Former Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint were waving their wands with delight (probably) as they both won Whatsonstage awards last night.
Radcliffe was named Best Actor in a Play for his performance in the title role of The Cripple Of Inishmaan, while Grint collected the Dewynters London Newcomer of the Year Award for his debut West End performance in Mojo.
Radcliffe’s award, which, he said, he accepted “on behalf of the whole cast who together helped make this production of The Cripple of Inishmaan a truly joyous experience for me as an actor,” was one of four presented to the Michael Grandage season, which played at the Noël Coward Theatre. Grandage was named Best Director, while A Midsummer Night’s Dream won Best Shakespearean Production and its Bottom, David Walliams, won Best Supporting Actor in a Play.
Grandage’s haul of four awards was matched by hit US musical The Book Of Mormon, which won the Best New Musical Award as its cast won the Radisson Blu Edwardian Best Actor in a Musical Award (Gavin Creel), Best Supporting Actress in a Musical Award (Alexia Khadime) and Best Supporting Actor in a Musical Award (Stephen Ashfield).
Helen Mirren, whose name has been ever-present at theatrical prizegivings over the past year, once again won Best Actress in a Play for her portrayal of The Queen in The Audience. Her co-star Haydn Gwynne collected the Postcards From Pete Best Supporting Actress in a Play prize for her performance as Margaret Thatcher, while the drama, which imagined the meetings between the Queen and her many Prime Ministers, won Best New Play.
In a quirky awards anomaly, Scarlett Strallen was singled out to win the STAR Best Actress in a Musical Award for her performances in Candide and A Chorus Line, as the entire cast of the classic Broadway musical, which played at the London Palladium, also won the Les Misérables Best Ensemble Performance Award.
The sponsor of the Best Ensemble Award also collected its own prize, as Carrie Hope Fletcher, who is currently playing Eponine in the long-running show, won Best Takeover in a Role. The French revolutionary show lost out to Matilda The Musical in the Equity Best West End show category.
Other winners announced at the ceremony held last night at the Prince of Wales Theatre include: the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, which collected a brace of awards for To Kill A Mockingbird (Samuel French Best Play Revival) and The Sound Of Music (Ticket Factory Best Musical Revival); Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, which won Feast Best Set Designer (Mark Thompson) and Capezio Best Choreographer (Peter Darling); The Play That Goes Wrong (Ticketmaster Best New Comedy); Jamie Lloyd’s Macbeth, which won the White Light Best Lighting Designer Award (Adam Silverman); Barry Humphries, who won the Best Solo Performance prize for Eat Pray Laugh!; and Once (Autograph Award for Best Original Music).
Away from the West End, Southwark Playhouse’s Titanic won Best Off-West End Production and Sheffield Crucible’s My Fair Lady won the Tickets.com Best Regional Production award.
In the most one-sided vote of the awards, with 56% of all voters giving it the nod, the National Theatre’s 50th anniversary gala was heralded the Arts Alliance Media Theatre Event of the Year.
The Whatsonstage Awards, now in their 14th year, are the only awards voted for solely by the theatregoing public.
Though voting for the Whatsonstage Awards is now over, theatregoers can still help decide the fate of the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award, the only Olivier Award winner chosen purely by public vote. Theatre fans have until 4 March to support their favourite long-running show by voting at the Olivier Awards website. All voters will be entered into a prize draw to win a pair of tickets to each of the show announced on the Audience Award shortlist on 10 March.
The winner of the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award will be revealed, along with all the Olivier Award winners, at a glamorous, star-studded ceremony held at the Royal Opera House on Sunday 13 April. The incredible event, the highlight of the London theatre year, will be filmed by ITV and broadcast as a highlights show shortly after end of the ceremony.