Just a fortnight after shortlists were announced at our star-studded Launch Party on 3 December, nearly 17,000 people have already voted online in the 2011 Whatsonstage.com Awards, aka the “theatregoers’ choice” and the only major theatre awards voted for by the paying public.

Amongst the performers and productions that have taken early leads are: Sheridan Smith, Ramin Karimloo, Meera Syal, Zoe Wanamaker, David Suchet, Tamsin Greig, Stephen Campbell Moore, Jill Halfpenny, Legally Blonde, Les Miserables and Yes, Prime Minister.

There’s still plenty of time for upsets for those and other frontrunners. Voting continues until 31 January 2011. To maintain an element of surprise, results will be hidden from early January until Sunday 20 February 2011 when winners will be announced and trophies presented at our Awards Concert at the West End's Prince of Wales Theatre (home of Mamma Mia!).

Concert tickets, which range from £25-£47.50, are now on sale and can be booked by phone on 0844 482 5133 or online at www.whatsonstage.com/concert.

As with the Launch Party, the Awards Concert is held in aid of this year’s adopted charity, The Theatrical Guild, which was founded by actors to provide financial and other support to front of house and backstage staff in times of need.