The WhatsOnStage Awards have announced a very different kind of ceremony for their 21st year. With the majority of theatre’s having been closed for a year, audiences won’t nominate shows or performers, but ‘Angels’ who have touched their lives during the pandemic.
Twenty one Angels will be recognised during an online ceremony on 14th March, which will also include performances from shows that were cut short in 2020.
All productions that would have been eligible for the 2021 WhatsOnStage Awards will automatically be “rolled over” and included in the nominations for 2022, so all productions that opened from December 2019 until 16 March 2020 will still have an opportunity to be voted on.
Tickets will go on sale at 11am on Friday 19 February and full details on how to nominate an Angel will be announced shortly on www.whatsonstage.com
Sita Mcintosh, COO Of WhatsOnStage said, “Coronavirus has decimated the UK theatre industry. World War Two closed theatres for a few weeks. 9/11 closed Broadway for 48 hours. COVID-19 has closed UK theatres for almost a year and counting…
“Even though a handful of venues have reopened with socially distanced performances, the shared joy of live theatre has been temporarily lost to audiences up and down the country, not to mention the catastrophic impact on performers, musicians, creatives and a whole army of unseen whose work literally dried up overnight.
“At this time of year, we would normally be looking forward to the annual WhatsOnStage Awards Ceremony but to reflect the extraordinary times we find ourselves in, we have decided to take a different approach.
“This year, the 2021 WhatsOnStage Awards will adopt a unique format. A ceremony will be broadcast on Sunday 14 March at 7pm from The Turbine Theatre with our partners at stream.theatre. It’s a fitting date that will mark a full year since many theatres up and down the country played their last performance, as they officially closed two days later.
“Co-produced with Paul Taylor-Mills, it will incorporate a number of performances from shows that were cut short in 2020, along with shows that we hope to enjoy in 2021 and beyond. Plus, as we will be coming of age, we’re expecting some lovely 21st birthday messages from some of our favourite performers and creatives.
“Finally, as the WOS Awards are and always have been centred around the audience, rather than ask them to nominate performers and creatives we will be inviting them to nominate Angels – someone in their life that has been a source of love, support and kindness during the pandemic. In theatre, Angels are traditionally people who invest in new shows enabling productions to get off the ground, so it seems a fitting term for people that go that extra mile to help others.
“We will then select 21 Angels from the nominations we’ve received and announce their names on the night, as well as treating them to a night at the theatre when live performances return. This is our way of recognising the heroes in our community as well as doing our bit to support shows, and encourage audiences back into theatres.
“Tickets for the 21st Annual WhatsOnStage Awards will be just £21.00* (a special early bird price of £15* is available if booked by midnight on Sunday 21 February 2021.)
“We look forward to joining together with audiences across the globe on Sunday 14 March, and to stand shoulder to shoulder with those in our industry celebrating the vital contribution theatre makes to the world, financially and emotionally. Theatre will be back, bigger, better and stronger than ever. Until then we will do our best to keep the lights on”