James Norton and Luke Thompson win WhatsOnStage Awards for A Little Life

The duo starred in the stage version of the hit novel together

Luke Thompson and James Norton, photo by Jan Versweyveld

James Norton and Luke Thompson, co-stars in A Little Life, have both picked up WhatsOnStage Awards for their performances.

The duo starred together in the English language premiere stage version of Hanya Yanagihara’s critically lauded novel of the same name, directed by Ivo van Hove. It opened at the Harold Pinter Theatre in the spring of 2023, before transferring to the Savoy Theatre later the same year. A cinema broadcast followed in the autumn of 2023. 

A Little Life has been nominated for a total of three WhatsOnStage Awards, including Best New Play. It follows four college friends in New York City as their lives are pulled apart and brought together by various forces. Yanagihara’s 2015 novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and in 2016 was also nominated for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.

Norton won the award for Best Performer in a Play, with Thompson winning for Best Supporting Performer in a Play.

Yanagihara adapted her seminal novel for the stage alongside Koen Tachelet and van Hove. This English language premiere follows a Dutch-language production run in Edinburgh in August 2022. That iteration was awarded the full five stars by WhatsOnStage.

Joining van Hove on the creative team are set and lighting designer (and regular collaborator) Jan Versweyveld, as well as costume designer An D’Huys, music and sound designer Eric Sleichim and casting director Julia Horan.

Thompson is due to be seen next on stage leading Love’s Labour’s Lost, the first show in Tamara Harvey and Daniel Evans’ inaugural season at the RSC.


24th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards
Now in their 24th year, the WhatsOnStage Awards are considered one of the top highlights of the theatrical calendar, saluting the best of UK theatre. On the night, as well as seeing the winners crowned, attendees also enjoy a host of exclusive live performances from top theatre talent.