BroadwayWorld UK Awards 2017: Natalie O'Donoghue's Nominations
I thought I had it sussed who I would be nominating in the BroadwayWorld UK Awards this year, but after a quick flick through my 2016/17 diary it has proved to be a bit more difficult than I had originally thought.
Based in Glasgow, I was prepared to champion the truly excellent regional and touring productions I've seen in the past year...but I also saw some pretty incredible theatre in the West End too.
One show that really stands out for me is Lazarus. I visited the King's Cross Theatre a couple of times during its short run and was absolutely blown away by the musical itself and the talent onstage. Lazarus gets my nomination for Best New Production of a Musical and Best Supporting Actress for the incredible Sophia Ann Caruso. For Best Supporting Actor I can't think of anyone more suitable than Michael Esper for the mildly terrifying portrayal of Valentine.
For Best Actress in a Musical I'll be nominating Louise Dearman for her role as Daisy Hilton in Side Show at the Southwark Playhouse. A fantastic show, largely due to the outstanding cast. Best Actress in a Play has to be the mesmerising Audra McDonald for her performance in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill.
My nomination for Best Actor in a Musical belongs to John Partridge for his turn as Zaza in the UK tour of La Cage Aux Folles. It was a fabulous production and Partridge gave a phenomenal performance. Best Actor in a Play undoubtedly belongs to Scott Reid as Christopher Boone in the UK tour of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. After wowing audiences up and down the country, I saw his (five star) performance in Glasgow last month and was completely blown away!
I went to see Dreamgirls at the Savoy during the summer, and as I'm a pretty big Glee fan (and don't care who knows it), I was looking forward to seeing Amber Riley. Unfortunately, she wasn't on for that performance, but fortunately for me it was Marisha Wallace who led us into the interval with our jaws on the floor. It's been a long time since I've had goosebumps like that at the theatre!
Wonderland gets my vote for best touring production. I had the pleasure of seeing it open in Edinburgh with Kerry Ellis and then again in Glasgow later in the year with Rachael Wooding. It also gets my vote for best ensemble. The production had a lot of problems offstage, but the cast were phenomenal and gave it their all for every single performance.
For male performance in a long-running show, my vote goes to one of the most exciting castings in the West End this year: Killian Donnelly as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. After playing numerous roles in the musical over the years, it was very fitting for him to take on the lead.
As always, my vote for Best Long-running West End Show is Wicked.
Photo credit: Jan Versweyveld