Theatre News

Shortlists announced for 15th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards, voting opens

”Miss Saigon” and ”Memphis” lead the field, closely followed by ”Urinetown”

Eva Noblezada and Alistair Brammer in Miss Saigon
Eva Noblezada and Alistair Brammer in Miss Saigon, which leads the field with 12 nominations
© Michael Le Poer Trench

Shortlists have been announced for the 15th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards, the only major theatre prize-giving decided entirely by the theatregoers themselves.

Voting is now open and runs until 31 January 2015, with winners announced at the WhatsOnStage Awards Concert, held on 15 February at the West End's Prince of Wales Theatre (tickets available here).

The nominees were announced during the annual star-studded Awards Launch, held at Cafe de Paris and hosted by Steve Furst and Angela Griffin. Guests were entertained by an introductory presentation from previous winner The Play That Goes Wrong and a special performance by nominee Madalena Alberto.

Leading the shortlist tallies this year are major musicals Miss Saigon and Memphis, with 12 and ten nominations respectively. Following closely behind is Urinetown the Musical with seven (see full shortlists below).

Memphis stars Killian Donnelly and Beverley Knight

In the musical performance categories Eva Noblezada and Beverley Knight compete against Madalena Alberto (Evita), Gemma Arterton and Jenna Russell; and completing the Best Actor in a Musical category with Alistair Brammer, Jon Jon Briones and Killian Donnelly are Robert Lindsay and Marti Pellow.

In the play categories, the Donmar Warehouse's Coriolanus leads the pack with six nominations including Tom Hiddleston for Best Actor in a Play, fresh from his recent win at the Evening Standard Awards. He faces stiff competition from David Tennant, also receiving a nomination for Shakespeare with his performance as Richard II at the Barbican and Tom Bateman for playing William Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love.

Richard Armitage and Mark Strong complete the category for their critically acclaimed performances in The Crucible and A View From the Bridge respectively. Armitage takes ones of six nominations for The Old Vic’s The Crucible, going head to head with Coriolanus.

And it’s another great year for previous winner Imelda Staunton, who receives a nomination for Best Actress in a Play for Good People, with her performance in Gypsy also recognised in the Best Regional Production category. Staunton is up against Gillian Anderson for A Streetcar Named Desire, Lucy Briggs-Owen for Shakespeare in Love, Helen McCrory for Medea and Billie Piper for Great Britain.

Sita McIntosh, chief operating officer for WhatsOnStage, said today, "I am delighted to see that in their 15th year the WhatsOnStage Awards continue to go from strength to strength, with more nominations than ever. These awards are voted for by the ticket-buying public, the people who ultimately decide the success of shows by digging deep in an ever-challenging economic climate to buy seats.

"It is also fantastic to see the range of shows and performers nominated, from blockbuster new musicals to acclaimed fringe revivals, and Arthur Miller to Shakespeare. We are grateful to our readers for taking the time to acknowledge the rich, cultural landscape of theatre that we are so fortunate to have on our doorstep."

As in 2014, the 15th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards will be held in aid of adopted charity The Big Issue Foundation, the charitable organisation which helps The Big Issue magazine's homeless vendors take their next steps off the street. During the partnership The Big Issue Foundation is hosting Stage Swap, and many West End performers (including Alison Steadman) have already taken the chance to swap the stage for the street and joined vendors to sell the magazine. There will also be a chance for people to bid in a theatre themed auction event during the awards vote.

Full list of nominees

Best Actor in a Play sponsored by Radisson Blu Edwardian:
• David Tennant, Richard II
• Mark Strong, A View From the Bridge
• Richard Armitage, The Crucible
• Tom Bateman, Shakespeare in Love
• Tom Hiddleston, Coriolanus

Best Actress in a Play:
• Billie Piper, Great Britain
• Gillian Anderson, A Streetcar Named Desire
• Helen McCrory, Medea
• Imelda Staunton, Good People
• Lucy Briggs-Owen, Shakespeare in Love

Best Actor in a Musical:
• Alistair Brammer, Miss Saigon
• Jon Jon Briones, Miss Saigon
• Killian Donnelly, Memphis the Musical
• Marti Pellow, Evita
• Robert Lindsay, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Best Actress in a Musical sponsored by STAR:
• Beverley Knight, Memphis the Musical
• Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon
• Gemma Arterton, Made in Dagenham
• Jenna Russell, Urinetown the Musical
• Madalena Alberto, Evita

'Best Supporting Actor in a Play:
• Adrian Schiller, The Crucible
• David Oakes, Shakespeare in Love
• Hadley Fraser, Coriolanus
• Mark Gatiss, Coriolanus
• Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall & Bring Up the Bodies

Best Supporting Actress in a Play:
• Anna Madeley, The Crucible
• Deborah Findlay, Coriolanus
• Nicola Walker, A View From the Bridge
• Samantha Colley, The Crucible
• Vanessa Kirby, A Streetcar Named Desire

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical:
• Ben Forster, Evita
• George Maguire, Sunny Afternoon
• Hugh Maynard, Miss Saigon
• Kwang-Ho Hong, Miss Saigon
• Rolan Bell, Memphis the Musical

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical:
• Claire Machin, Memphis the Musical
• Karis Jack, Urinetown the Musical
• Katherine Kingsley, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
• Rachelle Ann Go, Miss Saigon
• Samantha Bond, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Best New Play:
• Great Britain
• King Charles III
• The Nether
• Shakespeare in Love
• Wolf Hall

Best New Musical sponsored by Autograph:
• Here Lies Love
• Made in Dagenham
• Memphis the Musical
• Sunny Afternoon
• Urinetown the Musical

Best Play Revival:
• Blithe Spirit
• Coriolanus
• The Crucible
• Richard II
• A Streetcar Named Desire

Best Musical Revival sponsored by R&H Theatricals Europe:
• Evita
• Miss Saigon
• The Pajama Game
• Porgy and Bess
• Sweeney Todd

Best Direction sponsored by Managed Networks:
• Christopher Ashley, Memphis the Musical
• Gregory Doran, Richard II
• Jamie Lloyd, Urinetown the Musical
• Laurence Connor, Miss Saigon
• Yaël Farber, The Crucible

Best Choreography sponsored by Capezio:
• Ann Yee, Urinetown the Musical
• Bob Avian & Geoffrey Garratt, Miss Saigon
• Drew McOnie, In the Heights
• Jerry Mitchell, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
• Sergio Trujillo, Memphis the Musical

Best Set Design sponsored by Feast Creative:
• Bunny Christie, Made in Dagenham
• David Gallo, Memphis the Musical
• Nick Ormerod, Shakespeare in Love
• Soutra Gilmour, Urinetown the Musical
• Totie Driver & Matt Kinley, Miss Saigon

Best Lighting Design sponsored by White Light:
• Adam Silverman, Urinetown the Musical
• Bruno Poet, Miss Saigon
• Howell Binkley, Memphis the Musical
• Jon Clark, Made in Dagenham
• Mark Henderson, Coriolanus

Best Off-West End Production:
• Dogfight, Southwark Playhouse
• Forbidden Broadway, Menier Chocolate Factory
• In the Heights, Southwark Playhouse
• Oh, the Humanity and Other Good Intentions, Tabard Theatre
• Sweeney Todd, Twickenham Theatre

Best Regional Production sponsored by Travelzoo:
• Guys and Dolls, Chichester Festival Theatre
• Gypsy, Chichester Festival Theatre
• The Kite Runner, Nottingham Playhouse and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse
• Oliver!, Sheffield Crucible
• Water Babies, Curve Leicester

Best Takeover in a Role sponsored by Equity:
• Craige Els, Matilda the Musical
• David Hunter, Once
• Jennifer DiNoia, Wicked
• Kerry Ellis, Wicked
• Michael Watson, Jersey Boys

Best West End Show:
• Les Misérables
• Matilda the Musical
• Memphis the Musical
• Miss Saigon
• Wicked

Thank you to all our sponsors

15th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards Sponsors