WhatsOnStage Awards: Six possible contenders for Theatre Event of the Year
Previous winners of the WhatsOnStage Award for Theatre Event of the Year include ''Les Miserables''' 25th Anniversary Concert and last year’s Olympics Opening Ceremony. With nominations open until the end of November, we look at what could be in the running this year.
1. The Michael Grandage Company season
During this season of five plays the Noël Coward Theatre has played host to Simon Russell Beale's Privates and David Walliams' Bottom, what more could you ask for? How about superlative performances from Ben Whishaw, Judi Dench and Sheridan Smith, and 100,000 tickets available for just £10?
At the stage door after tonight's performance of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' someone asked @Sheridansmith1 'are you queuing to meet David?'!— David Walliams (@davidwalliams) October 29, 2013
2. Punchdrunk's return to London with The Drowned Man
Site-specific specialists Punchdrunk returned to the London theatre scene in dramatic fashion, transforming a vast building next to Paddington Station into the forgotten world of Temple Studios, in what has been described as "A gigantic-mild altering labyrinth".
3. NT Shed's opening on Southbank
Whilst only a temporary venue, The Shed is already an award winner after taking home the Peter Brooke Empty Space award earlier this month and has featured an eclectic mix of productions including The World of Extreme Happiness, Table and The Hush.
4. The Open Court Festival
This summer the Royal Court handed over its keys to playwrights who created the Open Court Festival, featuring play readings by the writers themselves, a theatrical treasure hunt and a rep season which saw the same ensemble perform six plays over six weeks.
5. National Theatre's 50th anniversary gala
To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the National Theatre assembled a star-studded cast including Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Michael Gambon, who took to the stage in a televised gala performance looking back over 50 years of theatre at the NT.
National Theatre tribute re:50 Years was sensational last night- special shout outs to Adrien Lester , Clive Rowe, cast of Jerry Springer..— Lenny Henry (@ITISLENNYHENRY) November 3, 2013
6. West End Heroes
The finest military musicians in the country and the best of the West End joined forces for this gala performance which included the casts of War Horse and We Will Rock You, supported by a 50 strong orchestra from the Royal Air Force. The event will return on will return on 22 June 2014.
Tonight is one of those nights where the wonder of humanity shines. Feel privileged to have witnessed such bravery n talent. @WestEndHeroes— Hannah Naylor (@PinkFlamingo_x) June 23, 2013
In such a busy year for theatre many other events could feature in the shortlist including Park Theatre opening two new venues in North London, Jamie Lloyd's Trafalgar Transformed and the announcement of Rufus Norris as the new NT artistic director.