Book of Mormon, Harry Potter stars and Open Air Theatre among 2014 WhatsOnStage Award winners
The 14th annual Awards were announced this evening during a star-studded Concert at the Prince of Wales Theatre
The winners of the 2014 WhatsOnStage Awards were announced this evening at the Prince of Wales Theatre, with the venue's resident show The Book of Mormon leading the field with four awards including Best New Musical.
The Awards, now in their 14th year, are the UK's leading audience-voted theatre prize, and saw a record number of theatregoers cast their vote across the 27 categories. Rufus Hound, currently starring in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Mel Giedroyc, taking a break from The Great British Bake-Off, returned to host proceedings.
In the plays categories, the Michael Grandage Company dominated with four awards including the hotly-contested Managed Networks Best Director Award for Grandage, who commented: "I am delighted the company have been honoured at the WhatsOnStage Awards in such a generous way.
"Our 15-month season of work at the Noel Coward Theatre was entirely about engaging with as many people as possible from as wide a demographic as possible and that all chimes in well with the ethos behind these awards."
The season also won a second WhatsOnStage Award for Daniel Radcliffe, who collected Best Actor in a Play for The Cripple of Inishmaan, soon to transfer to Broadway.
Radcliffe said: "I am deeply honoured to receive this prestigious award and I accept it on behalf of the whole cast who together helped make this production of The Cripple of Inishmaan a truly joyous experience for me as an actor."
His fellow Harry Potter star Rupert Grint was also in attendance, picking up Best Newcomer for his role in Ian Rickson's acclaimed revival of Jez Butterworth's Mojo.
David Walliams received the Best Supporting Actor in a Play Award for his role in Grandage's psychedelic staging of A Midsummer Night's Dream; and the production also won Best Shakespearean Production, which was collected by his co-star Sheridan Smith and the four lovers – Katherine Kingsley, Susannah Fielding, Sam Swainsbury and Stefano Braschi.
Click here to see a full list of winners
Elsewhere, Peter Morgan's The Audience won Best New Play and saw another win for a "thrilled" Helen Mirren for her portrayal of The Queen. Accepting the award via video message, Mirren added: "I'm honoured that it was voted for by the public, that's the most wonderful thing."
Winning the Star Best Actress in a Musical this year was Scarlett Strallen, both for A Chorus Line and Candide; with A Chorus Line also triumphing in the category for Les Misérables Best Ensemble Performance.
Also in the musical categories, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory received the awards for Feast Best Set Designer for Mark Thompson, and Capezio Best Choreographer for Peter Darling; and Once takes the Awards' newest category, Autograph Best Original Music, which is now in its second year.
But it was The Book of Mormon that topped most categories, seeing off strong competition in a bumper year for new West End musicals. As well as receiving Best New Musical, the Matt Stone and Trey Parker-scripted show also topped acting honours, with Radisson Blu Edwardian Best Actor in a Musical going to Gavin Creel, Best Supporting Actress in a Musical to Alexia Khadime, and Best Supporting Actor in a Musical to Stephen Ashfield. All were in attendance to collect their trophies.
Click here for further coverage of the 2014 WhatsOnStage Awards
In a brilliant double, the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre won both Samuel French Best Play Revival and The Ticket Factory Best Musical Revival, for To Kill a Mockingbird and The Sound of Music respectively. Best Off-West End Production went to Titanic at Southwark Playhouse – the company also performed at the ceremony.
In two David over Goliath triumphs, The Play That Goes Wrong won Ticketmaster Best New Comedy, seeing off strong competition from West End shows Jeeves and Wooster and Barking in Essex; and Sheffield Theatres' critically acclaimed production of My Fair Lady picked up Tickets.com Best Regional Production, ahead of the RSC's Richard II and Manchester International Festival's Hamlet.
Equity Best West End Show goes to the RSC's glorious Matilda, which won four awards in 2012; and the White Light Best Lighting Designer is Adam Silverman for his work on Macbeth as part of Jamie Lloyd's season at the Trafalgar Studios.
The Arts Alliance Media Theatre Event of the Year was the National Theatre for its Anniversary Gala broadcast live on the BBC. The award was collected by The Light Princess star Rosalie Craig, who performed "Better than Good" from the Tori Amos musical; and in a first for the London stage, Wicked's Willemijn Verkaik closed the show with "Let it Go" from Disney film Frozen, which she performed on German and Dutch versions of the smash-hit animated film.
Other acts performing at the Concert included Drew McOnie's acclaimed dance show Drunk, Pajama Game star Michael Xavier and his Sound of Music co-star Charlotte Wakefield (who performed as part of a tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatricals).
Once duo Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cvitešić sang the show's Oscar-winning song "Falling Slowly"; I Can't Sing! star Cynthia Erivo opened the show with a stunning rendition of "One Night Only" from Dreamgirls, and Louise Dearman and Lauren Samuels, stars of new musical Water Babies', also performed to a rapturous reception.
The 2014 WhatsOnStage Awards Concert was directed and devised by Russell Labey, choreographed by Nick Winston, with musical supervision and orchestrations by Tom Deering, lighting by Derek Anderson and sound by Ben Harrison. The general manager was James Mullan, and it was produced by Stuart Piper and Jason Haigh-Ellery.
More coverage to follow
THANKS TO ALL OUR SPONSORS: