Is This The Best Show On The West End?
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Is This The Best Show On The West End?

The WhatsOnStage Awards reveal the best shows to see in 2024

This week marked the 24th edition of the WhatsOnStage Awards, a night dedicated to crowning the best of the best in London’s theatre scene. Taking place at the iconic London Palladium, the night saw some of the industry’s high-flying names and shows gather under one roof to find out one answer: which West End show took the top spot? Here are all the winners from the WhatsOnStage Awards 2024.

The WhatsOnStage Awards 2024

And the winner is… Cabaret. The musical bagged the top awards for Best West End Show (and Best Takeover Performance), pipping Jamie Lloyd’s revisiong of Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard to the post. But not all was lost for Lloyd, who bagged the award for Best Direction as well as the show taking Best Professional Debut Performance, Best Musical Direction/Supervision, Best Video Design, Best Sound Design and Best Performer in a Musical (hat’s off to Nicol Scherzinger) – tallying up an impressive seven awards total.

Sunset Boulevard was closely followed by Guys and Dolls and A Little Life, who bagged three and two awards respectively.

How Are The Winners Decided?

Rather than refer to a judging panel, the WhatsOnStage Awards pick their winners via a public vote online – meaning that those taking the prize home were picked by fans and theatregoers.

Unlike most awards shows, the WhatsOnStage Awards celebrate both newcomers and long-standing shows, as well as backstage talent, regional and small-scale shows that aren’t usually spotlighted. This is why shows like Cabaret, which have been on the West End for over two years, continue to make an appearance in top categories.

Luke Treadaway (The Emcee) and Cara Delevingne (Sally Bowles)

Cabaret (c) Jay Brooks and Emilio Madrid

WhatsOnStage Awards 2024: The Winners

Want to know if you’re faves made the cut? You can see the full list of nominees and winners below:

Best Supporting Performer in a Play

  • Luke Thompson, A Little Life, Harold Pinter Theatre / Savoy Theatre
  • Michele Austin, The Effect, National Theatre
  • Will Close, Dear England, National Theatre / Prince Edward Theatre
  • Bryony Corrigan, I, Daniel Blake, UK tour
  • Zubin Varla, A Little Life, Harold Pinter Theatre / Savoy Theatre
  • Anjana Vasan, A Streetcar Named Desire, Almeida Theatre / Phoenix Theatre

Best Lighting Design

  • Rory Beaton and Lucy Carter, The Time Traveller’s Wife, Apollo Theatre
  • Jon Clark, Dear England, National Theatre / Prince Edward Theatre
  • Jon Clark, The Effect, National Theatre
  • Jon Clark, Stranger Things: The First Shadow, Phoenix Theatre
  • Paule Constable, Guys and Dolls, Bridge Theatre
  • Jack Knowles, Sunset Boulevard, Savoy Theatre

Best Takeover Performance

  • Karis Anderson, TINA – The Tina Turner Musical, Aldwych Theatre
  • Cory English, Back to the Future: The Musical, Adelphi Theatre
  • Mason Alexander Park, Cabaret, Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre
  • Lucy St. Louis, Wicked, Apollo Victoria Theatre
  • Rebecca Lucy Taylor, Cabaret, Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre
  • Aimee Lou Wood, Cabaret, Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre

Best Graphic Design

  • Bob King Creative, Operation Mincemeat, Fortune Theatre
  • Muse Creative, Guys and Dolls, Bridge Theatre
  • Jeremy Coysten and North Design, Free Your Mind, Factory International
  • The Creative Partnership, Stranger Things: The First Shadow, Phoenix Theatre
  • Feast Creative, La Cage aux Folles, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
  • Rick Guest, Rob Rae and the NT Graphics Studio, Dear England, National Theatre / Prince Edward Theatre

Best Professional Debut Performance

  • Rita Bernard-Shaw, Trouble in Butetown, Donmar Warehouse
  • Laura Dawkes, Frozen, Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • Lou Henry, SIX, UK tour
  • Grace Hodgett Young, Sunset Boulevard, Savoy Theatre
  • Louis McCartney, Stranger Things: The First Shadow, Phoenix Theatre
  • Andrew Richardson, Guys and Dolls, Bridge Theatre

Best Choreography

  • Fabian Aloise, Sunset Boulevard, Savoy Theatre
  • Matt Cole, Disney’s Newsies, Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre
  • Ellen Kane and Hannes Langolf, Dear England, National Theatre / Prince Edward Theatre
  • Stephen Mear, La Cage aux Folles, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
  • Arlene Phillips with James Cousins, Guys and Dolls, Bridge Theatre
  • Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy, Free Your Mind, Factory International

Best Musical Direction/Supervision

  • Mark Aspinall and Sioned Saunders, The Lord of the Rings, The Watermill Theatre
  • Nick Barstow and Nigel Lilley, Next to Normal, Donmar Warehouse
  • Cat Beveridge and Nigel Lilley, The Witches, National Theatre
  • Tom Brady, Guys and Dolls, Bridge Theatre
  • Stephen Brooker, Alfonso Casado Trigo and Stephen Metcalfe, Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends, Gielgud Theatre
  • Alan Williams, Sunset Boulevard, Savoy Theatre

Best Costume Design

  • Bunny Christie and Deborah Andrews, Guys and Dolls, Bridge Theatre
  • Lizzie Clachan, The Witches, National Theatre
  • Ryan Dawson Laight, La Cage aux Folles, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
  • Gregory Gale, To Wong Foo The Musical, Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester
  • Gareth Pugh, Free Your Mind, Factory International
  • Grace Smart, Cowbois, Swan Theatre

Best Video Design

  • 59 Productions, Stranger Things: The First Shadow, Phoenix Theatre
  • Nathan Amzi and Joe Ransom, Sunset Boulevard, Savoy Theatre
  • Andrzej Goulding, Miss Saigon, Sheffield Crucible
  • Andrzej Goulding, The Time Traveller’s Wife, Apollo Theatre
  • Ash J Woodward, Dear England, National Theatre / Prince Edward Theatre
  • Ash J Woodward, The Witches, National Theatre

Best Casting Direction

  • Alastair Coomer and Naomi Downham, The Motive and the Cue, National Theatre
  • Anna Cooper, Next to Normal, Donmar Warehouse
  • Jill Green, The Little Big Things, @sohoplace
  • Bryony Jarvis-Taylor, Dear England, National Theatre / Prince Edward Theatre
  • Bryony Jarvis-Taylor, The Witches, National Theatre
  • Jessica Ronane, Stranger Things: The First Shadow, Phoenix Theatre

Best Play Revival

  • A Streetcar Named Desire, Almeida Theatre / Phoenix Theatre
  • The Effect, National Theatre
  • The Merchant of Venice 1936, UK tour
  • The Pillowman, Duke of York’s Theatre
  • Shirley Valentine, Duke of York’s Theatre
  • VANYA, Duke of York’s Theatre

Best Performer in a Play

  • Paapa Essiedu, The Effect, National Theatre
  • Joseph Fiennes, Dear England, National Theatre / Prince Edward Theatre
  • James Norton, A Little Life, Harold Pinter Theatre / Savoy Theatre
  • Taylor Russell, The Effect, National Theatre
  • Andrew Scott, VANYA, Duke of York’s Theatre
  • Sheridan Smith, Shirley Valentine, Duke of York’s Theatre

Best Off-West End Production

  • Flowers for Mrs Harris, Riverside Studios
  • George Takei’s Allegiance, Charing Cross Theatre
  • Othello, Riverside Studios
  • Rebecca, Charing Cross Theatre
  • Scouts! The Musical, The Other Palace Studio
  • The Shape of Things, Park Theatre

Best Sound Design

  • Paul Arditti, Guys and Dolls, Bridge Theatre
  • Paul Arditti, Stranger Things: The First Shadow, Phoenix Theatre
  • Dan Balfour and Tom Gibbons, Dear England, National Theatre / Prince Edward Theatre
  • Adam Fisher, The Lord of the Rings, The Watermill Theatre
  • Adam Fisher, Sunset Boulevard, Savoy Theatre
  • Tony Gayle, Next to Normal, Donmar Warehouse

Best Set Design

  • Miriam Buether, Stranger Things: The First Shadow, Phoenix Theatre
  • Bunny Christie, Guys and Dolls, Bridge Theatre
  • Lizzie Clachan, Assassins, Chichester Festival Theatre
  • Lizzie Clachan, The Witches, National Theatre
  • Chloe Lamford, Phaedra, National Theatre
  • Morgan Large, Disney’s Newsies, Wembley Troubadour Park Theatre

Best Concert Event

  • Ariana DeBose in Concert, The London Palladium
  • Darren Criss, The London Palladium
  • Evita in Concert, Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • Love Never Dies in Concert, Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • Once: In Concert, The London Palladium
  • Schwartz at 75, Lyric Theatre

Best Supporting Performer in a Musical

  • Aynrand Ferrer, Miss Saigon, Sheffield Crucible
  • Jak Malone, Operation Mincemeat, Fortune Theatre
  • Jason Manford, The Wizard of Oz, The London Palladium
  • Cedric Neal, Guys and Dolls, Bridge Theatre
  • Amy Trigg, The Little Big Things, @sohoplace
  • Jack Wolfe, Next to Normal, Donmar Warehouse

Best Regional Production

  • Boys from the Blackstuff, Royal Court, Liverpool
  • Choir Boy, Bristol Old Vic
  • In Dreams, Leeds Playhouse
  • The Lord of the Rings, The Watermill Theatre
  • Miss Saigon, Sheffield Crucible
  • To Wong Foo The Musical, Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

Best Direction

  • Polly Findlay, Assassins, Chichester Festival Theatre
  • Rebecca Frecknall, A Streetcar Named Desire, Almeida Theatre / Phoenix Theatre
  • Rupert Goold, Dear England, National Theatre / Prince Edward Theatre
  • Nicholas Hytner, Guys and Dolls, Bridge Theatre
  • Jamie Lloyd, Sunset Boulevard, Savoy Theatre
  • Sam Mendes, The Motive and the Cue, National Theatre

Best West End Show

  • Back to the Future: The Musical, Adelphi Theatre
  • Cabaret, Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre
  • Les Misérables, Sondheim Theatre
  • Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Piccadilly Theatre
  • The Phantom of the Opera, His Majesty’s Theatre
  • SIX, Vaudeville Theatre

Best Performer in a Musical

  • Michael Ahomka-Lindsay, Disney’s Newsies, Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre
  • Natasha Hodgson, Operation Mincemeat, Fortune Theatre
  • Ed Larkin, The Little Big Things, @sohoplace
  • Caissie Levy, Next to Normal, Donmar Warehouse
  • Nicole Scherzinger, Sunset Boulevard, Savoy Theatre
  • Marisha Wallace, Guys and Dolls, Bridge Theatre

Best Musical Revival

  • Guys and Dolls, Bridge Theatre
  • La Cage aux Folles, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
  • The Lord of the Rings, The Watermill Theatre
  • The Sound of Music, Chichester Festival Theatre
  • Sunset Boulevard, Savoy Theatre
  • The Wizard of Oz, Curve, Leicester / The London Palladium

Best New Play

  • A Little Life, Harold Pinter Theatre / Savoy Theatre, adapted by Koen Tachelet, Ivo van Hove and Hanya Yanagihara
  • Cowbois, Swan Theatre, written by Charlie Josephine
  • Dear England, National Theatre / Prince Edward Theatre, written by James Graham
  • Hamnet, Swan Theatre / Garrick Theatre, by Lolita Chakrabarti
  • The Motive and the Cue, National Theatre, by Jack Thorne
  • Stranger Things: The First Shadow, Phoenix Theatre, by Kate Trefry with original story by Jack Thorne, Kate Trefry and the Duffer Brothers

Best New Musical

  • Disney’s Newsies, Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman and book by Harvey Fierstein
  • The Little Big Things, @sohoplace, with music by Nick Butcher, lyrics by Nick Butcher and Tom Ling, and book by Joe White
  • Mrs Doubtfire, Shaftesbury Theatre, with music and lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, and book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell
  • Next to Normal, Donmar Warehouse, with music by Tom Kitt, and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey
  • Operation Mincemeat, Fortune Theatre, with music, book and lyrics by SpitLip, composed of David Cumming, Felix Hagan, Natasha Hodgson and Zoë Roberts
  • The Time Traveller’s Wife, Apollo Theatre, with music and lyrics by Joss Stone and Dave Stewart, book by Lauren Gunderson and additional lyrics by Kait Kerrigan

You can find more highlights from the WhatsOnStage Awards 2024 at whatsonstage.com

Featured image: Cabaret (c) Emilio Madrid