NEWS: Winners Announced for the 23rd Annual WhatsOnStage Awards

The winners were revealed in a ceremony at the Prince of Wales Theatre yesterday evening (12th February).

Jodie Comer accepts the award for Best Performer in a Play for Prima Facie. Photo by Dan Wooller.

At a ceremony at the theatre based in the heart of the West End, the winners for the 2023 WhatsOnStage Awards (voted for by the public) have been revealed. With the evening hosted by Courtney Bowman, Laurie Kynaston and Billy Luke Nevers, those presenting awards included: Jake Shears, George Takei, Bonnie Langford, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Arlene Phillips and Lisa Scott-Lee.

The big winner of the evening was My Neighbour Totoro with five awards from nine nominations, receiving Best Direction for Phelim McDermott, Best Set Design for Tom Pye and Basil Twist, Best Lighting Design for Jessica Hung Han Yun, Best Musical Direction or Supervision for Bruce O’Neil and Matt Smith and Best Sound Design for Tony Gayle.

Elsewhere, for the awards first gender-neutral performance categories, female performers were particularly successful, with Courtney Bowman and Lauren Drew winning for Best Performer in a Musical and Best Supporting Performer in a Musical respectively for Legally Blonde, and Jodie Comer receiving Best Performer in a Play for her solo tour-de-force in Prima Facie. Best Supporting Performer in a Play went to Gwyneth Keyworth for her performance of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird and Lucie Jones won Best Takeover for her turn as Elphaba in Wicked. For his performance in The Trials at the Donmar Warehouse, Joe Locke scored with Best Professional Debut.

Bonnie & Clyde the musical won Best New Musical, while Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! won Best Musical Revival for its sell-out run at the Young Vic, while also winning Best Video Design for Joshua Thorson. Meanwhile, in the straight play categories, he critically acclaimed Prima Facie, which opens on Broadway in the spring, won the prized Best New Play award, and Best Play Revival went to the West End première of Cock at the Ambassadors Theatre.

With the opening of new West End theatre @Sohoplace producer and theatre owner Nica Burns was honoured with the Services to Theatre Award, in recognition of her extraordinary career and her unfailing commitment to the health of the theatre industry.

Other winners on the night included: hit musical SIX  for the Best West End Show category, Curve Leicester’s production of Billy Elliot the Musical earned Best Regional Production, and Best Off-West End Production went to But I’m A Cheerleader: The Musical at The Turbine Theatre.

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