Theater News

Benedict Cumberbatch, Nicole Kidman, and Judi Dench Take Home 2016 WhatsOnStage Awards

Mark Gatiss wins Best Supporting Actor in a Play for the second year in a row.

Benedict Cumberbatch is among the 2016 WhatsOnStage Award winners for Hamlet.
Benedict Cumberbatch is among the 2016 WhatsOnStage Award winners for Hamlet.
(© Johan Persson)

With four victories each, the Benedict Cumberbatch-led production of Hamlet and Gypsy, starring Imelda Staunton, led the pack of this year's WhatsOnStage Award winners. The honors were presented the evening of February 21 at the Prince of Wales Theatre by Great British Bake Off favorite Mel Giedroyc and comedian Steve Furst. The awards are the only major theater prizes to be voted for entirely by the audience.

In addition to Cumberbatch's win for Best Actor in a Play and Staunton's recognition as Best Actress in a Musical, other notable wins went to Nicole Kidman (Photograph 51) for Best Actress in a Play, Judi Dench (The Winter's Tale) for Best Supporting Actress in a Play, and Mark Gatiss (Three Days in the Country) for Best Supporting Actor in a Play — an award he also snagged last year. The 2016 Equity Award for Services to Theatre was given to acclaimed actor and director Kenneth Branagh, who codirected the The Winter's Tale with Rob Ashford.

A full list of winners is as follows:

Best Actor in a Play sponsored by Radisson Blu Edwardian:
Benedict Cumberbatch, Hamlet

James McAvoy, The Ruling Class
Bradley Cooper, The Elephant Man
Mark Rylance, Farinelli and the King
Alex Hassell, Henry V

Best Actress in a Play sponsored by The Umbrella Rooms:
Nicole Kidman, Photograph 51

Denise Gough, People, Places and Things
Lia Williams, Oresteia
Rosalie Craig, As You Like It
Harriet Walter, Death of a Salesman

Best Actor in a Musical sponsored by Century:
Killian Donnelly, Kinky Boots
Michael Ball, Mack and Mabel
Matt Henry, Kinky Boots

Sam Mackay, In the Heights
Ben Forster, Elf the Musical

Best Actress in a Musical:
Imelda Staunton, Gypsy

Beverley Knight, Cats
Kimberley Walsh, Elf the Musical
Lily Frazer, In the Heights
Katie Brayben, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Best Supporting Actor in a Play:
Ciarán Hinds, Hamlet
Mark Gatiss, Three Days in the Country

Bertie Carvel, Bakkhai
Johnny Flynn, Hangmen
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Hamlet

Best Supporting Actress in a Play sponsored by The Tonic Theatre Company:
Sian Brooke, Hamlet
Anastasia Hille, Hamlet
Imogen Doel, The Importance of Being Earnest
Patsy Ferran, As You Like It
Judi Dench, The Winter’s Tale

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical:
Lucas Rush, American Idiot

Alexis Gerred, American Idiot
David Bedella, In the Heights

Jack Edwards, Mack and Mabel
Peter Davison, Gypsy

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical sponsored by Newman:
Lara Pulver, Gypsy

Jennie Dale, Elf the Musical
Amy Lennox, Kinky Boots
Lauren Samuels, Bend It Like Beckham
Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, In the Heights

Best New Play:

Photograph 51

People, Places and Things
Farinelli and the King

Best New Musical sponsored by Shine Creative Solutions:
Kinky Boots

Bend It Like Beckham
Elf the Musical
In the Heights

Best Play Revival:

Importance of Being Earnest
The Ruling Class
Death of a Salesman

Best Musical Revival sponsored by R&H Theatricals:

High Society
Mack and Mabel
American Idiot

Best Direction:
Hamlet, Lyndsey Turner
In the Heights, Luke Sheppard
American Idiot, Racky Plews
Kinky Boots, Jerry Mitchell
Gypsy, Jonathan Kent

Best Choreography sponsored by Capezio:
Kinky Boots, Jerry Mitchell

In the Heights, Drew McOnie
High Society, Nathan M Wright
Gypsy, Stephen Mear
American Idiot, Racky Plews

Best Set Design sponsored by the Theatre Cafe:
Hamlet, Es Devlin

American Idiot, Sara Perks
Kinky Boots, David Rockwell
In the Heights, Takis
Gypsy, Anthony Ward

Best Lighting Design sponsored by White Light:
Hamlet, Jane Cox

In the Heights, Howard Hudson
American Idiot, Tim Deiling
Kinky Boots, Kenneth Posner
Gypsy, Mark Henderson

Best Off-West End Production sponsored by Les Misérables:
Shock Treatment, King’s Head Theatre
Carrie the Musical, Southwark Playhouse

You Won’t Succeed on Broadway If You Don’t Have Any Jews, St James’s Theatre
Grand Hotel, Southwark Playhouse
Assassins, Menier Chocolate Factory

Best Regional Production:
Mack and Mabel, Chichester Festival Theatre and tour
Mary Poppins, tour

Anything Goes, Sheffield Crucible and tour
Hairspray, tour
Henry V, RSC

Best West End Show sponsored by The Wine Treasury:
Les Misérables

Kinky Boots
Miss Saigon

Equity Award for Services to Theatre:
Kenneth Branagh