Miss Saigon revival sweeps WhatsOnStage Awards

Britain Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon‘s revival has been awarded nine prizes at the WhatsOnStage Awards (credit: AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Following its return to the West End 25 years after its London premiere, Miss Saigon came away as the big winner of the WhatsOnStage Awards, sweeping the board with nine prizes. The cast of the Sir Cameron Mackintosh hit stole the category for acting in a musical with awards for best actor, best actress, best supporting actor and best supporting actress.

Another of the evening’s top winners was also a revival: Donmar Warehouse’s Coriolanus, which scored a hat-trick with best play revival, best lighting design from Mark Henderson and best supporting actor in a play for Mark Gatiss.

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Billie Piper was named best actress in a play for the National Theatre’s Great Britain (Credit: Johan Persson)

Coriolanus lead Tom Hiddleston was beaten to the prize for best actor in a play by David Tennant for his performance in the RSC’s Richard II. Tennant’s former Doctor Who co-star Billie Piper fought off tough competition from Gillian Anderson and Imelda Staunton to be named best actress in a play for her turn as Paige Britain in the National Theatre’s phone-hacking play Great Britain.

West End newcomers Shakespeare in Love and Memphis the Musical were both recognised presented with best new play and best new musical respectively.

The 15th annual WhatsOnStage Awards, voted for by the public, took place at the Prince of Wales Theatre. The full list of WhatsOnStage Award winners can be found below:

Best actor in a play: David Tennant, Richard II
Best actress in a play: Billie Piper, Great Britain
Best actor in a musical: Jon Jon Briones, Miss Saigon
Best actress in a musical: Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon
Best supporting actor in a musical: Kwang-Ho Hong, Miss Saigon
Best supporting actress in a musical: Rachelle Ann Go, Miss Saigon
Best musical revival: Miss Saigon
Best direction: Laurence Connor, Miss Saigon
Best choreography: Bob Avian & Geoffrey Garratt, Miss Saigon
Best set design: Totie Driver & Matt Kinley, Miss Saigon
Best supporting actor in a play: Mark Gatiss, Coriolanus
Best play revival: Coriolanus
Best lighting design: Mark Henderson, Coriolanus
Best supporting actress in a play: Vanessa Kirby, A Streetcar Named Desire
Best new play: Shakespeare in Love
Best new musical: Memphis the Musical
Best off-West End production: Sweeney Todd, Twickenham Theatre
Best regional production: Oliver!, Sheffield Crucible
Best takeover in a role: Kerry Ellis, Wicked
Best West End Show: Miss Saigon

www.whatsonstage.com

Free theatre performances at West End Live this weekend

If you are in the capital this weekend, you might want to drop by West End Live in Trafalgar Square where the event will be celebrating its tenth anniversary.

West End Live provides two days of free taster performances of shows from London’s West End. Show taking part this year include: The Commitments, Once, Wicked, Billy Elliot, The Pajama Game, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, MAMMA MIA!, The Bodyguard, The Lion King, Stomp, Thriller Live, Jersey Boys, and many more.

A first for this year’s event will see a series of talks with people in the theatre industry. The talks will take place in West End Live’s Theatre Emporium, hosted in a 1920s Spiegeltent in Leicester Square. Scheduled to speak are director Jamie Lloyd and the casts of Handbagged and forthcoming production Shakespeare in Love. 

To mark the significant anniversary, there will be a cabaret performance of ten songs which have been performed at West End Live throughout the last decade.

West End Live is a free and non-ticketed event. The event runs on Saturday 21 June (11am-6pm) and Sunday 22 June (12-6pm); www.westendlive.co.uk.

Take children to London shows for free this August with Kids Week

Bodyguard workshop 2013 (photo credit Pamela Raith)

A workshop from The Bodyguard last summer (Credit: Pamela Raith)

The Society of London Theatre’s Kids Week returns this summer. The initiative offers free tickets to young people under the age of 16 to over 35 shows in London. Kids Week takes place throughout August (1–31) and is available to young people who are accompanied by a full-paying adult.

Shows on offer for those aged three to five and above are The Elephantom, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, What The Ladybird Heard, The 39 Steps, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, The Lion King, Hetty Feather, Horrible Histories – Barmy Britain Part 2, MAMMA MIA!, Matilda The Musical, The Pajama Game, Stomp, Thriller Live, Top Hat, Wicked and many others.

For slightly older audiences, there’s also plenty of London favourites, from shows for those needing parental guidance through to audiences of young people aged 15+: Billy Elliot The Musical, The Bodyguard, The Commitments, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, The Importance Of Being Earnest, Jeeves And Wooster In Perfect Nonsense, The Mousetrap, Shakespeare In Love, War Horse,The Woman In Black, Avenue Q, Ghost Stories,Jersey Boys, Let The Right One In and Once.

The month-long scheme also offers a vast selection of free activities and events for young people to participate in: fans of The Elephantom can make their own Elephantom at a practical craft-based workshop; talk to the cast and creative team of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at a post-show Q&A session; learn more about the theatre of Shakespeare’s era in a workshop with Shakespeare In Love‘s associate director; and discover how The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time translated from page to stage.   

All tickets, on sale now, for Kids Week shows and activities are subject to availability. For information on how to book tickets for shows and workshops, as well as more information about all the offerings this August, visit www.kidsweek.co.uk.