Vicky Vox and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith will present the 19thannual WhatsOnStage Awards on 3 March 2019 at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Both hosts are nominated at this year’s event – Vox for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her performance in Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s Little Shop of Horrors; and Holdbrook-Smith for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Ike Turner in Tina – The Tina Turner Musical at the Aldwych Theatre.
Also confirmed for this year’s annual Awards concert is Carrie Hope Fletcher performing ‘I Say No’ from Heathers the Musical, the company of Hope Mill Theatre’s Spring Awakening performing ‘Totally F*cked’, and the cast of Six performing the title song. Further performances will be confirmed shortly.
Hamilton continues to dominate awards season, leading the way with 12 nominations including Best Actor in a Musical nominations for Jamael Westman and Giles Terera who previously went head to head for the Olivier Award, with Terera winning; Best Actress in a Musical for Rachelle Ann Go; Best Supporting Actor in a Musical nominations for Cleve September and Jason Pennycooke; and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical nominations for Christine Allado and Rachel John, as well as nominations for Best New Musical, Best Direction, Best Choreography, Best Costume Design and Best Lighting Design. Also performing strongly across the musical categories is Marianne Elliott’s gender swap production of Sondheim’s Company with 9 nominations, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s Little Shop of Horrors with 7 nominations, and Heathers the Musical and Six with six nominations each.
In the play categories, Stephen Daldry’s world première production of Matthew Lopez’s epic two-part masterpiece The Inheritance lead the field with 7 nominations. In addition to Best New Play, Best Director and Best Show Poster, the production dominates in the acting categories with stage veteran Vanessa Redgrave nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Play, Andrew Burnap and Paul Hilton for Best Supporting Actor in a Play, and Kyle Soller for the Best Actor in a Play category. Soller faces stiff competition from Aidan Turner for The Lieutenant of Inishmore (one of an impressive six nominations for Michael Grandage’s major revival of Martin McDonagh’s play), Arinzé Kene for Misty, Colin Morgan for Translations, and previous WhatsOnStage Award winner Mark Gatiss for The Madness of George III. Both Translations and The Madness of George IIIsecured 5 nominations apiece.
Now in their 19th year, the WhatsOnStage Awards are the only major theatre awards decided entirely by the theatregoers themselves. Voting opened on 5 December, closing on 31 January 2019, ahead of the winners being announced at the Awards concert on 3 March 2019 at Prince of Wales Theatre.