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Sheridan Smith & Michael Ball return to Whatsonstage.com Awards Concert line-up

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It’s only 11 days ago until voting results are revealed at the 2012 Whatsonstage.com Awards Concert, which is presented in association with our sponsor (and new owner) Time Out, on Sunday 19 February 2012 at the Prince of Wales Theatre.

But further to Monday’s announcement of our finale from Queen’s Brian May and Best Solo Performance nominee Kerry Ellis, we can now reveal further Concert line-up details including big names and big numbers from nominated productions including Matilda the Musical, The Wizard of Oz, Ghost the Musical, Crazy for You, Shrek the Musical, Rock of Ages and Betty Blue Eyes.

We’re thrilled to have Sheridan Smith back on hosting duties at the Whatsonstage.com Awards for a fourth time. Smith co-hosted in 2008 and 2009 with James Corden, and last year with Christopher Biggins and Miranda Hart. Smith also won last year’s Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Legally Blonde and is nominated this year for Best Supporting Actress in a Play for Flare Path. Those roles have also earned her an Olivier, an Evening Standard and a Clarence Derwent Award, amongst other accolades.

Another Whatsonstage.com alumnus, Michael Ball, who has guest-presented at the Awards launch party twice before and is also a two-time Awards winner (for Hairspray and The Woman in White), will be speaking on behalf of this year’s adopted charity Stage One, which is dedicated to developing the theatre producers of tomorrow. Though best known as a performer, Ball made his own producing debut with the tour of Hairspray and followed that by producing the transfer of Love Story from Chichester Festival to the West End in December 2010.

Sheridan Smith & Michael Ball

Last summer, Ball played the title role in another Chichester musical, an acclaimed revival of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which has been nominated for Best Regional Production in the 2012 Awards and is now readying to open at the West End’s Adelphi Theatre on 30 March. Further ahead, on 15 April, Ball and his Sweeney co-star Imelda Staunton will be presenting another awards ceremony, the Oliviers no less, at the Royal Opera House. At the Whatsonstage.com Awards, he’ll be speaking alongside Stage One chief executive, and coincidentally a Sweeney co-producer, Joseph Smith.

Not to be outdone by Smith, four more West End divas and 2012 nominees - Hannah Waddingham, Sharon D Clarke, Lauren Ward and Clare Foster - are due to reprise numbers from the shows they’ve been given nods for, The Wizard of Oz, Ghost the Musical, Matilda the Musical and Crazy for You, as will Crazy for You’s Best Actor in a Musical nominee Sean Palmer.

Top (l-r): Lauren Ward (with Bertie Carvel) in Matilda, Sharon D Clarke in Ghost. Bottom: Hannah Waddingham in The Wizard of Oz, Sean Palmer in Crazy for You.

Additional Concert performances that feature on the Awards shortlists include Best Supporting Actor in a Musical nominee Ben Goddard, who will be appearing along with his Million Dollar Quartet co-star (and Coronation Street love cheat) Bill Ward, in a specially arranged medley in homage to the best of the Broadway season, and Dean Chisnall, who takes over this month from 2011 winner and 2012 nominee Nigel Lindsay, in Shrek the Musical, which is also a Best New Musical contender. Chisnall will be singing “Who I’d Be” from the Dreamworks screen-to-stage hit, still running at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Other West End stars taking part, many from the casts of shortlisted Best New Musical and Best Musical Revival productions, include: Sophie Evans (the Over the Rainbow contestant now taking over from nominee Danielle Hope as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz), Jodie Jacobs, Zizi Strallen (both in Rock of Ages), Melanie La Barrie (Matilda), Iwan Lewis (Godspell, Legally Blonde) and Tiffany Graves (Sweet Charity, We Will Rock You, Chicago).

Top (l-r): Dean Chisnall, Sophie Evans, Tiffany Graves. Middle: Melanie La Barrie, Iwan Lewis, Jodie Jacobs. Bottom: Ben Goddard, Bill Ward, Zizi Strallen.

The Concert is directed and devised by Russell Labey, with musical supervision by Iain Vince Gatt, orchestrations by Tom Deering, 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.

Awards Concert tickets are priced £35 to £55 and can be purchased, while supplies last, via the Prince of Wales box office or by calling 0844 482 5133. For online booking of Concert tickets or a five-star luxury hotel Awards package (priced £275 for two), care of Official Hotel Partner, Radisson Edwardian, check on the Awards website www.whatsonstage.com/awards.



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