Winners revealed for the 2020 WhatsOnStage Awards
March 2, 2020  //  By:   //  Reviews  //  Comments are off

Hosted by Tom Read Wilson and Jodie Prenger, the UK’s thespian community enjoyed a theatrical feast at the Prince of Wales Theatre, for the 20th annual WhatsOnStage Awards.

For the first time ever, the awards were broadcast live on BBC Radio 2, hosted by the darling of the stage, Elaine Paige, and Paddy O’Connell, who interviewed winners and guests throughout the night.

The WhatsOnStage awards differ from many in the industry, as the majority of categories (except technical categories) are voted for by the public.

Guest judges, including Giles Terera, Vinegar Strokes, Oti Mabuse and John Kani, presented the 23 awards, including some new categories.

& Juliet and Come From Away were the big musical winners of the night, scooping six and five awards respectively. Miriam-Teak Lee took home the honours for Best Actress in a Musical, whilst Come From Away won categories including Best New Musical, Best Musical Direction and Best Choreography.

Tony Award-winning Dear Evan Hansen has wowed audiences since opening in London last year, and West End debutant Sam Tutty, who was visibly emotional and shocked, was voted Best Actor in a Musical. Tutty’s co-star, Jack Loxton, also took home an award, for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical.

Andrew Scott and Claire Foy were both victorious as Best Actor and Best Actress in the play categories, and Lolita Chakrabarti’s adaptation of the novel Life of Pi picked up the award for Best New Play. London audiences are already excited to see this when it transfers to the capital later this year.

Director Jamie Lloyd had a successful evening, winning the award for Best Direction for Evita at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, as well as Betrayal winning the Best Play Revival category. Jamie Lloyd referred to the last year as the ‘best year of my life’. Lloyd is one of the hottest directors in the West End at the moment, attracting talent including Emilia Clarke, James McAvoy, Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain to star in his productions.

The evening finished with the inaugural BBC Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical being accepted by Six, the Queens’ having seemingly raced from the Arts Theatre to the Prince of Wales Theatre after their own performance ended! A tribute to the late Jerry Herman was a fitting way to end the night with a bang.

Reviewed by Luisa Gottardo

The full list of winners:

Best Actor in a Play – Andrew Scott, Present Laughter

Best Actress in a Play – Claire Foy, Lungs

Best Actor in a Musical – Sam Tutty, Dear Evan Hansen

Best Actress in a Musical – Miriam-Teak Lee, & Juliet

Best Supporting Actor in a Play – Hammed Anumashaun, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Best Supporting Actress in a Play – Sophie Thompson, Present Laughter

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical – Jack Loxton, Dear Evan Hansen

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical – Rachel Tucker, Come From Away

Best New Play – Life of Pi

Best New Musical – Come From Away

Best Play Revival – Betrayal

Best Musical Revival – Mary Poppins

Best Off-West End Production – Falsettos

Best Regional Production – The Colour Purple

Best Choreography – Kelly Devine, Come From Away

Best Costume Design – Paloma Young, & Juliet

Best Direction – Jamie Lloyd, Evita

Best Graphic Design – Dewynters, & Juliet

Best Lighting Design – Howard Hudson, & Juliet

Best Musical Direction – Ian Eisendrath, Alan Berry & Team, Come From Away

Best Set Design – Soutra Gilmour, & Juliet

Best Sound Design – Gareth Owen, Come From Away

Best Video Design – Andrzej Goulding, & Juliet