WhatsOnStage Awards 2017

17th_annual_whatsonstage_awards-2
Image source: WhatsOnStage Awards website

After last year’s Hamlet Awards, I’ve decided this needs to be an annual thing.

My feelings on the near pointlessness of public votes like these hasn’t changed; it’s probably been strengthened, if anything. My natural cynicism is also fuelled by frustration at the overexposure of overrated personalities (Branagh is one that immediately comes to mind) and the lack of new names, or even the ‘journeyman’ types, being recognised.

And if you’ve not seen any of the productions, well… I’ve said it before: it’s not being voted for solely by theatregoers. Personally, I’ve seen a reasonable amount but still not anywhere near all of them – but I doubt anyone except professional critics (or those with unlimited monetary funds) will have seen them all. The logic I work on when voting is that if I’ve not seen any nominees I don’t vote – as long as I’ve seen one of them I can at least say that I thought they were good enough to deserve it. Not perfect, but far better than blindly voting on reputation alone.

One other thing I’d like is for only one person per show in each category. Yes, in some ways it does mean that the biggest fan base is even more likely to win the award for their idols, but it would at least mean more people would get their names out there. It’s especially gratifying for smaller shows to get recognised in this way.

Without further ado, here are my votes & predictions – only once are they one & the same.


Best Actor in a Play, sponsored by Radisson Blu Edwardian
Ian Hallard for The Boys in the Band
Ian McKellen for No Man’s Land
Jamie Parker for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Kenneth Branagh for The Entertainer
Ralph Fiennes for Richard III

Best Actress in a Play, sponsored by Live at Zédel
Billie Piper for Yerma
Helen McCrory for The Deep Blue Sea
Lily James for Romeo and Juliet
Michelle Terry for Henry V
Pixie Lott for Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Best Actor in a Musical, sponsored by The Umbrella Rooms
Andy Karl for Groundhog Day
Charlie Stemp for Half a Sixpence
Michael C. Hall for Lazarus
Michael Xavier for Sunset Boulevard
Ramin Karimloo for Murder Ballad

Best Actress in a Musical, sponsored by The Hippodrome Casino
Amber Riley for Dreamgirls
Carrie Hope Fletcher for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Devon-Elise Johnson for Half a Sixpence
Glenn Close for Sunset Boulevard
Sheridan Smith for Funny Girl

Best Supporting Actor in a Play
Anthony Boyle for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Derek Jacobi for Romeo and Juliet
Freddie Fox for Travesties
Jonjo O’Neill for Unreachable
Paul Thornley for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Best Supporting Actress in a Play, sponsored by Tonic Theatre
Jenna Russell for Doctor Faustus
Meera Syal for Romeo and Juliet
Noma Dumezweni for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Poppy Miller for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Vanessa Redgrave for Richard III

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, sponsored by Encore Radio
Adam J Bernard for Dreamgirls
Ian Bartholomew for Half a Sixpence
Joel Montague for Funny Girl
Trevor Dion Nicholas for Aladdin
Tyrone Huntley for Jesus Christ Superstar

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, sponsored by Newman Displays
Amy Lennox for Lazarus
Emma Williams for Half a Sixpence
Rebecca Trehearn for Show Boat
Sophia Anne Caruso for Lazarus
Victoria Hamilton-Barritt for Murder Ballad

Best New Play, sponsored by JHI Marketing
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery
The Flick
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism with a Key to the Scriptures, or iHo
The Mother

Best New Musical, sponsored by Shine Creative Solutions
Aladdin
Dreamgirls
Groundhog Day
Half a Sixpence
School of Rock

Best Play Revival
The Boys in the Band
The Deep Blue Sea
The Dresser
No Man’s Land
Travesties

Best Musical Revival, sponsored by R&H Theatricals Europe
Funny Girl
Jesus Christ Superstar
Ragtime
Show Boat
Sunset Boulevard

Best Direction
Casey Nicholaw for Aladdin
John Tiffany for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Matthew Warchus for Groundhog Day
Michael Mayer for Funny Girl
Rachel Kavanaugh for Half a Sixpence

Best Choreography, sponsored by Encore Radio
Andrew Wright for Half a Sixpence
Casey Nicholaw for Aladdin
Casey Nicholaw for Dreamgirls
Drew McOnie for Jesus Christ Superstar
Peter Darling for Groundhog Day

Best Costume Design
Gregg Barnes for Aladdin
Gregg Barnes for Dreamgirls
Katrina Lindsay for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Matthew Wright for Funny Girl
Paul Brown for Half a Sixpence

Best Set Design
Bob Crowley for Aladdin
Christine Jones for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Lez Brotherston for Show Boat
Miriam Buether for Wild
Rob Howell for Groundhog Day

Best Lighting Design, sponsored by White Light
Charlie Morgan Jones for Little Shop of Horrors
Hugh Vanstone for Groundhog Day
Jack Weir for The Boys in the Band
Natasha Katz for Aladdin
Neil Austin for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Best Video Design, sponsored by PRG XL Video
Andrzej Goulding for Groundhog Day
Finn Ross and Ash Woodward for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Finn Ross for The Tempest (RSC)
Laura Perrett for Murder Ballad
Tal Yarden for Lazarus

Best Off-West End Production, sponsored by Les Misérables
The Boys in the Band (Park Theatre)
Grey Gardens (Southwark Playhouse)
The Last Five Years (St James Theatre)
Side Show (Southwark Playhouse)
Ragtime (Charing Cross Theatre)

Best Regional Production, sponsored by MTI (Europe)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Flowers for Mrs Harris
The Girls
The Grinning Man
Rent

Best West End Show, sponsored by Capezio
Kinky Boots
Les Misérables
Matilda the Musical
The Phantom of the Opera
Wicked

13-harry-potter-and-the-cursed-child-photo-credit-manuel-harlan
Noma Dumezweni, Jamie Parker and Paul Thornley in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Photo credit: Manuel Harlan

So this time around I’m predicting the Potter Awards! Feel free to join me as I tweet along with the ceremony on Sunday 19 February – and see if I’m right…

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