WhatsOnStage Awards – Miss Saigon and Memphis the Musical dominate nominations

Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon picked up 12 nominations for the 15th Annual WhatsOn Stage Awards. Picture: Roy Tan

Miss Saigon picked up 12 nominations for the 15th Annual WhatsOn Stage Awards. Picture: Roy Tan

At a ceremony held today at London’s Café de Paris, Angela Griffin and Steve Furst announced the nominees for the 15th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards. The announcement of the nominations marks the opening of the final voting stage (closes 31 January 2015), with winners announced at the annual Awards Concert held on Sunday 15 February at the Prince of Wales Theatre.

This year’s awards are dominated by the big musicals, with Miss Saigon leading the shortlists with 12 nominations across ten categories – Eva Noblezada for Best Actress in a Musical, Alistair Brammer and Jon Jon Briones for Best Actor in a Musical, Rachelle Ann Go for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, Kwang-Ho Hong and Hugh Maynard for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, Laurence Connor for Best Direction, Bob Avian and Geoffrey Garratt for Best Choreography, Totie Driver and Matt Kinley for Best Set Design, Bruno Poet for Best Lighting Design, as well as nominations for Best Musical Revival and Best West End Show. They are closely followed by Memphis the Musical with ten nominations across ten categories including nominations for both Beverley Knight and Killian Donnelly, and Urinetown the Musical with 7 nods.

In the musical performance categories Eva Noblezada and Beverley Knight compete against Madalena Alberto (Evita), Gemma Arterton (Made in Dagenham) and Jenna Russell (Urinetown the Musical); and completing the Best Actor in a Musical category with Alistair Brammer, Jon Jon Briones and Killian Donnelly are Robert Lindsay for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Marti Pellow for Evita.

It’s another great year for previous winner Imelda Staunton who receives a nomination for Best Actress in a Play for Good People, with her performance in Gypsy also recognised in the Best Regional Production category.

For Best New Musical, the nominations are Here Lies Love, Made in Dagenham, Memphis the Musical, Sunny Afternoon and Urinetown the Musical; with Best Musical Revival between Evita, Miss Saigon, Porgy and Bess, Sweeney Todd and The Pajama Game.

Best Direction is split between musicals and plays with Christopher Ashley (Memphis the Musical), Laurence Connor (Miss Saigon) and Jamie Lloyd (Urinetown the Musical) battling it out against Gregory Doran (Richard II) and Yaël Farber (The Crucible).

An eclectic list of nominees for Best Off-West End Production features Dogfight, Forbidden Broadway, In the Heights and Twickenham Theatre’s Sweeney Todd. Alongside Gypsy for Best Regional Production are Guys and Dollsalso from Chichester, Sheffield Crucible’s Oliver!, Nottingham Playhouse’s The Kite Runner, and Water Babies which premiered at Curve Leicester.

The Best West End Show sees a mix of new and long running productions with Les Misérables, Matilda the Musical, Memphis the Musical, Miss Saigon and Wicked competing for the crown.

As in 2014, the 15th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards will be held in aid of adopted charity The Big Issue Foundation, the charitable organisation which helps the The Big Issue magazine’s homeless vendors take their next steps off the street. During the partnership The Big Issue Foundation is hosting Stage Swap, and many West End performers (including Alison Steadman) have already taken the chance to swap the stage for the street and joined vendors to sell the magazine. There will also be a chance for people to bid in a theatre themed auction event during the awards vote.

The WhatsOnStage Awards are firmly recognised as being the people’s choice and in order to maintain that position, this year after registering their vote, the public will be given the opportunity to choose a category that they would like to see added for the 2016 Awards. The most popular categories will be considered for inclusion in next year’s nominations.

At this year’s launch party, previous WhatsOnStage Award winner The Play That Goes Wrong performed a piece specially commissioned for the event; alongside a musical performance by one of this year’s nominees, Evita star Madalena Alberto.

www.tinyurl.com/kfopxb7

The 15th Annual WhatsOnStage Award MUSICAL THEATRE nominees are:
Best Actor in a Musical:
  • Alistair Brammer, Miss Saigon
  • Jon Jon Briones, Miss Saigon
  • Killian Donnelly, Memphis the Musical
  • Marti Pellow, Evita
  • Robert Lindsay, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Best Actress in a Musical:
  • Beverley Knight, Memphis the Musical
  • Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon
  • Gemma Arterton, Made in Dagenham
  • Jenna Russell, Urinetown the Musical
  • Madalena Alberto, Evita
Best Supporting Actor in a Musical:
  • Ben Forster, Evita
  • George Maguire, Sunny Afternoon
  • Hugh Maynard, Miss Saigon
  • Kwang-Ho Hong, Miss Saigon
  • Rolan Bell, Memphis the Musical
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical:
  • Claire Machin, Memphis the Musical
  • Karis Jack, Urinetown the Musical
  • Katherine Kingsley, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • Rachelle Ann Go, Miss Saigon
  • Samantha Bond, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Best New Musical:
  • Here Lies Love
  • Made in Dagenham
  • Memphis the Musical
  • Sunny Afternoon
  • Urinetown the Musical
Best Musical Revival:
  • Evita
  • Miss Saigon
  • The Pajama Game
  • Porgy and Bess
  • Sweeney Todd
Best Direction:
  • Christopher Ashley, Memphis the Musical
  • Jamie Lloyd, Urinetown the Musical
  • Laurence Connor, Miss Saigon
Best Choreography:
  • Ann Yee, Urinetown the Musical
  • Bob Avian and Geoffrey Garratt, Miss Saigon
  • Drew McOnie, In the Heights
  • Jerry Mitchell, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • Sergio Trujillo, Memphis the Musical
Best Set Design:
  • Bunny Christie, Made in Dagenham
  • David Gallo, Memphis the Musical
  • Soutra Gilmour, Urinetown the Musical
  • Totie Driver & Matt Kinley, Miss Saigon
Best Lighting Design:
  • Adam Silverman, Urinetown the Musical
  • Bruno Poet, Miss Saigon
  • Howell Binkley, Memphis the Musical
  • Jon Clark, Made in Dagenham
Best Off-West End Production:
  • Dogfight, Southwark Playhouse
  • Forbidden Broadway, Menier Chocolate Factory
  • In the Heights, Southwark Playhouse
  • Sweeney Todd, Twickenham Theatre
Best Regional Production:
  • Guys and Dolls, Chichester Festival Theatre
  • Gypsy, Chichester Festival Theatre
  • Oliver!, Sheffield Crucible
  • Water Babies, Curve Leicester
Best Takeover in a Role:
  • Craige Els, Matilda the Musical
  • David Hunter, Once
  • Jennifer DiNoia, Wicked
  • Kerry Ellis, Wicked
  • Michael Watson, Jersey Boys
Best West End Show:
  • Les Misérables
  • Matilda the Musical
  • Memphis the Musical
  • Miss Saigon
  • Wicked
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