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BOOK OF MORMON's Ashley Day Wins West End Frame's Understudy of the Year Award 2013


Following an intense six week voting period, it has been announced that Ashley Day has won West End Frame's Understudy of the Year Award 2013 for understudying the role of Elder Price in The Book of Mormon.

The record breaking Broadway show officially opened at the West End's Prince of Wales Theatre on 21st March 2013. Ashley made his Elder Price debut the following week when Gavin Creel (the lead) became ill with laryngitis.

Ashley Day said: "I am overjoyed to have won Understudy of the Year! It's such an honour to be working on this show and to be part of the 'Mormon' family. Thank you to everyone who voted and to West End Frame for recognising all of us understudies."

No stranger to the West End, Ashley most recently understudied the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium. His other theatre credits include Troy Bolton in High School Musical (UK tour), Evita directed by Michael Grandage (Adelphi) and Mary Poppins directed by Richard Eyre (original cast, Prince Edward).

The result was extremely close. Despite theatre fans voting in their thousands, just thirty votes separated the top two. Alan Burkitt, who understudies Jerry Travers in the West End production of Top Hat, comes second. Alan recently received rave reviews for his performance when Gavin Lee was too unwell to perform on press night.

Wicked's Hayley Gallivan, who has played Elphaba on over fifty occasions since joining the musical last year, comes third while Katie Paine who understudies Killer Queen in We Will Rock You comes fourth and Anna O'Byrne, who recently finished alternating the role of Christine Daaé in Phantom of the Opera comes fifth.

West End Frame's Editor, Andrew Tomlins said: "I would like to thank everybody who voted and supported the eighteen nominees who are all incredibly talented performers. Understudies hold the West End together, without them long running shows simply would not be able to function. This is why we introduced Understudy of the Year in 2012 as we thought it was about time understudies, alternates and stand-by's received the recognition they deserve."

Understudy of the Year is part of the 2013 West End Frame Awards. Unlike other theatre awards, West End Frame only opens voting for one category at a time.

Last year's Understudy of the Year Award was won by Katy Treharne who alternated the role of Christine Daaé in Phantom of the Opera. Katy went on to star as Nina in Dear World at the Charing Cross Theatre. Most recently Sofia Escobar won the West End Frame Award for 'Best Performance of a Song in a Musical' for her performance of Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again in Phantom of the Opera.

Voting for the next 2013 West End Frame Award will open at the end of August. Further information will be announced shortly.

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