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WhatsOnStage Awards winners – from past to present

As this year's nominations are announced, we remember some of the incredible talent to have previously won WhatsOnStage Awards

The 20th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards

Having announced the nominations for the 20th annual WhatsOnStage Awards last week, let's take a look at previous winners with some at the very start of their careers. You should be able to see some recognisable (and young) faces!

Jamael Westman (2019)

Hamilton set the bar very high at the last WhatsOnStage Awards. Winning five gongs on the night, one of these was Best Actor in a Musical for Jamael Westman – the actor left the groundbreaking, hip-hop inspired production earlier this year.

Members of the original West End cast of Hamilton, Jamael Westman middle
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

James Corden (2012)

Writing and starring in BBC's Gavin and Stacey, host of The Late Late Show since 2015… James Corden has enjoyed such a fantastic career it can sometimes be easy to forget the significant success he has had on the stage. He won a WhatsOnStage Award, as well as a Tony Award, for his role in One Man, Two Guvnors in 2012.

James Corden picking up his #WOSAward in 2012
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Olivia Colman (2018)

Generally considered acting royalty as well as a national treasure, Olivia Colman won her first WhatsOnStage Award for her part in Lucy Kirkwood's play Mosquitoes which ran at the National Theatre in 2017. Since then she has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for her performance in The Favourite – but the WhatsOnStage gong came first!

Olivia Colman at the 2018 WhatsOnStage Awards
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Carrie Hope Fletcher (2018 and 2019)

Carrie Hope Fletcher has won Best Actress in a Musical for the last two years running. Her 2018 award was recognition for her role in The Addams Family, while last year was for Heathers: The Musical. We have a feeling that she will be back at many WhatsOnStage Awards for years to come.

Heathers the Musical, Carrie Hope Fletcher one in from left
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Noma Dumezweni (2017)

Noma Dumezweni's success in 2017 was rewarded with her win for Best Supporting Actress in a Play for her role as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. At the time, the decision to cast a black actor as Hermione caused controversy but Dumezweni's performance won her critical acclaim and a host of awards.

Noma Dumezweni at 2017 WOS Awards
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Maggie Smith (2008)

For an actor of her calibre, it might be something of a surprise to learn that Maggie Smith has just the one WhatsOnStage Award win. This came back in 2008 for her role in The Lady of Dubuque, winning Best Actress in a Play on the night.

Maggie Smith in A German Life earlier in 2019
© Helen Maybanks 2019

Judi Dench (2005, 2007 and 2016)

A serial WhatsOnStage Award winner, Judi Dench has received the nod for work as varied as Hay Fever, All's Well That Ends Well and The Winter's Tale. You wouldn't bet against her winning her fourth award in the near future.

Judi Dench
© Johan Persson

Tom Hiddleston (2009)

Tom Hiddleston is most recognisable these days as supervillain Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but his first WhatsOnStage Award win came a few years before his rise to film stardom. Having charted his career from an early period, WhatsOnStage recognised Hiddleston's talent with an award over ten years ago for Othello at the Donmar Warehouse.

Tom Hiddleston collects his Award in 2009. Also pictured: Kevin R McNally and Malcolm Sinclair
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Alexia Khadime (2014)

With acting credits for Wicked, The Lion King and Les Misérables, Alexia Khadime has starred in some of the most popular and celebrated West End musicals in recent history. It was for her performance as Nabulungi in The Book of Mormon that she gained her first WhatsOnStage award however. Khadime is also set to star in the 2020 UK production of The Prince of Egypt.

Liam Tamne, Alexia Khadime, Christine Allado and Luke Brady, UK cast for The Prince of Egypt
© Darren Bell

Eva Noblezada (2015)

Miss Saigon cleaned up at the 2015 WhatsOnStage Awards ceremony, winning a total of nine prizes. One of these went to Eva Noblezada for her portrayal of Kim in the revival of the musical. Noblezada went on to play the part on Broadway and is currently performing in Hadestown, which won eight Tony Awards earlier this year.

Eva Noblezada at 2015 WOS Awards nominations party
© Dan Wooller