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Nominations Announced For The 17th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards

At a ceremony held today at London's Café de Paris, host Steve Furst announced the nominees for the 17th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards, the only major theatre prize-giving decided entirely by the theatregoers themselves. The announcement of the nominations marks the opening of the final voting stage (closes 31 January), with winners announced at the annual Awards Concert held on 19 February 2017 at The Prince of Wales Theatre.

WhatsOnStage's Chief Operating Officer Sita McIntosh said today, "It's fantastic to once again see the breadth and range of productions up and down the country acknowledged in this year's nominations. I think it's amazing that for the first time a play leads with 11 nominations; that's unheard of and reflective of the impact Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has had on the West End.

"An off-West End Production - The Boys in the Band, playing in a 200 seat venue has secured four nominations including one for Ian Hallard as Best Actor in a Play up against the likes of Ian McKellen, Ralph Fiennes and Kenneth Branagh. And Ragtime, playing in the 265 seat Charing Cross Theatre is nominated for Best Musical Revival alongside Sunset Boulevard, a show that played in a venue almost ten times that size.

"In total 48 productions have been nominated and it's heartening to have so many shows and so much talent recognised by the ticket buying public. The WhatsOnStage Awards are a true indication of what the public enjoy at the theatre."

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child leads the field with 11 nominations - the first time a play has dominated the nominations. It is in the running for Best Actor in a Play for Jamie Parker, Best Supporting Actress in a Play nominations for both Noma Dumezweni and Poppy Miller and Best Supporting Actor in a Play nominations for Anthony Boyle and Paul Thornley, Best New Play, Best Direction nod for John Tiffany, Best Set Design for Christine Jones, Katrina Lindsay for Best Costume Design, Finn Ross and Ash Woodward for Best Video Design and Neil Austin for Lighting Design.

Parker faces stiff competition for Best Actor in a Play from Kenneth Branagh for The Entertainer, Ian Hallard for The Boys in the Band, Ralph Fiennes for Richard III and Ian McKellen for No Man's Land.

Kenneth Branagh's season receives 4 acting nominations. As well as for Branagh, Lily James is nominated for Best Actress in a Play for Romeo and Juliet, alongside Billie Piper for Yerma, Pixie Lott for Breakfast at Tiffany's and Michelle Terry for Henry V; and Derek Jacobi and Meera Syal also receive nods for Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Play for the same production.

Leading the musicals charge are Tim Minchin's Groundhog Day and Half a Sixpence - both with seven nominations apiece, closely followed by Funny Girl and Aladdin with seven nominations each, and Dreamgirls, which is currently in previews, with four. It's been another strong year for producer Sonia Friedman whose productions total 20 nominations across 3 productions, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Dreamgirls and Funny Girl - the latter a co-production with the Menier Chocolate Factory who also received two nominations for Travesties (for Best Revival and Best Supporting Actor in a Play for Freddie Fox) which transfers to the West End next year.

Rising star Charlie Stemp receives his first WhatsOnStage nomination for Best Actor in a Musical for Half a Sixpence, with Andy Karl (Groundhog Day), Michael Xavier (Sunset Boulevard), Michael C Hall (Lazarus) and Ramin Karimloo (Murder Ballad); and in the Best Actress in a Musical category there looks to be a close run for the award between multi-WhatsOnStage Award-winning SheriDan Smith (Funny Girl), Amber Riley (Dreamgirls), Carrie Hope Fletcher (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Glenn Close (Sunset Boulevard) and Devon-Elise Johnson (Half a Sixpence).

For Best New Play, Jack Thorne's Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will fight off competition from the latest hit show from Mischief Theatre - The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, Annie Baker's The Flick, Florian Zeller's The Mother and Tony Kushner's The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide; and Best New Musical this year sees Groundhog Day, Aladdin, Half a Sixpence, Dreamgirls and School of Rock compete for top honours.

The Best Musical Revival category looks to be a tough race between Funny Girl, Show Boat, Sunset Boulevard, Jesus Christ Superstar and Ragtime; with Best Play Revival seeing The Boys in the Band, No Man's Land, The Deep Blue Sea, The Dresser and Travesties all nominated.

The Boys in the Band also makes the shortlist for Best Off-West End Production, up against The Last Five Years, Side Show, Ragtime and Grey Gardens; with Best West End Show seeing a fight between the long running favourites Les Miserables, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Kinky Boots and Matilda.

Performances at the event included the 16-strong cast of Rent performing "Seasons of Love" to close the proceedings. The production is currently on a national tour before opening at the St James Theatre, London on 8th December.

The 17th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards will be held in aid of adopted charity The Kevin Spacey Foundation - www.kevinspaceyfoundation.org.

THE 17TH ANNUAL WHATSONSTAGE AWARDS NOMINEES IN FULL:

Best Actor in a Play, sponsored by Radisson Blu Edwardian

Ian Hallard for The Boys in the Band

Ian McKellen for No Man's Land

Jamie Parker for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Kenneth Branagh for The Entertainer

Ralph Fiennes for Richard III

Best Actress in a Play, sponsored by Live at Zédel

Billie Piper for Yerma

Helen McCrory for The Deep Blue Sea

Lily James for Romeo and Juliet

Michelle Terry for Henry V

Pixie Lott for Breakfast at Tiffany's

Best Actor in a Musical, sponsored by The Umbrella Rooms

Andy Karl for Groundhog Day

Charlie Stemp for Half a Sixpence

Michael C Hall for Lazarus

Michael Xavier for Sunset Boulevard

Ramin Karimloo for Murder Ballad

Best Actress in a Musical, sponsored by The Hippodrome Casino

Amber Riley for Dreamgirls

Carrie Hope Fletcher for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Devon-Elise Johnson for Half a Sixpence

Glenn Close for Sunset Boulevard

SheriDan Smith for Funny Girl

Best Supporting Actor in a Play

Anthony Boyle for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Derek Jacobi for Romeo and Juliet

Freddie Fox for Travesties

Jonjo O'Neill for Unreachable

Paul Thornley for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Best Supporting Actress in a Play, sponsored by Tonic Theatre

Jenna Russell for Doctor Faustus

Meera Syal for Romeo and Juliet

Noma Dumezweni for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Poppy Miller for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Vanessa Redgrave for Richard III

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, sponsored by Encore Radio

Adam J Bernard for Dreamgirls

Ian Bartholomew for Half a Sixpence

Joel Montague for Funny Girl

Trevor Dion Nicholas for Aladdin

Tyrone Huntley for Jesus Christ Superstar

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, sponsored by Newman Displays

Amy Lennox for Lazarus

Emma Williams for Half a Sixpence

Rebecca Trehearn for Show Boat

Sophia Anne Caruso for Lazarus

Victoria Hamilton-Barritt for Murder Ballad

Best New Play, sponsored by JHI Marketing

The Comedy About A Bank Robbery

The Flick

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures or iHo

The Mother

Best New Musical, sponsored by Shine Creative Solutions

Aladdin

Dreamgirls

Groundhog Day

Half a Sixpence

School of Rock

Best Play Revival

The Boys in the Band

The Deep Blue Sea

The Dresser

No Man's Land

Travesties

Best Musical Revival, sponsored by R&H Theatricals Europe

Funny Girl

Jesus Christ Superstar

Ragtime

Show Boat

Sunset Boulevard

Best Direction

Casey Nicholaw for Aladdin

John Tiffany for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Matthew Warchus for Groundhog Day

Michael Mayer for Funny Girl

Rachel Kavanaugh for Half a Sixpence

Best Choreography, sponsored by Encore Radio

Andrew Wright for Half a Sixpence

Casey Nicholaw for Aladdin

Casey Nicholaw for Dreamgirls

Drew McOnie for Jesus Christ Superstar

Peter Darling for Groundhog Day

Best Costume Design

Gregg Barnes for Aladdin

Gregg Barnes for Dreamgirls

Katrina Lindsay for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Matthew Wright for Funny Girl

Paul Brown for Half a Sixpence

Best Set Design

Bob Crowley for Aladdin

Christine Jones for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Lez Brotherston for Show Boat

Miriam Buether for Wild

Rob Howell for Groundhog Day

Best Lighting Design, sponsored by White Light

Charlie Morgan Jones for Little Shop of Horrors

Hugh Vanstone for Groundhog Day

Jack Weir for The Boys in the Band

Natasha Katz for Aladdin

Neil Austin for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Best Video Design, sponsored by PRG XL Video

Andrzej Goulding for Groundhog Day

Finn Ross and Ash Woodward for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Finn Ross for The Tempest, RSC

Laura Perrett for Murder Ballad

Tal Yarden for Lazarus

Best Off-West End Production, sponsored by LES MISERABLES

The Boys in the Band (Park Theatre)

Grey Gardens (Southwark Playhouse)

The Last Five Years (St James Theatre)

Side Show (Southwark Playhouse)

Ragtime (Charing Cross Theatre)

Best Regional Production, sponsored by MTI (Europe)

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (National Tour)

Flowers for Mrs Harris (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield)

The Girls (National Tour)

The Grinning Man (Bristol Old Vic)

Rent (National Tour/St James Theatre)

Best West End Show, sponsored by Capezio

Kinky Boots

LES MISERABLES

Matilda the Musical

The Phantom of the Opera

Wicked


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