Norton, Scherzinger among winners at WhatsOnStage Awards 2024

The 24th annual WhatsOnStage Awards, a celebration of theatre excellence voted by the audience, concluded at the London Palladium, honouring talents from across the globe, per Hosted by Bonnie Langford and Melanie La Barrie, the ceremony recognised outstanding performances and productions, with notable names like James Norton, Nicole Scherzinger, and a stage play spin-off of the popular Netflix series Stranger Things emerging as winners.

Sunset Boulevard, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical portraying the poignant tale of a fading Hollywood star, dominated the night, clinching seven prestigious awards. Nicole Scherzinger, known for her multifaceted talent, secured the award for Best Performer in a Musical for her portrayal of Norma Desmond in the production.

Meanwhile, the gender-neutral awards ceremony celebrated diversity and creativity in theatre, with Kevin Clifton making a statement by donning black high heels while presenting the award for Best Choreography to Matt Cole for Disney’s Newsies.

James Norton shone in the spotlight, earning accolades for his performance in A Little Life, a stage adaptation of Hanya Yanagihara’s acclaimed novel. His portrayal garnered him the award for Best Performer in a Play, alongside Luke Thompson, who received the Best Supporting Performer award.

Aimee Lou Wood, who won the best takeover gong (Image: Ian West/PA)

In a joint statement, organisers Darius Thompson and Alex Wood emphasised the audience’s enthusiasm for innovative storytelling, citing bold adaptations and experimental productions as key contributors to the vibrancy of contemporary theatre.

Among the night’s highlights was the recognition of Stranger Things: The First Shadow as Best New Play, set decades before the events depicted in the hit series. Additionally, Operation Mincemeat, a Second World War comedy, clinched the title of Best New Musical.

The ceremony also honoured individuals for their contributions to the UK theatre scene, with Rufus Norris, director of the National Theatre, receiving the prestigious award for services to theatre.

As the curtains closed on the WhatsOnStage Awards 2024, the stage was set to celebrate the transformative power of storytelling and the enduring spirit of the theatre community.

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