Shortlists have been announced for the 15th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards, the only major theatre prize-giving decided entirely by the theatregoers themselves.
Voting is now open and runs until 31 January 2015, with winners announced at the WhatsOnStage Awards Concert, held on 15 February at the West End's Prince of Wales Theatre (tickets available here).
The nominees were announced during the annual star-studded Awards Launch, held at Cafe de Paris and hosted by
Steve Furst and Angela Griffin. Guests were entertained by an introductory presentation from previous winner
Leading the shortlist tallies this year are major musicals
, with 12 and ten nominations respectively. Following closely behind is
with seven (see full shortlists below).
In the musical performance categories Eva Noblezada and Beverley Knight compete against Madalena Alberto (Evita), Gemma Arterton and Jenna Russell; and completing the Best Actor in a Musical category with Alistair Brammer, Jon Jon Briones and Killian Donnelly are Robert Lindsay and Marti Pellow.
leads the pack with six nominations including Tom Hiddleston for Best Actor in a Play, fresh from his recent win at the Evening Standard Awards. He faces stiff competition from David Tennant, also receiving a nomination for Shakespeare with his performance as
Richard Armitage and Mark Strong complete the category for their critically acclaimed performances in
respectively. Armitage takes ones of six nominations for The Old Vic\'s
And it\'s another great year for previous winner Imelda Staunton, who receives a nomination for Best Actress in a Play for
also recognised in the Best Regional Production category. Staunton is up against Gillian Anderson for
Sita McIntosh, chief operating officer for WhatsOnStage, said today, "I am delighted to see that in their 15th year the WhatsOnStage Awards continue to go from strength to strength, with more nominations than ever. These awards are voted for by the ticket-buying public, the people who ultimately decide the success of shows by digging deep in an ever-challenging economic climate to buy seats.
"It is also fantastic to see the range of shows and performers nominated, from blockbuster new musicals to acclaimed fringe revivals, and Arthur Miller to Shakespeare. We are grateful to our readers for taking the time to acknowledge the rich, cultural landscape of theatre that we are so fortunate to have on our doorstep."
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
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.
Best Actor in a Play sponsored by Radisson Blu Edwardian:
• Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall & Bring Up the Bodies
Best Musical Revival sponsored by R&H Theatricals Europe:
• Bob Avian & Geoffrey Garratt, Miss Saigon
• Totie Driver & Matt Kinley, Miss Saigon
Best Lighting Design sponsored by White Light:
• Oh, the Humanity and Other Good Intentions, Tabard Theatre
First look at Anna Kendrick singing 'On the Steps of the Palace' from
Shortlists announced for 15th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards, voting opens
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