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WhatsOnStage Awards 2024

Cast of La Cage Aux Follies

Had a fantastic evening at the London Palladium for the WhatsOnStage Awards 2024.

At the ceremony last night, hosted by Bonnie Langford and Melanie La Barrie, the winners of the 24th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards were announced – the only major theatre awards decided entirely by the theatregoers themselves.

The big winner of the night was Sunset Boulevard with seven awards from its nine nominations, receiving ‘Best Performer in a Musical’ for Nicole Scherzinger, ‘Best Professional Debut Performance’ for Grace Hodgett Young, ‘Best Direction’ for Jamie Lloyd, ‘Best Lighting Design’ for Jack Knowles, ‘Best Sound Design’ for Adam Fisher, ‘Best Video Design’ for Nathan Amzi and Joe Ransom, and ‘Best Music Direction/Supervision’ for Alan Williams.

The ‘Best Musical Revival’ was scooped by Guys & Dolls, still running to critical acclaim at the Bridge Theatre, one of three awards the production took home, also receiving ‘Best Set Design’ for Bunny Christie and ‘Best Graphic Design’ by Muse Creative.

In a very evenly spread remaining field, the straight play awards were led by A Little Life – Ivo van Hove’s adaptation of the publishing sensation by Hanya Yanagihara, with James Norton winning ‘Best Performer in a Play’, and Luke Thompson winning ‘Best Supporting Performer in a Play’. However, ‘Best New Play’ was snatched by the West End phenomenon Stranger Things: The First Shadow by Kate Trefry, with original story by the Duffer Brothers, Jack Thorne and Kate Trefry, currently running at the Phoenix Theatre. ‘Best Play Revival’ was won by VANYA, adapted for the stage by Simon Stephens with a tour de force performance by Andrew Scott.

‘Best New Musical’ was won by the highly garlanded Operation Mincemeat, which arrived in the West End last year. The other musical categories saw Jack Wolfe win ‘Best Supporting Performer in a Musical’ for the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Next to Normal, which transfers to the West End later this year; Aimee Lou Wood won ‘Best Takeover’ for her turn as Cabaret’s Sally Bowles with the production also winning ‘Best West End Show’; and ‘Best Choreography’ went to Matt Cole for Disney’s Newsies.

This year’s Award for Services to UK Theatre was presented to Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre, who has led the company to great critical success. This has culminated in one of the most prolific years for them with work across the West End, including Dear England, The Motive and The Cue, The Ocean at the End of the Lane and The Crucible, as well as across all their stages, and tours including The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Sucker Punch.

‘Best Costume Design’ went to Ryan Dawson Laight for his sumptuous work on La Cage aux Folles at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre; and ‘Best Casting Direction’ to Jill Green for The Little Big Things.

‘Best Off-West End Production’ went to Flowers for Mrs Harris; ‘Best Concert Event’ to Love Never Dies In Concert at Theatre Royal Drury Lane; and ‘Best Regional Production’ to The Lord of the Rings at The Watermill Theatre, continuing a spectacular year for the venue.

Performances at last night’s event included Disney’s Newsies, Flowers for Mrs Harris, Guys & Dolls, La Cage aux Folles, Next to Normal, Operation Mincemeat and The Sound of Music, accompanied by a 25-piece orchestra, as well as an exclusive world premiere from Burlesque the Musical, and three additional specially curated performances, including a tribute to Chita Rivera, a trip down memory lane to relive some iconic performances from the last few decades and a showcase of theatre’s next rising stars.

Congratulations to all winners and nominees - all worthy.

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