Theatre News

Sunset Boulevard, Stranger Things, Guys and Dolls, Operation Mincemeat, Vanya and more win big at the WhatsOnStage Awards

Oh, What a Night… at The London Palladium!

Scenes from Operation Mincemeat, Stranger Things: The First Shadow, Guys and Dolls and VANYA
(Clockwise) Operation Mincemeat (© Matt Crockett), Stranger Things: The First Shadow (© Manuel Harlan), Guys and Dolls (© Manuel Harlan) and VANYA (© Marc Brenner)

With a star-studded ceremony, hosted by Melanie La Barrie (Hadestown) and Bonnie Langford (Sondheim’s Old Friends), the WhatsOnStage Awards took over The London Palladium for the very first time this evening.

Alongside live performances from the likes of Disney’s Newsies, Flowers for Mrs Harris, Guys and Dolls, La Cage aux Folles, Next to Normal, Operation Mincemeat, and The Sound of Music, as well as a sneak peek at the upcoming world premiere of Burlesque the Musical, the event saw a whole host of freshly crowned WhatsOnStage Award winners take to the stage in front of a capacity audience.

It was a successful night for Jamie Lloyd’s reimagining of Sunset Boulevard, taking home a grand total of seven trophies (equaling Frozen‘s accomplishment in 2022). Nicole Scherzinger triumphed in the Best Performer in a Musical category for her turn as Norma Desmond, while castmate Grace Hodgett Young won Best Professional Debut Performance for her portrayal of Betty Schaefer. Lloyd was honoured with the Best Direction award, with Alan Williams taking Best Musical Direction/Supervision. Other Sunset victors included Jack Knowles (Best Lighting Design), Adam Fisher (Best Sound Design) and Nathan Anzi and Joe Ransom (Best Video Design) for their groundbreaking efforts.

Nicole Scherzinger in a scene from Sunset Boulevard
Nicole Scherzinger in Sunset Boulevard, © Marc Brenner

However, the production did not clinch the prize for Best Musical Revival, as the Bridge Theatre’s widely lauded production of Guys and Dolls saw off the competition in this category, while also managing to secure the awards for Best Set Design (for Bunny Christie) and Best Graphic Design (for Muse Creative).

Fan favourites Operation Mincemeat and Stranger Things: The First Shadow both proved their popularity among the theatregoing voters, winning the coveted awards for Best New Musical and Best New Play, respectively, while the Andrew Scott-led VANYA picked up the prize for Best Play Revival.

Another big winner of the night was Ivo van Hove’s sold-out production of A Little Life, with cast members Andrew Norton and Luke Thompson triumphing in the categories of Best Performer in a Play and Best Supporting Performer in a Play, respectively, while Next to Normal‘s Jack Wolfe was crowned Best Supporting Performer in a Musical.

The West End production of Cabaret also managed to take home two WhatsOnStage Awards, following its victories for Best West End Show and Best Takeover Performance (for Aimee Lou Wood’s interpretation of Sally Bowles), while other singular wins included Flowers for Mrs Harris (Best Off-West End Production), The Lord of the Rings (Best Regional Production), Love Never Dies in Concert (Best Concert Event), Disney’s Newsies (Best Choreography for Matt Cole), La Cage aux Folles (Best Costume Design for Ryan Dawson Laight), and The Little Big Things (Best Casting Direction for Jill Green).

You can find the full list of 2024 winners and nominees here.

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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.