Jez Butterworth’s ground-breaking The Ferryman has been crowned Best New Play in this year’s WhatsOnStage Awards. The Ferryman, which was supported by Bruno Wang Productions, also won Best Direction for Oscar-winner Sam Mendes and Best Supporting Actor for rising talent Fra Fee, who originally played the role of Michael Carney.
Best Play Revival was won by Robert Icke’s Hamlet, also supported by Bruno Wang Productions. The veteran talent Juliet Stevenson won Best Supporting Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Gertrude in the same production.
And An American in Paris, a third production supported by Bruno Wang Productions, won Best Video Design.
The 18th annual awards were highly contested in all categories. Broadchurch co-stars David Tennant and Olivia Colman were both winners; Best Actor in a Play and Best Actress in a Play respectively. Colman was recognised for her turn in Mosquitoes, which ran at the National Theatre, while Tennant won his for Don Juan in Soho, directed and adapted by Patrick Marber.
Of his award, Tennant said: “The WhatsOnStage Awards are a wonderful evening celebrating everything that’s good about London theatre and I’m so chuffed to be winning this for Don Juan in Soho.” It is the third time Tennant has taken home a WhatsOnStage Award, but the first for Colman.
New production Everybody’s Talking About Jamie was also one of the evening’s big winners, scoring awards for Best Actor in a Musical (John McCrea), Best Supporting Actress in a Musical (Lucie Shorthouse) and the coveted title of Best New Musical. The touring production of Sunset Boulevard, starring Ria Jones and Danny Mac, won best Regional Production.
Carrie Hope Fletcher won Best Actress in a Musical for her turn as Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family. In keeping with the gothic theme, Ross Noble took the prize for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for his role as Igor in Young Frankenstein.
The much-loved musical 42nd Street was the winner of four awards, the most of any show, picking up gongs in Best Musical Revival, Best Choreography for Randy Skinner, Best Costume Design for Roger Kirk and Best Set Design for Douglas W Schmidt.
The Equity Award for Services to Theatre was given to producer Sonia Friedman, with Mendes presenting her with the award.