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