Kinky Boots and In the Heights lead nominations in WhatsOnStage Awards 2016

Amy Lennox and Killian Donnelly in Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre. Picture: Johan Persson

Amy Lennox and Killian Donnelly in Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre. The musical has nine nominations in the WhatsOnStage Awards. Picture: Johan Persson

At a ceremony held today at London’s Café de Paris, Steve Furst announced the nominees for the 16th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards, the only major theatre prize-giving decided entirely by the theatregoers themselves. The announcement of the nominations marks the opening of the final voting stage (closes 31 January), with winners announced at the annual Awards Concert held on 21 February 2016 at the Prince of Wales Theatre.

WhatsOnStage’s chief operating officer Sita McIntosh said today: “It’s been an incredibly strong year for theatre, and the shortlist celebrates the best work from across London – both West End and off-West End – and from around the UK, with Chichester Festival Theatre securing 12 nominations, more than any other single venue. This year’s nominations are also dominated by musicals with Kinky Boots and In The Heights tying with nine nominations apiece. Unusually they are matched by a play – this year’s blockbuster Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch which dominated headlines over the summer.

 “We’re thrilled to see our awards go from strength to strength – with more members of the public voting than ever before. It’s this that makes our awards so special – we give the public the voice to decide, the people who buy the tickets and ultimately decide on the success of a production.”

This year sees the big musicals Kinky Boots and In The Heights lead the nominations with nine each, with Gypsy securing eight, taken on by the blockbuster production of Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch, also with nine nominations.

It has been another good year for productions at the Chichester Festival Theatre – securing 12 nominations across two categories. Their production of Mack & Mabel is nominated for four awards including Best Actor in a Musical for Michael Ball, Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for Jack Edwards, Best Musical Revival and Best Regional Production. Meanwhile, Gypsy, which recently completed its run in the West End, has secured eight nominations including Best Actress in a Musical for Imelda Staunton’s powerhouse performance as Mama Rose. In the Best Actress in a Musical category, Staunton faces competition from Beverley Knight (Cats), Kimberley Walsh (Elf), Lily Frazer (In The Heights) and Katie Brayben (Beautiful).

The Best Actor in a Musical category see a face-off between co-stars Killian Donnelly and Matt Henry from Kinky Boots, as well as Michael Ball (Mack & Mabel), Sam Mackay (In The Heights) and Ben Forster (Elf).

Sam Mackay and cast in In the Heights at the King’s Cross Theatre, London. Picture: Johan Persson

Also with nine nominations, In The Heights, currently at the King’s Cross Theatre, London. Picture: Johan Persson

The cast of the Barbican’s Hamlet has amassed five nominations including Benedict Cumberbatch for Best Actor in a Play, Ciaran Hinds and Kobna Holdbrook for Best Supporting Actor, and Sian Brooke and Anastasia Hille in the Best Supporting Actress. Hamlet is also nominated in the Best Play Revival, Best Set Design (Es Devlin), Best Lighting Design (Jane Cox) and Best Direction (Lyndsey Turner). Turner faces competition from Luke Sheppard (In The Heights), Racky Plews (American Idiot), Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots) and Jonathan Kent (Gypsy) in the Best Direction category.

One of Elf the Musical’s four nominations is in the Best New Musical category where it will face strong competition from Kinky BootsBend It Like BeckhamBeautiful and In the Heights.

The Best West End Show category features four of the same productions as last year: WickedLes MisérablesMiss Saigon and Matilda. Kinky Boots is the only new production to be nominated this year. The Best Off-West End Production category sees nominations for Shock TreatmentCarrieAssassinsGrand Hotel and You Won’t Succeed on Broadway If You Don’t Have Any Jews.

Performances at the event include songs from the musicals leading the nominations, with ‘96,000’ from In The Heights and Amy Lennox singing ‘The History of Wrong Guys’ from Kinky Boots

 The 16th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards will be held in aid of adopted charity, The Kevin Spacey Foundation (www.kevinspaceyfoundation.org).

www.whatsonstage.com

THE 16TH ANNUAL WHATSONSTAGE AWARDS NOMINEES IN FULL:

Best Actor in a Play sponsored by Radisson Blu Edwardian:

·         Benedict Cumberbatch, Hamlet

·         James McAvoy, The Ruling Class

·         Bradley Cooper, The Elephant Man

·         Mark Rylance, Farinelli and the King

·         Alex Hassell, Henry V

Best Actress in a Play:

·         Nicole Kidman, Photograph 51

·         Denise Gough, People, Places and Things

·         Lia Williams, Oresteia

·         Rosalie Craig, As You Like It

·         Harriet Walter, Death of a Salesman

Best Actor in a Musical:

·         Killian Donnelly, Kinky Boots

·         Michael Ball, Mack & Mabel

·         Matt Henry, Kinky Boots

·         Sam Mackay, In The Heights

·         Ben Forster, Elf the Musical

Best Actress in a Musical sponsored by STAR:

·         Imelda Staunton, Gypsy

·         Beverley Knight, Cats

·         Kimberley Walsh, Elf the Musical

·         Lily Frazer, In The Heights

·         Katie Brayben, Beautiful

Best Supporting Actor in a Play:

·         Ciaran Hinds, Hamlet

·         Mark Gatiss, Three Days in the Country

·         Bertie Carvel, Bakkhai

·         Johnny Flynn, Hangmen

·         Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Hamlet

Best Supporting Actress in a Play:

·         Sian Brooke, Hamlet

·         Anastasia Hille, Hamlet

·         Imogen Doel, The Importance of Being Earnest

·         Patsy Ferran, As You Like It

·         Judi Dench, The Winter’s Tale

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical:

·         Lucas Rush, American Idiot

·         Alexis Gerred, American Idiot

·         David Bedella, In The Heights

·         Jack Edwards, Mack & Mabel

·         Peter Davison, Gypsy

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical:

·         Lara Pulver, Gypsy

·         Jennie Dale, Elf the Musical

·         Amy Lennox, Kinky Boots

·         Lauren Samuels, Bend It Like Beckham

·         Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, In The Heights

Best New Play:

·         Hangmen

·         Oppenheimer

·         Photograph 51

·         People, Places and Things

·         Farinelli and the King

Best New Musical sponsored by Autograph:

·         Kinky Boots

·         Bend It Like Beckham

·         Elf the Musical

·         Beautiful

·         In The Heights

Best Play Revival:

·         Hamlet

·         The Importance of Being Earnest

·         The Ruling Class

·         Death of a Salesman

·         Oresteia

Best Musical Revival sponsored by R&H Theatricals Europe:

·         Gypsy

·         Cats

·         High Society

·         Mack & Mabel

·         American Idiot

Best Direction sponsored by Managed Networks:

·         HamletLyndsey Turner

·         In The Heights, Luke Sheppard

·         American IdiotRacky Plews

·         Kinky BootsJerry Mitchell

·         GypsyJonathan Kent

Best Choreography sponsored by Capezio:

·         Kinky BootsJerry Mitchell

·         In The HeightsDrew McOnie

·         High SocietyNathan M Wright

·         GypsyStephen Mear

·         American Idiot Racky Plews

Best Set Design sponsored by Feast Creative:

·         HamletEs Devlin 

·         American IdiotSara Perks

·         Kinky Boots David Rockwell

·         In The HeightsTakis

·         GypsyAnthony Ward

Best Lighting Design sponsored by White Light:

·         HamletJane Cox

·         In The HeightsHoward Hudson

·         American IdiotTim Deiling 

·         Kinky BootsKenneth Posner

·         GypsyMark Henderson

Best Off-West End Production:

·         Shock Treatment, King’s Head Theatre

·         Carrie, Southwark Playhouse

·         You Won’t Succeed on Broadway If You Don’t Have Any Jews, St James Theatre

·         Grand Hotel, Southwark Playhouse

·         Assassins, The Menier Chocolate Factory

Best Regional Production sponsored by Travelzoo:

·         Mack & Mabel, Chichester Festival Theatre and tour

·         Mary Poppins, tour

·         Anything Goes, Sheffield Crucible and tour

·         Hairspray, tour

·         Henry V, RSC

Best West End Show:

·         Wicked

·         Les Misérables

·         Kinky Boots

·         Miss Saigon

·         Matilda

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