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), Skins’ Nicholas 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
The CAPITAL BREAKS Best Actor in a Play
Best Supporting Actress in a Play
Best Supporting Actor in a Play
The BABY GRAND Best Actress in a Musical
The SEE TICKETS Best Actor in a Musical
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical
Best Supporting Actor in a Musical
The MOBIUS INDUSTRIES Best Solo Performance
The LES MISERABLES 25th Anniversary Award for Best Ensemble Performance
The MILK TWO SUGARS Best Takeover in a Role
The NICK HERN BOOKS Best New Play
The WALDORF HILTON Best New Comedy
The SUPERBREAK Best New Musical
The EMG Best Play Revival
The AMBASSADOR TICKETS Best Musical Revival
The SHAKESPEARE 4 KIDZ Best Shakespearean Production
Best Set Designer
The WHITE LIGHT Best Lighting Designer
The DEWYNTERS London Newcomer of the Year
Best Off-West End Production
The BOOKING OFFICE Best Regional Production
The GROUPLINE Best West End Show
The AKA Theatre Event of the Year
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