The nominations in the tenth annual Whatsonstage.com Awards, the “theatregoers’ choice”, were announced today (4 December 2009) at the West End's Cafe de Paris. The Whatsonstage.com Awards are the only major theatre prize-giving decided by the public, who vote online here at awards.whatsonstage.com. This year, nearly 6,500 people took part in the nominations phase of the judging process, smashing last year's record by 1,500 (See News, 1 Dec 2009).

This year's nominations are dominated by popular British screen stars, including Jude Law, Lenny Henry, Helen Mirren, Rachel Weisz, Alison Steadman, Dominic West, Mackenzie Crook and Patrick Stewart, who will all battle it out for acting gongs.

Three musicals received seven nominations each - Sister Act, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Trevor Nunn’s Menier Chocolate Factory revival of A Little Night Music, which is now previewing on Broadway (where Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury star). Enron and Jerusalem, both first seen in London at the Royal Court and transferring in the new year to the West End, lead the nominations for plays at five and four nods respectively.

Following his success at last week’s Evening Standard Awards, Mark Rylance will be hoping to add to his growing collection of accolades for his portrayal in Jerusalem with a nomination in the Best Actor in a Play category. He will face tough competition from David Harewood (The Mountaintop), Dominic West (Life Is a Dream), Jude Law (Hamlet), Ken Stott (A View from the Bridge) and Samuel West (Enron).

In the Best Actress in a Play prize group, 2008’s winner of the Best Solo Performance award, Fiona Shaw, is nominated for title role in Mother Courage & Her Children. Also nominated are: Alison Steadman (Enjoy), Helen Mirren (Phedre), Juliet Stevenson (Duet for One), Lesley Sharp (The Rise & Fall of Little Voice) and Rachel Weisz (A Streetcar Named Desire).

The Best West End Show is a new honour launched to celebrate the tenth year of the Whatsonstage.com Awards. The shortlist for this category – which applies to all current West End productions, including long-runners – has been extended to ten productions rather than the usual six, as for all other award categories. Battling it out for this prestigious award are; Billy Elliot, Hairspray, Jersey Boys, Les Miserables, Mamma Mia!, The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera, We Will Rock You, Wicked and the only play to make an appearance, War Horse.

Lenny Henry will contest another Award for London Newcomer of the Year for his theatrical debut in Othello, which is also nominated for Best Shakespearean Production, with X-Factor’s Diana Vickers (The Rise & Fall of Little Voice), SkinsNicholas Hoult (New Boy), Sister Act’s Patina Miller, Kidulthood’s Jaime Winstone (The Fastest Clock in the Universe) and Punk Rock’s Tom Sturridge.

Two other well-known newcomers to the West End Stage, Sadie Frost and Melanie C, will also be recognised for their debuts; Frost in the Best Solo Performance category for Touched and Melanie C for her part as Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers in the Best Takeover in a Role category.

Jodie Prenger and Jessie Buckley, finalists in the BBC’s I’d Do Anything, will once again go head to head, this time to be crowned Best Supporting Actress in a Musical. Jodie is nominated for her performance as Nancy in Oliver! and Jessie for her debut in A Little Night Music.

Voting to crown the winners opens today (4 December) and will close at the end of January 2010. The winners will be revealed at a concert for theatergoers on 14th February 2010 at the West End’s Prince of Wales Theatre. Last year over 35,000 theatregoers voted. Both Whatsonstage.com Awards events are held in aid of this year’s adopted charity, Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass.

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THE FULL LIST OF 2009/10 NOMINATIONS

Best Actress in a Play

  • Alison Steadman – Enjoy at the Gielgud
  • Fiona Shaw – Mother Courage & Her Children at the NT Olivier
  • Helen Mirren – Phedre at the NT Lyttelton
  • Juliet Stevenson – Duet for One at the Almeida & Vaudeville
  • Lesley Sharp – The Rise & Fall of Little Voice at the Vaudeville
  • Rachel Weisz – A Streetcar Named Desire at the Donmar Warehouse

    The CAPITAL BREAKS Best Actor in a Play

  • David Harewood – The Mountaintop at Theatre 503 & Trafalgar Studios 1
  • Dominic West – Life Is a Dream at the Donmar Warehouse
  • Jude Law – Hamlet, Donmar West End at Wyndham’s
  • Ken Stott – A View from the Bridge at the Duke of York’s
  • Mark Rylance – Jerusalem at the Royal Court Downstairs
  • Samuel West – Enron at the Royal Court Downstairs

    Best Supporting Actress in a Play

  • Amanda Drew – Enron at the Royal Court Downstairs
  • Carol Macready – Enjoy at the Gielgud
  • Hayley Atwell – A View from the Bridge at the Duke of York’s
  • Kate Fleetwood – Life Is a Dream at the Donmar Warehouse
  • Michelle Dockery – Burnt by the Sun at the NT Lyttelton
  • Miriam Margolyes – Endgame at the Duchess

    Best Supporting Actor in a Play

  • David Dawson – Comedians at the Lyric Hammersmith
  • John Shrapnel – Phedre at the NT Lyttelton & King Lear at the Young Vic
  • Mackenzie Crook – Jerusalem at the Royal Court Downstairs
  • Marc Warren – The Rise & Fall of Little Voice at the Vaudeville
  • Patrick Stewart – Hamlet, RSC at the Novello
  • Simon Paisley Day – Entertaining Mr Sloane at Trafalgar Studios 1

    The BABY GRAND Best Actress in a Musical

  • Charlotte Wakefield – Spring Awakening at the Lyric Hammersmith & Novello
  • Hannah Waddingham – A Little Night Music at the Menier Chocolate Factory & Garrick
  • Jane Horrocks – Annie Get Your Gun at the Young Vic
  • Kathryn Evans – Sunset Boulevard at the Comedy
  • Patina Miller – Sister Act at the London Palladium
  • Samantha Spiro – Hello, Dolly! at the Open Air

    The SEE TICKETS Best Actor in a Musical

  • Alexander Hanson – A Little Night Music at the Menier Chocolate Factory & Garrick
  • Aneurin Barnard – Spring Awakening at the Lyric Hammersmith & Novello
  • Jason Donovan – Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at the Palace
  • Julian Ovenden – Annie Get Your Gun at the Young Vic
  • Rowan Atkinson – Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • Tony Sheldon – Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at the Palace

    Best Supporting Actress in a Musical

  • Jessie Buckley – A Little Night Music at the Menier Chocolate Factory & Garrick
  • Jodie Prenger – Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • Julia Sutton – Sister Act at the London Palladium
  • Lesley Garrett – Carousel at the Savoy
  • Maureen Lipman – A Little Night Music at the Menier Chocolate Factory & Garrick
  • Sheila Hancock – Sister Act at the London Palladium

    Best Supporting Actor in a Musical

  • Burn Gorman – Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • Clive Carter – Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at the Palace
  • Daniel Crossley – Hello, Dolly! at the Open Air
  • Gabriel Vick – A Little Night Music at the Menier Chocolate Factory & Garrick
  • Iwan Rheon – Spring Awakening at the Lyric Hammersmith & Novello
  • Oliver Thornton – Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at the Palace

    The MOBIUS INDUSTRIES Best Solo Performance

  • Alan Cumming – I Bought a Blue Car Today at the Vaudeville
  • Clare Higgins – The Fever at the Royal Court Downstairs
  • David Hare – Berlin at the NT Lyttelton & Wall at the Royal Court Downstairs
  • Derren Brown – Derren Brown: Enigma at the Adelphi
  • Rob Brydon – Rob Brydon Live! at the Apollo
  • Sadie Frost – Touched at Trafalgar Studios 2

    The LES MISERABLES 25th Anniversary Award for Best Ensemble Performance

  • Arcadia – at the Duke of York’s
  • Dancing at Lughnasa – at the Old Vic
  • On the Waterfront – at the Theatre Royal Haymarket
  • Our Class – at the NT Cottesloe
  • The Great Game – at the Tricycle
  • The Power of Yes – at the NT Lyttelton

    The MILK TWO SUGARS Best Takeover in a Role

  • Brian Conley – Hairspray at the Shaftesbury
  • Edward Bennett – Hamlet, RSC at the Novello
  • John Barrowman – La Cage aux Folles at the Playhouse
  • Melanie C – Blood Brothers at the Phoenix
  • Omid Djalili – Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • Roger Allam – La Cage aux Folles at the Playhouse

    The NICK HERN BOOKS Best New Play

  • Burnt by the Sun by Peter Flannery – at the NT Lyttelton
  • Enron by Lucy Prebble – at the Royal Court Downstairs
  • Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth – at the Royal Court Downstairs
  • Punk Rock by Simon Stephens – at the Lyric Hammersmith
  • The Habit of Art by Alan Bennett – at the NT Lyttelton
  • The Mountaintop by Katori Hall – at Theatre503 & Trafalgar Studios 1

    The WALDORF HILTON Best New Comedy

  • Calendar Girls by Tim Firth – at the Noel Coward
  • England People Very Nice by Richard Bean – at the NT Olivier
  • New Boy by Russell Labey – at Trafalgar Studios 2
  • Public Property by Sam Peter Jackson – at Trafalgar Studios 2
  • The Priory by Michael Wynne – at the Royal Court Downstairs
  • Timing by Alistair McGowan – at the King’s Head

    The SUPERBREAK Best New Musical

  • Been So Long by Arthur Darvill & Che Walker – at the Young Vic
  • Dreamboats & Petticoats by Laurence Marks & Maurice Gran – at the Savoy
  • Priscilla, Queen of the Desert by Allan Scott & Stephan Elliott – at the Palace
  • Sister Act by Alan Menken, Glenn Slater, Cheri & Bill Steinkellner – at the London Palladium
  • Spring Awakening by Duncan Sheik & Steven Sater – at the Lyric Hammersmith & Novello
  • Thriller Live! by Adrian Grant – at the Lyric

    The EMG Best Play Revival

  • A Streetcar Named Desire – at the Donmar Warehouse
  • A View from the Bridge – at the Duke of York’s
  • Arcadia – at the Duke of York’s
  • Enjoy – at the Gielgud
  • Three Days of Rain – at the Apollo
  • Waiting for Godot – at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

    The AMBASSADOR TICKETS Best Musical Revival

  • A Little Night Music – at the Menier Chocolate Factory & Garrick
  • Annie Get Your Gun – at the Young Vic
  • Carousel – at the Savoy
  • Hello, Dolly! – at the Open Air
  • Oliver! – at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • Sunset Boulevard – at the Comedy

    The SHAKESPEARE 4 KIDZ Best Shakespearean Production

  • All’s Well That Ends Well – at the NT Olivier
  • Hamlet – Donmar West End at Wyndham’s
  • Hamlet – RSC at the Novello
  • Othello – at Trafalgar Studios 1
  • The Winter’s Tale – at the Old Vic
  • Twelfth Night – Donmar West End at Wyndham’s

    Best Director

  • Gregory Doran – Hamlet, RSC at the Novello
  • Ian Rickson – Parlour Song at the Almeida & Jerusalem at the Royal Court
  • Nicholas Hytner – Phedre & The Habit of Art at the NT Lyttelton
  • Rupert Goold – Enron at the Royal Court Downstairs
  • Sam Mendes – The Cherry Orchard & The Winter’s Tale at the Old Vic
  • Trevor Nunn – Inherit the Wind at the Old Vic & A Little Night Music at the Menier Chocolate Factory & Garrick

    Best Set Designer

  • Brian Thomson – Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at the Palace
  • Christopher Oram – A Streetcar Named Desire at the Donmar Warehouse & Twelfth Night, Donmar West End at Wyndham’s
  • Lizzie Clachan – Money, Shunt at Bermondsey Street & Treasure Island at the Theatre Royal Haymarket
  • Miriam Buether – Judgment Day & When the Rain Stops Falling at the Almeida
  • Peter McKintosh – Prick Up Your Ears at the Comedy, Entertaining Mr Sloane at Trafalgar Studios 1 & Hello, Dolly! at the Open Air
  • William Dudley – Peter Pan at Kensington Gardens

    The WHITE LIGHT Best Lighting Designer

  • Johanna Town – Speaking in Tongues at the Duke of York’s
  • Kevin Adams – Spring Awakening at the Lyric Hammersmith & Novello
  • Mark Henderson – Enron at the Royal Court
  • Mike Robertson – On the Waterfront at the Theatre Royal Haymarket
  • Natasha Katz – Sister Act at the London Palladium
  • Neil Austin – Life Is a Dream at the Donmar Warehouse & Madame de Sade, Donmar West End at Wyndham's

    Best Choreographer

  • Adam Cooper – Carousel at the Savoy & Shall We Dance at Sadler’s Wells
  • Anthony Van Laast – Sister Act at the London Palladium
  • Bill T Jones – Spring Awakening at the Lyric Hammersmith & Novello
  • Gary Lloyd – Thriller Live! at the Lyric
  • Ross Coleman – Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at the Palace
  • Stephen Mear – Hello, Dolly! at the Open Air

    The DEWYNTERS London Newcomer of the Year

  • Diana Vickers – The Rise & Fall of Little Voice at the Vaudeville
  • Jaime Winstone – The Fastest Clock in the Universe at Hampstead
  • Lenny Henry – Othello at the Trafalgar Studios 1
  • Nicholas Hoult – New Boy at Trafalgar Studios 2
  • Patina Miller – Sister Act at the London Palladium
  • Tom Sturridge – Punk Rock at the Lyric Hammersmith

    Best Off-West End Production

  • F**king Men – at the King’s Head
  • Forbidden Broadway – at the Menier Chocolate Factory
  • Kursk – at the Young Vic
  • Kurt & Sid – at Trafalgar Studios 2
  • Stovepipe – at the West 12 Shopping Centre
  • The Pirates of Penzance – at the Union Theatre

    The BOOKING OFFICE Best Regional Production

  • Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall – Bristol Old Vic & tour
  • It’s a Wonderful Life – New Wolsey, Ipswich
  • Spend Spend Spend – Watermill, Newbury
  • The Caretaker – Liverpool Everyman & Theatre Royal Bath
  • The Light in the Piazza – Leicester Curve
  • The Winslow Boy – Rose, Kingston & tour

    The GROUPLINE Best West End Show

  • Billy Elliot
  • Hairspray
  • Jersey Boys
  • Les Miserables
  • Mamma Mia!
  • The Lion King
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • War Horse
  • We Will Rock You
  • Wicked

    The AKA Theatre Event of the Year

  • Peter Pan returning to Kensington Gardens in a purpose-built theatre pavilion
  • The Bridge Project at the Old Vic
  • The inaugural Udderbelly season at the Southbank Centre
  • The launch of NT Live
  • The pairing of Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in Waiting for Godot
  • Two outstanding Tricycle cycles: The Great Game (Afghanistan) and Not Black and White

    Special mentions:

  • The West End Hamlet head-to-head between David Tennant and Jude Law
  • The spread of Sunday openings, led by the National
  • Michael Jackson tributes outside Thriller Live!
  • ATG’s £90 million purchase of Live Nation’s 16 theatres

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