At a ceremony last night, 17 February 2013, at the Palace Theatre in London a host of West End stars gathered for the annual awards, voted for by members of the theatregoing public.
Hosted by Mel Giedroyc and Rufus Hound, over 60,000 people voted for this year’s awards.
Big winners included Chichester’s West End transfer of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, with Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton both taking home awards for Best Actor and Best Actress in a Musical. The show also picked up gongs for Best Musical Revival, Best Director for Jonathan Kent and Best Lighting Designer for Mark Henderson.
Other musicals to take home prizes last night included The Bodyguard, which against stiff competition scooped the Best New Musical award. The arena tour production of Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar saw Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical awards go to Tim Minchin and Melanie C respectively.
And hot on the heels of the new film version of Les Miserables, Cameron Mackintosh’s original London production at the Queen’s Theatre won Best West End Show and Best Takeover for Ramin Karimloo for his performance as Jean Valjean.
In other musical awards, pop star Will Young received the London Newcomer of the Year award for his West End debut performance as the Emcee in Cabaret at the Savoy Theatre. Broadway star Idina Menzel, the original Elphaba in Wicked, scooped Best Solo Performance for her West End concert last year, Boy George musical Taboo at Brixton Club House won Best Off-West End Production, and Green Day’s Broadway musical American Idiot took Best Regional Production for its autumn tour.
In drama, Sheridan Smith continued her awards run as she took Best Actress in a Play for Hedda Gabler at the Old Vic. Best Supporting Actress in a Play went to Natalie Casey, currently starring in the National tour of 9 to 5 The Musical, for her performance in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s revival of Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party, which also won Best Play Revival.
Best Actor in a Play went to Rupert Everett for his current theatrical performance as Oscar Wilde in The Judas Kiss at the Duke of York’s Theatre.
Shakespeare’s Globe’s Richard III and Twelfth Night double-bill earned earned three awards: Best Ensemble Performance for the company, Best Shakespearean Production for Twelfth Night and Best Supporting Actor in a Play for Stephen Fry as Malvolio in Twelfth Night.
The National Theatre’s stage adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time was named Best New Play ahead of its transfer to the Apollo Theatre in the West End, and Graham Linehan’s stage version of the Ealing comedy The Ladykillers won Best New Comedy.
In other awards, Danny Boyle’s Olympics Opening Ceremony was rewarded with the Theatre Event of the Year gong. And the late Marvin Hamlisch was honoured in the Best Original Music category for his score for Sweet Smell of Success, which received its UK premiere in October at London’s Arcola Theatre. Hamlisch’s musical A Chorus Line is now running at the London Palladium.
Highlights of the Whatsonstage Awards 2013