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On Sunday 25 February 2018, movers and shakers in the world of UK theatre descended on London’s Prince of Wales Theatre for the 18th annual WhatsOnStage Awards. The ceremony has grown into one of the highlights of the year, celebrating the best in theatre, both West End and beyond.
This year’s award ceremony opened with a medley from musical cinema hit The Greatest Showman, performed by Aladdin‘s Matthew Croke and Strictly Ballroom‘s Jonny Label, as well as Hamilton‘s Christine Allado and Wicked‘s Melanie La Barrie.
Other notable first half live appearances were made by Janie Dee of Follies delivering a funny, empowering rendition of Could I Leave You?, as well as the duo from the recent staging of Stephen Schwartz’s Working delivering Lin-Manuel Miranda’s (the man behind Hamilton) A Very Good Day.
As well as an ensemble performance of Hair‘s Aquarius (Let The Sunshine In), celebrating the 50th anniversary of this evening’s best Off-West End Production, the first half closed with the soon-to-return Bat Out Of Hell cast performing For Crying Out Loud. Lead actors Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington effortlessly brought the spectacle of the huge production to the Prince of Wales Theatre.
Best Musical Revival 42nd Street delivered a glitzy performance of Go Into Your Dance, transferring the tap dancing masterclass from their Theatre Royal home.
A hint of things to come opened up the second half of the ceremony, with nods to three Broadway shows that could potentially be making their way over to the West End. Tyrone Huntley performed Waving Through A Window from runaway smash stateside hit Dear Evan Hansen. With music by Sara Bareilles, Wicked‘s Alice Fearn performed She Used To Be Mine from Waitress. The trio of future West End wishlist shows was rounded off by Hannah-Jane Fox’s performance of Me and the Sky, taken from Broadway’s Come From Away. In the show, the powerhouse solo is delivered by the character based on Beverly Bass, the first female captain for American Airlines, who landed her plane in Gander, Newfoundland, along with 37 other diverted aircrafts during the 9/11 terror attacks.
It was arguably Everybody’s Talking About Jamie‘s night. The biggest winners of the evening, John McCrea took Best Actor in a Musical, Lucie Shorthouse was announced as the Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, and the entire production walked away with the coveted Best New Musical gong. Fittingly, the evening ended with the full company performing the musical’s title track.
Other notable wins included 42nd Street being honoured for their technical production, including Best Set Design, Choreography and Costume, as well as winning the Best Musical Revival award.
Sam Mendes was celebrated for his directing of The Ferryman, which also saw awards given to Fra Fee’s supporting role, and as the Best New Play.
ITV series Broadchurch stars David Tennant and Olivia Coleman also won awards on the night, for leading roles in Don Juan In Soho and Mosquitos respectively.
Comedian and actor Ross Noble took home the Best Supporting Actor in a Musical award for his hilarious turn in Young Frankenstein.
Here are those winners in full:
Best Actor In A Play
David Tennant – Don Juan In Soho
Best Actress In A Play
Olivia Coleman – Mosquitos
Best Actor In A Musical
John McCrea – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Best Actress In A Musical
Carrie Hope Fletcher – The Addams Family
Best Supporting Actor In A Play
Fra Fee – The Ferryman
Best Supporting Actress In A Play
Juliet Stevenson – Hamlet
Best Supporting Actor In A Musical
Ross Noble – Young Frankenstein
Best Supporting Actress In A Musical
Lucie Shorthouse – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Best New Play
Best New Musical
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Best Play Revival
Best Musical Revival
Sam Mendes – The Ferryman
Randy Skinner – 42nd Street
Best Costume Design
Roger Kirk – 42nd Street
Best Set Design
Douglas W. Schmidt – 42nd Street
Best Lighting Design
Patrick Woodroffe – Bat Out Of Hell
Best Video Design
59 Productions – An American In Paris
Best Off-West End Production
Best Regional Production
Best Original Cast Recording
Best Show Poster
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Best West End Show
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Equity Award For Services to Theatre
Explore more from the world of theatre in our West End Guide.