That’s all the time you have left to vote in the WhatsOnStage Awards! I think over the past few weeks I’ve made my views abundantly clear for a few of the categories, but here’s my last-ditch effort at convincing you…
Best Actor in a Play:
What a choice… Tom Bateman and Richard Armitage were both extraordinary in very different ways. Both made me laugh, both made me cry. So vote for one of them please!
Best Actress in a Play:
Again, very difficult! But, for me, it should go to Billie Piper as Paige Britain. This was an important and timely play, and Billie Piper was fabulous as its star. (Lucy Punch subsequently did an amazing job when it transferred to the Theatre Royal Haymarket, FYI.)
Best Actor in a Musical:
Well, I’ve only seen one of the nominees in these particular shows: Robert Lindsay in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. And he definitely puts in an award-winning performance!
(No John Dagleish? What’s wrong with you, Great British public?!)
Best Actress in a Musical:
Again, only seen one of the nominees… Gemma Arterton in Made in Dagenham. Was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the show, as well as how good Gemma Arterton was in the role of Rita O’Grady. I didn’t realise how well she could sing!
‘Best Supporting Actor in a Play:
Two words: David Oakes. Perfectly cast for the weightier stage role of Kit Marlowe in Shakespeare in Love – he had a fantastic partnership with Tom Bateman, which really brought the Elizabethan bromance to life!
Best Supporting Actress in a Play:
Both Anna Madeley and Samantha Colley were astonishing in The Crucible, bringing the anguish of Elizabeth Proctor and the teenage frustration of Abigail Williams to vivid life.
Best Supporting Actor in a Musical
Need you ask? George Maguire’s turn as Dave Davies is essential viewing. He captures both the angry hedonist and the emotional vulnerability of the younger Davies brother with ease. And what a voice!
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical:
Even though she should really be nominated for Best Actress in a Musical, I urge you to vote for Katherine Kingsley. She is effervescent as Christine Colgate – a true star!
Best New Play:
A diverse range available to choose from here. However, because it has it all (laughter, tears, music) I think Shakespeare in Love just wins for me. There must be a good reason for me seeing it 9 times, after all…
Best New Musical:
Again, need you ask? Sunny Afternoon is my life – and Sunny Afternoon is the perfect London show. Every time I see it I enjoy it even more! It’s the perfect blend of book, songs, story and cast.
Best Play Revival:
My favourite play that I studied at GCSE: The Crucible. I was lucky enough to see it on its opening night at The Old Vic and it exceeded every expectation. The bleakness of the story was echoed by the bleakness & sparcity of the set – and what more can I say about the cast?
Best Musical Revival:
Tricky one in a different way… Out of the choices I only went to see The Pajama Game, but I wasn’t blown away by it. Up to you!
Hard to argue against anything Jamie Lloyd directs, to be honest. But Yaël Farber’s work on The Crucible was nothing short of stunning…
Hmm… Dirty Rotten Scoundrels for the old-school type musical choreography that I love – or Urinetown for similar reasons, plus most of the time they’re on a revolving set. Tricky!
Best Set Design:
There really should be a nomination for Sunny Afternoon here (the speakers backdrop is superb!), but there isn’t so… Shakespeare in Love (Nick Ormerod) has it for me. I love that it’s in the style of a Shakespearean theatre – but with modern advantages.
Best Lighting Design:
Again, where’s Sunny Afternoon?
But out of the choices available, I think Urinetown should be the one. It was a darkly comic show, and the lighting did well to reflect this where necessary.
Best Off-West End Production:
No comment – sorry! Not seen any of these nominees.
Best Regional Production:
I’ve not seen any of these nominees, but I have it on good authority that The Kite Runner is the worthiest winner here! I await my chance to see it for myself…
Best Takeover in a Role:
For me, hard to choose between David Hunter and Michael Watson. Both are (or ‘were’, in David Hunter’s case) perfectly suited to their parts and would be worthy winners.
Best West End Show:
I can’t argue against Les Mis, can I?