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Chichester Festival Theatre wins six prizes at the Whatsonstage Awards

Imelda Staunton and Michael Ball in Chichester's Sweeney Todd. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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Chichester Festival Theatre was the big winner at this year’s Whatsonstage Awards, scooping a total of six prizes.

The West End transfer of the theatre’s production of Sweeney Todd won five awards ­– including best musical revival – while Andrew Wright was named best choreographer for the venue’s production of Singin’ in the Rain.

Chichester’s Sweeney Todd, which ran at the Adelphi Theatre in London, beat musicals such as the arena staging of Jesus Christ Superstar, and its own productions of Kiss Me, Kate and Singin’ in the Rain to win the best musical revival award.

The musical’s stars, Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton, won best musical actor and actress respectively.

Sweeney Todd’s director, Jonathan Kent, picked up the award for best director, while Mark Henderson won best lighting designer for his work on the musical.

Other winners at the awards, which are voted for by the public and were held tonight at the Palace Theatre, included Sheridan Smith and Rupert Everett, who were named best actress and actor in a play respectively.

Smith won for Hedda Gabler at the Old Vic, while Everett won for Hampstead Theatre’s Judas Kiss.

Natalie Casey, meanwhile, won the supporting actress in a play award for Abigail’s Party, which was a Menier Chocolate Factory production. Abigail’s Party, which transferred to Wyndham’s Theatre following its run at the Menier, also won in the best play revival category.

At the ceremony, hosted by Mel Giedroyc and Rufus Hound, Stephen Fry won the prize for supporting actor in a play. This was for his performance in Shakespeare’s Globe’s Twelfth Night, which also won best Shakespearean production.

Shakespeare’s Globe’s productions of Richard III and Twelfth Night also won the award for best ensemble performance.

Meanwhile, Melanie C and Tim Minchin were named best supporting actress and actor in a musical for Jesus Christ Superstar at the O2, and Idina Menzel won the solo performance prize for her show at the Apollo Theatre in London last year.

The award for best takeover in a role went to Ramin Karimloo for Les Miserables, which was also named best West End Show.

Elsewhere, the National Theatre’s production of  Simon Stephens’ The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time won best new play, and Graham Linehan’s The Ladykillers won best new comedy.

Best new musical was presented to The Bodyguard and Boy George musical Taboo was named best off-West End show.

American Idiot, the Green Day musical, won the regional production category.

The prize for best original music went to Marvin Hamlisch, for Sweet Smell of Success at the Arcola, while Will Young picked up the newcomer prize for his performance in Cabaret.

Other winners at the event included Tom Scutt, who won the set design section for his work on both The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at Kensington Gardens and Constellations at the Royal Court, and Danny Boyle, whose staging of the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics was named theatre event of the year.

Whatsonstage.com said more than 60,000 people voted for the awards.

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