Watch 19th Annual WhatsOnStage Award nominees on what it means to be recognised
We spoke with some of the nominees at the launch of this year's awards
After the live shortlist announcement on Wednesday, this year's WhatsOnStage Award nominees were invited to a launch event held at the Hospital Club in London and we caught up with a few of them to find out what it means to them to be recognised by the public.
Lin Manuel Miranda's Hamilton leads the pack with 12 nominations, including Best New Musical, with Marianne Elliott's gender-swap production of Sondheim's Company receiving nine nods.
Sita McIntosh, WhatsOnStage's Chief Operating Officer said: "2018 has proved an incredible year for new writing – for both musicals and plays, providing some of the strongest competition we have seen in recent years across the nominations."
"The calibre of work populating not just the subsidised sector, but also commercial houses across the UK, shows a shift in audience appetite for new, challenging and diverse work, and it's thrilling to see.
"The WhatsOnStage Awards unashamedly celebrate the best and most popular of UK theatre; shows that our readers pay to see and vote for in their droves."
Now in their 19th year, the WhatsOnStage Awards are voted for entirely by the theatregoers themselves. Nominations opened on 1 November and closed on 30 November. Voting is now open and will close on 31 January 2019.
The Awards concert will take place on 3 March 2019 at the Prince of Wales Theatre, tickets for which are available to the public.