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Matilda and Ghost face off in Whatsonstage Awards

First Published 2 December 2011, Last Updated 1 February 2012

New musicals Matilda The Musical and Ghost The Musical lead the voting as they go toe to toe with nine nominations each in this year’s Awards.

The two titanic tuners go head to head in categories including Best New Musical, Best Actor in a Musical (Bertie Carvel vs Richard Fleeshman) and Best Actress in a Musical (the quartet of Matildas vs Caissie Levy). As director Matthew Warchus and designer Rob Howell worked on both productions, they are nominated for both.

Also among the musical nominees are the Regents Park Open Air theatre’s production of Crazy For You, Stiles and Drewe’s latest Betty Blue Eyes, soft rock love story Rock Of Ages, fairytale adaptation Shrek The Musical and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s revival of The Wizard Of Oz.

The National Theatre’s giggle-icious One Man, Two Guvnors and the Donmar Warehouse’s harrowing Anna Christie lead the play nominees with five nods apiece. The shows’ leading men James Corden and Jude Law are both nominated in the Best Actor in a Play category which also includes recent Evening Standard Theatre Award-winner Benedict Cumberbatch (Frankenstein) – though not his co-winner and colleague Jonny Lee Miller – Kevin Spacey (Richard III), David Tennant (Much Ado About Nothing) and James Earl Jones (Driving Miss Daisy).

Driving Miss Daisy’s leading lady Vanessa Redgrave also receives a nomination as part of a Best Actress in a Play field that includes Eve Best (Much Ado About Nothing), Kristin Scott Thomas (Betrayal), Samantha Spiro (Chicken Soup With Barley), Tamsin Greig (Jumpy) and Ruth Wilson (Anna Christie).

More than 11,000 theatregoers voted on to create the shortlists for the 12th Awards, which includes the unique Theatre Event of the Year Award. This year, the reunion of Doctor Who co-stars David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 50th anniversary season, the Bush theatre’s 24-hour cycle of Sixty Six Books, Michael Sheen and Bill Mitchell’s The Passion, Headlong’s Decade and The Phantom Of The Opera’s 25th anniversary concert vie for the idiosyncratic title.

The annual awards are this year supporting theatrical charity Stage One, which is dedicated to developing the theatre producers of the future. Among the charity’s fundraising initiatives is West End Lots, which is currently auctioning a host of exclusive West End experiences and incredible show mementos. Awards voting is now open again for theatregoers to support their favourite performers, shows and creatives. It will close at the end of January 2012, and the winners will be announced at an awards concert on 19 February.



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