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Nicole Kidman wins WhatsOnStage Award

Published 22 February 2016

Nicole Kidman and Benedict Cumberbatch were crowned Best Actress and Best Actor in a Play at the WhatsOnStage Awards this weekend as 2016’s theatrical season of prize-giving gets into full swing.

Both Kidman and Cumberbatch swapped Hollywood films for the London stage last year to appear in Photograph 51 and Lyndsey Turner’s high profile take on Hamlet respectively. Their awards came in excellent nights for the two productions, with Anna Ziegler’s Photograph 51 also taking home Best New Play and Hamlet awarded the Best Play Revival, Best Set Design and Best Lighting Design prizes.

Now in its 16th year, the annual WhatsOnStage Awards are run by the popular UK theatre website and are the only major theatre awards to be voted for entirely by the public.

The celebratory concert held last night at the Prince of Wales Theatre saw the public united over not only Hamlet but Gypsy, Chichester Festival Theatre’s five star West End hit and the only other show to equal Hamlet’s four wins. The classic musical picked up awards for its leading lady Imelda Staunton (Best Actress in a Musical), her co-star Lara Pulver (Best Supporting Actress in a Musical), Best Musical Revival and Best Direction.

New musical on the block Kinky Boots also had reason for celebration, picking up the coveted Best New Musical Award as well as individual wins for its star Matt Henry (Best Actor in a Musical) and choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Best Choreographer).

In other high profile wins of the night, Mark Gatiss triumphed in the Best Supporting Actor in a Play Award category for the second year running for his acclaimed performance in Three Days In The Country, Judi Dench was named Best Supporting Actress in a Play for The Winter’s Tale, while her co-star and director Kenneth Branagh received the prestigious Equity Award for Services to Theatre.

As the awards season continues, attention now turns to the Olivier Awards 2016 with MasterCard, which will take place on 3 April. This year’s nominees will be announced at an exclusive event on Monday 29 February. Make sure to follow @O_L_T and @OlivierAwards on Twitter to be the first to know who is in the running for theatre’s most prestigious awards.

Full list of winners:

Best Actor in a Play sponsored by Radisson Blu Edwardian

Benedict Cumberbatch, Hamlet

Best Actress in a Play sponsored by The Umbrella Rooms

Nicole Kidman, Photograph 51

Best Actor in a Musical sponsored by Century

Matt Henry, Kinky Boots

Best Actress in a Musical

Imelda Staunton, Gypsy

Best Supporting Actor in a Play

Mark Gatiss, Three Days In The Country

Best Supporting Actress in a Play sponsored by The Tonic Theatre Company

Judi Dench, The Winter’s Tale 

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical

David Bedella, In The Heights 

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical sponsored by Newman

Lara Pulver, Gypsy

Best New Play

Photograph 51

Best New Musical sponsored by Shine Creative Solutions

Kinky Boots

Best Play Revival


Best Musical Revival sponsored by R&H Theatricals


Best Direction

Gypsy, Jonathan Kent 

Best Choreography sponsored by Capezio

Kinky Boots, Jerry Mitchell 

Best Set Design sponsored by the Theatre Cafe

Hamlet, Es Devlin

Best Lighting Design sponsored by White Light

Hamlet, Jane Cox

Best Off-West End Production sponsored by Les Misérables

Carrie The Musical, Southwark Playhouse

Best Regional Production

Mary Poppins, tour 

Best West End Show sponsored by The Wine Treasury

Les Misérables

Equity Award for Services to Theatre

Kenneth Branagh


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