News Published 21 February 2011

What’s On Stage Awards 2011: The Winners

Wins for Legally Blonde and Les Miserables

Rosanna Hall

Legally Blonde and the 25th anniversary production of Les Miserables were among the big winners at this year’s What’s on Stage Awards, held on the 20th February at the Prince of Wales Theatre in the West End.

 Co-hosted by Sheridan Smith, Christopher Biggins and Miranda Hart, the awards are voted for by the public. Legally Blonde picked up four awards including Best Actress in a Musical, which went to co-host Smith. Jill Halfpenny picked up the Best Supporting Actress in Musical award as Elle’s best friend Paulette, and the production also picked up Best Choreographer for Jerry Mitchell and the Best New Musical Award.

The 25th anniversary concert performance of Les Miserables at the 02 Arena, which brought together 500 past and present cast members, picked up both Best Ensemble Performance and the AKA Theatre Event of the year, while the Barbican production of the musical was awarded Best New Musical Revival.

Zoe Wanamaker and David Suchet won Best Actress and Actor in a Play for their respective performances in the West End production of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, the latter winning out over both Rory Kinnear and Benedict Cumberbatch, while Ramin Karimloo and Joseph Millson picked up Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for their performances the Phantom and his rival Raoul in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom follow up, Love Never Dies.

Tamsin Greig picked up Best Supporting Actress in a Play for The Little Dog Laughed at the Garrick, while Best Supporting Actor in a Play went to Nigel Lindsay for his role in the Tricycle Theatre’s production of Arthur Miller’s Broken Glass.

Best Set Designer went to Joanna Scotcher for her work on The Railway Children at Waterloo Station, while Best Lighting Director was given to James Farncombe for his work on Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson’s Ghost Stories, which began life at the Lyric Hammersmith before transferring to the West End.

Wicked picked up the Equity Best West End Show and Rachel Tucker picked up the award for Best Take Over in a Role for her performance in the show.

Meera Syal picked up Best Solo Performance for her performance in Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine, a production that originated at the Menier Chocolate Factory, and Best Play Revival Award went to the West End production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Novello, a production which starred Adrian Lester and James Earl Jones.

London Newcomer of the Year award was given to sometime Glee star Jonathon Groff for his performance in Deathtrap while Best New Play Award was given to Howard Brenton’s Anne Boleyn which was staged last summer at the Globe and will be returning as part of the 2011 season. Yes, Prime Minister, written by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, won Best New Comedy – gaining the edge on Bruce Norris’ near-universally acclaimed Clybourne Park – while the Shakespeare 4KIDZ Best Shakespearean Production went to the Nicholas Hyner’s National Theatre production of Hamlet starring Rory Kinnear.

Best Off West End Production went to the innovative and exciting production of La Boheme which originated at the Cock Tavern, Kilburn before making the leap to Soho Theatre. The Last Second Tickets Award for Best Director went to Timothy Sheader for his imaginative staging of Sondheim’s Into the Woods and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park.

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Rosanna Hall is a contributor to Exeunt Magazine

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