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First acts announced for WhatsOnStage Awards: Cynthia Erivo, Water Babies, Putting it Together and more

The Awards Concert on 23 February will be hosted at the Prince of Wales Theatre by Rufus Hound and Mel Giedroyc

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Mel Giedroyc and Rufus Hound
© Peter Gibbons

We're delighted to announce the first details of the 2014 WhatsOnStage Awards Concert, which is returning to the West End's Prince of Wales Theatre on 23 February 2014.

Back to host the proceedings this year, as previously announced, are Great British Bake Off star Mel Giedroyc and comedian and actor Rufus Hound, soon to be seen in the West End premiere of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Hound and Giedroyc teamed up for the first time at the 2013 WhatsOnStage Awards at the Palace Theatre, where they handed out trophies to stars including Danny Boyle, Michael Ball, Imelda Staunton and Will Young.

Rufus Hound said: "I had an absolute ball last year hosting the WhatsOnStage Awards with Mel Giedroyc. The moment they said she was back, I thought 'well that will be an absolute treat!' This feels like another roll of the dice."

Cynthia Erivo
© Peter Gibbons

The phenomenally talented Best Actress in a Musical nominee Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple, I Can't Sing!) will open the show with a specially staged surprise number.

Putting It Together cast

Other performers so far confirmed include the cast of the acclaimed revival of Sondheim revue Putting it Together - David Bedella, Daniel Crossley, Janie Dee, Damian Humbley and Caroline Sheen.

Zizi Strallen, Fra Fee and Lisa Anne Wood

There will also be a special tribute to our sponsors Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatricals Europe, with a medley of numbers performed by stars including Fra Fee (Candide), Zizi Strallen (Merrily We Roll Along, Chicago) and Lisa Anne Wood (Les Misérables); while Lauren Samuels and Louise Dearman will perform an exclusive number from the hotly-anticipated new musical Water Babies. Further shows and performers will be announced shortly.

Lauren Samuels and Louise Dearman

To buy tickets to the Concert, click here

Voting for this year's awards closes on 31 January, with several hotly contested categories currently too close to call. Dominating the field at the moment is The Book of Mormon, currently playing at this year's host venue, vying for votes with the other major musicals of the year – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Light Princess, Once and From Here to Eternity.

In the straight play categories, there is a strong showing from the National Theatre and subsidised sector, up against the Michael Grandage Company and Jamie Lloyd Company seasons in the West End, The Audience with Helen Mirren, and Mojo amongst others.

For more info on the 2014 WhatsOnStage Awards, and to vote, visit awards.whatsonstage.com