The winners have been announced at the Prince of Wales Theatre for the 17th annual WhatsOnStage Awards, presented by Simon Lipkin and Vikki Stone, celebrating the best of the UK’s theatre over the past year. The awards are the only major theatre prizes to be voted for entirely by the audience.
Half a Sixpence was the most successful musical with three awards, including Best Actor in a Musical for Charlie Stemp, Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for Emma Williams and Best Choreography.
Its producer Cameron Mackintosh was also celebrated with the Equity Award for Lifetime Achievement (So Far) as he marked 50 years in the theatre business.
However, Half a Sixpence lost out in the Best New Musical category to School of Rock, while the Best Musical Revival category was claimed by Funny Girl.
Amber Riley was named Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Dreamgirls and Best Supporting Actor in a Musical went to Trevor Dion Nicholas for Disney’s Aladdin, which also saw success in the Best Costume Design category.
Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s musical The Girls, soon to open in the West End, won Best Regional Production and, in a WhatsOnStage first, Wicked and Les Misérables tied for Best West End Show.
In the celebration of London’s Fringe theatre, The Last Five Years took Best Off-West End Production.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child led the awards with eight victories, a WhatsOnStage Award record for a play, including Best Actor in a Play for Jamie Parker, Best Supporting Actress in a Play for Noma Dumezweni, Best Supporting Actor in a Play for Anthony Boyle, Best New Play, Best Director for John Tiffany, Best Set Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Video Design.
In the other acting awards, Billie Piper claimed Best Actress in a Play for Yerma, her second WhatsOnStage Award in three years following her 2015 Best Actress in a Play victory for Great Britain.
No Man’s Land, starring Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, won Best Play Revival.
A number of winners and stars from winning shows performed at the event including Gary Barlow, who performed the song ‘Scarborough’ from The Girls alongside Joanna Riding; Amber Riley who performed ‘Listen’ from Dreamgirls alongside Liisi LaFontaine; the cast of Half of a Sixpence with ‘Flash, Bang, Wallop’; Trevor Dion Nicholas who sung ‘Somebody’s Got Your Back’ from Disney’s Aladdin with Dean John-Wilson; and Gary Trainor and the company of The School Rock who performed ‘Teacher’s Pet’.
There were further performances from Tyrone Huntley who sung ‘Heaven On Their Minds’ from Jesus Christ Superstar and Ria Jones with ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye’ from Sunset Boulevard (the actress can be seen in the Curve Leicester production in September 2017 before touring the UK and Ireland).
The full list of winners are as follows:
Best Actor in a Musical:
Charlie Stemp for Half a Sixpence
Best Actress in a Musical:
Amber Riley for Dreamgirls
Best Supporting Actor in a Musical:
Trevor Dion Nicholas for Disney’s Aladdin
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical
Emma Williams for Half a Sixpence
Best New Musical:
School of Rock
Best Musical Revival:
Andrew Wright for Half a Sixpence
Best Costume Design:
Gregg Barnes for Disney’s Aladdin
The Last Five Years (St James Theatre)
Best Regional Production:
The Girls (national tour)
Best West End Show:
Best Actor in a Play:
Jamie Parker for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Best Actress in a Play:
Billie Piper for Yerma
Best Supporting Actor in a Play:
Anthony Boyle for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Best Supporting Actress in a Play:
Noma Dumezweni for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Best New Play:
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Best Play Revival:
No Man’s Land
John Tiffany for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Best Set Design:
Christine Jones for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Best Lighting Design:
Neil Austin for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Best Video Design:
Finn Ross and Ash Woodward for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Best Off-West End Production:
Equity Award for Lifetime Achievement (So Far):