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Miranda Hart & Sheridan Smith Join WOS' Biggins

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At the 2011 Whatsonstage.com Awards Concert, which takes place on Sunday 20 February 2011 at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Christopher Biggins will be joined by not one, but two beautiful female co-hosts. The “King of the Jungle” will team up with the “Queen of Comedy” Miranda Hart and the princess of the West End Sheridan Smith to oversee the UK’s most raucous and enjoyable theatre prize-giving – and the only one decided exclusively by you, the ticket-buying public.

Hart comes to the Whatsonstage.com Awards fresh from her three wins for her eponymous BBC 2 sitcom Miranda at this past weekend’s British Comedy Awards: Best New Comedy, Best Comedy Actress and the People’s Choice Award for the Queen of Comedy. Hart has recently gone on record saying she'd a) love to work with Biggins and b) love to tread the boards in the West End - Whatsonstage.com is thrilled to make two of her dreams come true!

Miranda Hart, Sheridan Smith in Legally Blonde, Christopher Biggins

Though Hart is a Whatsonstage.com virgin, Biggins and Smith are both popular hosting alumni of our Awards: Biggins co-hosted last year (with Mel Giedroyc) while Smith hosted at the inaugural Awards Concert in 2008 and again in 2009, both times with James Corden. Smith is also in the running in this year’s Awards for Best Actress in a Musical for her just-completed run as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde.

Performers newly confirmed for the Concert bill include: Smith’s Legally Blonde co-star, and fellow 2011 nominee (for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical), Jill Halfpenny; Michael Xavier (Best Supporting Actor in a Musical nominee for Into the Woods performing alongside his current Love Story co-star Emma Williams; and cabaret star Meow-Meow and the company of Kneehigh’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, who’ll be giving a sneak peek of the Michel Legrand musical prior to its West End opening at the Gielgud in March.

Top (l-r): Michael Xavier & Emma Williams, Hadley Fraser & Ramin Karimloo, Alfie Boe. Middle: Meow-Meow, Jill Halfpenny, Richard Fleeshman & Caissie Levy, Chris Fountain.

That’s in addition to, as previously announced:

  • Tony Award-winning tenor Alfie Boe singing the spine-tingling “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables
  • Best Actor in a Musical nominee Ramin Karimloo (Love Never Dies) out of his Phantom mask singing with Hadley Fraser and their newly formed indie-rock band Sheytoons
  • Ghost The Musical stars Richard Fleeshman and Caissie Levy giving one of the first-ever sneak-peek extracts from the forthcoming world premiere, written by the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard
  • additional show extracts from OperaUpClose’s record-breaking modern version of La Boheme (Rhian Lois, Laurence Meikle and Martin Nelson), nominated for Best Off-West End Production and now returned for another sell-out season at Soho Theatre; and Brits-abroad comedy and Best New Musical nominee Departure Lounge (Steven Webb, Jack Shalloo, Liam Tamne and Hollyoaks heartthrob Chris Fountain)
  • performances by other West End stars including Annalene Beechey, Rosemary Ashe, Madalena Alberto, David Shannon, Hannah Levane and Jodie Jacobs, accompanied by the West End Gospel Choir and dancers from Arts Ed

    Concert tickets, which range from £25-£47.50, are now on sale and can be booked by phone on 0844 482 5133 or online at www.whatsonstage.com/concert.

    The Concert is directed and devised by Russell Labey, with musical supervision by Iain Vince Gatt, lighting by Mike Robertson, sound by Ben Harrison and choreography by Lizzi Gee. It’s produced by Stuart Piper and Jason Haigh-Ellery on behalf of Whatsonstage.com, with general and production management by Jon Bath for Cole Kitchenn Ltd.

    And who will be collecting trophies? Voting continues until 31 January – CLICK HERE TO VOTE NOW!!! – but the winners remain a secret until the night! Amongst the nominees so far RSVPed to attend the event are: Tamsin Greig, Nancy Carroll, Sheridan Smith, Meera Syal, Craig Revel Horwood, Tamzin Outhwaite, Jill Halfpenny, Jenny Jules, Jemima Rooper, Rosalie Craig, Emma Cunniffe, Adam James, Nigel Lindsay, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, Alex Gaumond, Chris Ellis-Stanton, Scarlett Strallen, Josefina Gabrielle, Joseph Millson, Michael Xavier, Paul J Medford, Dave Willetts, Simon Callow, Bob Golding, Howard Brenton, Timothy Sheader, Miriam Buether, Joanne Scotcher, Morgan Large, Peter Mumford, Stephen Mear, Robyn Addison, Jacob Casselden and Daniel Kaluuya.

    As with the Launch Party, at which shortlists were announced in December, the Awards Concert is held in aid of this year’s adopted charity, The Theatrical Guild, which was founded by actors to provide financial and other support to front of house and backstage staff in times of need.




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