WhatsOnStage Award winners 2022

The WhatsOnStage Awards were presented at an in-person ceremony at the Prince of Wales Theatre on Sunday February 27th.

Musicals FROZEN, ANYTHING GOES and BACK TO THE FUTURE were the big winners in a star-studded evening which also saw awards for smaller regional productions too.

FROZEN was the biggest winner with a clutch of offstage awards including Best Direction, Musical Direction, Choreography, Sound Design, Sets, Costumes, Video Design and Graphic Design

ANYTHING GOES won Best Musical Revival and Best Female Identifying Supporting Role for the delightful Carly Mercedes Dyer, who very much deserved it in my opinion!

BACK TO THE FUTURE won Best New Musical despite missing out on lead acting awards except for Hugh Coles who won Best Supporting Male Identifying Performance. It also won Best Lighting.

Kenny Wax’s SIX THE MUSICAL won the annual Best West End Show Award this year.

It was good to see Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre win Best Regional Production for RENT.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

For a full list of winners and nominees please click here


OFFIES 2022 announced this weekend

The 2022 Offies Awards Ceremony will be held this Sunday 20th February from 7-9pm (UK time).  These awards are for fringe and independent theatres and their productions.

For those interested but anble to attned, the good news is that the ceremony will be screened via Scenesaver, which you can find here  https://www.scenesaver.co.uk/production/the-offies-2022-awards-ceremony/  The event is free to attend – but you do need to be registered with Scenesaver prior to the event start time, in order to avoid digital bottlenecks and tech issues.

Alongside the core Offies awards, this year they will be announcing winners for the Offiettes ( recognising shows for young people), the OnComm for online shows and the OffFest for shows as part of theatre festivals – including, for the first time, the Brighton Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe and Greater Manchester Fringe.  They will also be announcing their Special Offies awards and some additional OneOff awards, and highlighting the OffComm recipients in 2021 for outstanding short run shows. 

Last year we included words of support from a number of well known faces – there will be a few of these again but they have decided this year to hear from some of those involved in shows which are currently (or will shortly be) on stage at OffWestEnd venues.  There will also be an announcement of the results of the People’s Vote which now runs all year round, starting from 1 March – to increase the opportunities for audiences and supporters to vote for their favourite theatres.

It proves to be an interesting evening, so do join them if you can. Maybe I’ll “see” you there!


Voting for the WhatsOnStage Awards closes January 21st

Its nearly closing time for public voting for the annual WhatsOnStage Awards!

This is an opportunity for you to make your selection from the shortlists which were created from public nominations at the end of last year. And these are the only awards which are voted for exclusively by the theatregoing public.

So take a wander over to their website which you can find here, and cast your votes .

The awards ceremony will be held on 27th February.


Winners announced of the Black British Theatre Awards 2021

The winners of the 2021 Black British Theatre Awards were announced on Sunday 21st November at a reception at Old Finsbury Town Hall, London.

Hosted by Cynthia Erivo (Wicked) and Danny Sapani (Black Panther), the event welcomed guest presenters including Miriam-Teak Lee (Hamilton), Jason Pennycooke (Moulin Rouge!), Dawn Hope (Follies), Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp (Interim CEO at Eclipse Theatre Company), Mzz Kimberley/Kim Tatum (Straight White Men), Matthew Xia (Blue/Orange), Brenda Emmanus (arts, culture, entertainment correspondent), Nadine Benjamin, Layton Williams (Everyone’s Talking About Jamie) and Ahmet Ahmet (director of Get Into Theatre).

Those with multiple wins were Miranda Cromwell’s production of and breathe… at the Almeida with four awards, and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet also won four awards.

The winner for each category is highlighted in bold type in the list below.

CREATIVES GROUP
BEST DIRECTOR AWARD FOR A PLAY OR MUSICAL
Anthony Simpson-Pike, Lava, Bush Theatre
Miranda Cromwell, and breathe…, Almeida Theatre
Tinuke Craig,The Color Purple – at Home, Curve, in association with Birmingham Hippodrome

BEST MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Femi Temowo, and breathe…, Almeida Theatre
Ian Oakley, From Here, Chiswick Playhouse
Nadine Lee, Bagdad Cafe, The Old Vic

BEST PRODUCER AWARD
and breathe…, Almeida Theatre
Chris Steward and Shanay Holmes, West End Musical Celebration at Palace Theatre
Tanisha Spring, A Killer Party

BEST CHOREOGRAPHER AWARD
Dannielle ‘Rhimes’ Lecointe, The Sun, The Moon and The Stars, Theatre Royal Stratford East
Ingrid Mackinnon, Romeo and Juliet, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Sarah Golding, Cruise, Duchess Theatre

BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE IN A DANCE PRODUCTION AWARD
Joseph Sissens, The Statement, The Royal Ballet

BEST DANCE PRODUCTION AWARD
And Still We Dance!, Afro Dance Xplosion
Far From the Norm, BLKDOG
‘Like Water’, Ballet Black

BEST USE OF INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY
Chris Steward and Shanay Holmes, West End Musical Celebration at Palace Theatre
Ryan Carter, The Secret Society of Leading Ladies, Barn Theatre

RECOGNITION GROUP (BODY OF WORK)
LIGHT AND SOUND RECOGNITION AWARD
Tony Gayle

COSTUME DESIGN RECOGNITION AWARD
Jodie-Simone Howe

BOOK AND LYRICS RECOGNITION AWARD
Annabel Mutale Reed
Benedict Lombe
Yomi Sode

MUSICAL DIRECTOR RECOGNITION AWARD
Ian Oakley
Sean Green

CASTING DIRECTOR RECOGNITION AWARD
Chandra Ruegg
Isabella Odoffin

ACHIEVEMENTS GROUP
LGBTQ CHAMPION AWARD
Alex Thomas-Smith
Jay Perry
Nicole Raquel Dennis

BEST TEACHER OF PERFORMING ARTS AS A SUBJECT AWARD
Ashley Campbell, British Theatre Academy
Hakeem Onibudo, Impact Dance
Kamara Gray, Artistry Youth Dance

BEST RECENT GRADUATE AWARD
Georgina Onuorah, Arts Educational Schools
Kayla Carter, Royal Academy of Music
Natasha May-Thomas, Urdang Academy

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Derek Griffiths MBE

PLAYS GROUP
BEST MALE ACTOR IN A PLAY
David Jonsson, and breathe…, Almeida Theatre
Michael Balogun, Death of England, National Theatre
Omari Douglas, Constellations, Vaudeville Theatre

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A PLAY
Isabel Adomakoh Young, Romeo and Juliet, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo, Lava, Bush Theatre
Tia Bannon, seven methods of killing kylie jenner, Royal Court Theatre

BEST SUPPORTING MALE ACTOR IN A PLAY
Andrew French, Romeo and Juliet, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Ola Ayofe, After Life, National Theatre
Stephen K Amos, My Night With Reg, Turbine Theatre

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE ACTOR IN A PLAY
Anoushka Lucas, After Life, National Theatre
Aretha Ayeh, Romeo and Juliet, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Rosalind Eleazar, Uncle Vanya, Harold Pinter Theatre

BEST PRODUCTION PLAY
and breathe…, Almeida Theatre
J’Ouvert, Harold Pinter Theatre
Lava, Bush Theatre

MUSICALS GROUP

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL AWARD
Ivano Turco, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, Gillian Lynne Theatre
Liam Tamne, The Prince Of Egypt, Dominion Theatre
Tyrone Huntley, Jesus Christ Superstar, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL AWARD
Lucy St Louis, The Phantom of the Opera, Her Majesty’s Theatre
Marisha Wallace, Hairspray The Musical, London Coliseum
Shanay Holmes, Disenchanted

BEST SUPPORTING MALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL AWARD
Ashley Samuels, Hairspray the Musical, London Coliseum
Caleb Roberts, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, Gillian Lynne Theatre
John Pfumojena, Carousel, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL AWARD
Gloria Onitiri, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, Gillian Lynne Theatre
Natasha May-Thomas, Carousel, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Tanisha Spring, The Prince Of Egypt, Dominion Theatre

BEST MUSICAL PRODUCTION AWARD
The Color Purple – at Home, Curve, in association with Birmingham Hippodrome
The Last Five Years, Minack Theatre
West End Musical Celebration, Palace Theatre


Theatres Trust funding supports new approaches to recovery for theatres at risk

The Theatres Trust has announced the four theatres who will receive support funding in the third year of their Capacity Building Programme.

The programme is designed to support theatres on our Theatres at Risk Register to commission expert advice and acquire the skills and knowledge to push forward capital projects to help save their theatres. Alongside the grant, each theatre will receive support from the Theatres Trust’s advice team.

The four theatres receiving a share of the £45,000 fund are:

Brighton Hippodrome, £8,000
Grade II* listed Brighton Hippodrome is the UK’s most architecturally significant circus theatre – the finest surviving example of its type in the country. It has been on the Theatres at Risk Register since 2006 when the list began, and is also on the Historic England Heritage at Risk Register. Brighton Hippodrome CIC will receive a grant for fundraising scoping and testing, forming part of a wider fundraising strategy for the Hippodrome to enable the group to make a strong case for its future as a theatre.

Doncaster Grand, £11,500
An ornate Grade II listed Victorian theatre with strong community support, Doncaster Grand has been on the Theatres at Risk Register since the list started in 2006. Doncaster Council has been awarded a Theatres at Risk Capacity Building grant to part-fund a viability study for the theatre. The study will be led by the local authority with involvement from the Friends of Doncaster Grand Theatre and the building owner, Frenchgate Limited Partnership.

King’s Theatre Kirkcaldy, £7,000
Originally opened as the King’s Theatre in 1904, it later became a cinema, remaining Kirkcaldy’s main picture house until its closure in 2000. The building remained empty, suffering from a lack of maintenance, leading to it being added to the Theatres at Risk Register in 2016. It was then bought by King’s Theatre Kirkcaldy in 2016, who plan to restore the building to create Fife’s largest performing arts venue. The Theatre at Risk Capacity Building Programme will support King’s Theatre Kirkcaldy Limited to commission a community feasibility study for the theatre. This will provide a comprehensive understanding of the audience and market demand based on detailed market analysis and feedback from the local community.

Ramsbottom Co-op Hall, £19,000
This was only added to the Theatres at Risk Register in 2021 and recently awarded Grade II listed status following a Theatres Trust submission, Ramsbottom Co-op Hall is a rare early surviving example of a Cooperative Hall. It was originally used for variety entertainment of the kind commonly associated with music halls as well as community meetings. The recently formed Ramsbottom Co-op Hall Heritage Trust Ltd will receive funding and support to commission a market appraisal and a building valuation survey, vital first steps in the project to return the building to community performance use.

Claire Appleby, Architecture Adviser at Theatres Trust, said “We believe every theatre on our Theatres at Risk list has the potential to be returned for use by their communities, providing performance venues of types currently lacking in their local areas and bringing much needed footfall to beleaguered high streets. We are pleased to support these theatres as we know from experience that these early stages can make a crucial difference to the progress of theatre revitalisation projects.”

Theatres Trust have expressed their gratitude to The Pilgrim Trust and Swire Charitable Trust for funding the Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme.

I am sure we all wish these buildings every success with their road back to performance.