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Benedict Cumberbatch, John Boyega and the Wicked West End opening – our best pictures from the archives

We look back over some of the best pictures from theatreland over the years

Clockwise from left: Benedict Cumberbatch, Helen Dallimore, Idina Menzel, Mike Bailey, Daniel Kaluuya, Hannah Murray, Nicholas Hoult (Barry), Larissa Wilson and Kaya Scodelario
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

With hundreds of shows opening on an annual basis, a year can seem to last a lifetime in theatreland. But we thought we'd go hunting through the photo archives to find our favourite classic pictures, ranging from the outright hilarious through to modern-day stars back when they were a bit more fresh-faced.

1. Spider-Man himself was top of the bill

Tom Holland (Billy Elliot) during the curtain call in Billy Elliot The Musical
© Dan Wooller, 2010

2. Wicked's West End opening

Helen Dallimore (Glinda) and Idina Menzel (Elphaba) at the curtain call of Wicked
© Dan Wooller, 2006

3. When Star Wars was still in a galaxy far, far away...

Aml Ameen (Lavelle), Karl Collins (Howard Jones) and John Boyega (Sam) attend the after show party of Seize the Day, part of the Not Black and White season at the Tricycle Theatre, London
© Dan Wooller, 2009

4. The original cast of Skins has some pretty recognisable faces

Mike Bailey, Daniel Kaluuya, Hannah Murray, Nicholas Hoult (Barry), Larissa Wilson and Kaya Scodelario attend the after party for New Boy in 2009
© All images are copyright Dan Wooller, 2009

5. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart were still a timeless double act

Ian McKellen (Estragon) and Patrick Stewart (Vladimir) during the curtain call for Waiting for Godot
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage, 2009

6. James Earl Jones and Adrian Lester hug it out on Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Sanaa Lathan (Maggie), James Earl Jones (Big Daddy) and Adrian Lester (Brick) during the curtain call for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as the cast celebrate James Earl Jones' 79th birthday
© Dan Wooller, 2010

7. (Another) Spider-Man, Newt Scamander and Christian Grey at press night

Clemency Burton-Hill, Jamie Dornan, Andrew Garfield, Pamela Nomvete and Eddie Redmayne
© Dan Wooller, 2009

8. Benedict Cumberbatch tried an interesting look

Benedict Cumberbatch attends a fundraising gala in aid of the Royal Court's Young Writers in 2008
© Dan Wooller, 2008

9. Nicole Kidman bagging her WhatsOnStage Award

Nicole Kidman accepts the award for Best Actress in a Play sponsored by The Umbrella Rooms for Photograph 51
© Dan Wooller, 2016

10. Ben Whishaw, Rupert Grint, Colin Morgan, Danny Mays all got their Mojo on

Daniel Mays (Potts), Rupert Grint (Sweets), Colin Morgan (Skinny), Ian Rickson (Director), Tom Rhys Harries (Silver Johnny), Ben Whishaw (Baby) and Brendan Coyle (Mickey) attend the after party for Mojo at the Cafe de Paris, London
© Dan Wooller, 2013

11. Kwame and Diane (a decade before he was artistic director at the Young Vic)

Kwame Kwei-Armah (Author/Director) and Diane Abbott attend the after show party for Let There Be Love at the Tricycle Theatre
© Dan Wooller, 2008

12. When Geri met Harold

London Geri Halliwell and Harold Pinter (Playwright) attend the after party for The Dumb Waiter
© Dan Wooller, 2007

13. Daniel Radcliffe and James Corden have a smooch

Daniel Radcliffe is kissed by James Corden on stage at the inaugural WhatsOnStage.com Awards
© Dan Wooller, 2008

14. Mark Rylance, Michelle Gomez, Roger Allam, Tamzin Outhwaite and Daisy Beaumont did a curtain-call dance

Michelle Gomez (Gretchen), Mark Rylance (Robert), Tamzin Outhwaite (Gloria), Roger Allam (Bernard) and Daisy Beaumont (Gabriella) at the curtain call of Boeing-Boeing
© Dan Wooller, 2007

15. Indira Varma had a close shave

Indira Varma and Dominic North (Edward Scissorhands) attend the gala for Edward Scissorhands
© Dan Wooller, 2014

16. Ralph Fiennes giving some expert side-eye during Richard III

Ralph Fiennes (Richard III) during the curtain call at the Almeida
© Dan Wooller, 2016
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