get a glimpse of another Tony Award-winning Broadway hit, Spring Awakening, with a performance from the cast of the European premiere production, which opens at the Lyric Hammersmith in the new year.

Other West End stars so far confirmed to take part in the Awards Concert are Suranne Jones, Julie Atherton, Ray Shell, Jimmy Johnston and Jackie Marks. 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.

Unmissable highlights of the inaugural Awards Concert in 2008, which sold out at Shaftesbury Avenue’s 950-seat Lyric Theatre this past February, included a notorious on-stage kiss between host James Corden and Newcomer of the Year Daniel Radcliffe (See WOS TV, 28 Feb 2008), and a whopping 20 trophy presentations to others such as Peter Shaffer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Peter Hall, Diana Rigg, Rupert Goold and Hairspray stars Michael Ball, Leanne Jones, Tracie Bennett and Ben James-Ellis. What might happen in 2009?!

Voting in this year’s Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards continues until the end of January 2009, with winners announced the week commencing 9 February, just ahead of the Awards Concert on Sunday 15 February.


Awards Concert tickets are priced from £15 to £40 and are already 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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