Last night saw the return of the annual WhatsOnStage Awards. Taking place at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London’s West End, the Awards are the only major accolades in the UK where the audience are the judges. This year’s event was attended by the biggest names in the theatre industry and was presented by Trevor Dion Nicholas (Aladdin‘s Genie) and Vikki Stone. As the leading lighting supplier to West End theatre, White Light sponsored the Best Lighting Design Award which was won by Patrick Woodroffe for his work on Bat Out of Hell.
Running at the London Coliseum last year, Bat Out of Hell uses the music of Meatloaf’s iconic album to tell the story of rebellious lead Strat who falls in love with Raven, the beautiful daughter of the most powerful man in post-apocalyptic Obsidian. It was lit by Patrick Woodroffe whose career spans over forty years. His work covers the fields of contemporary and classical music, opera, film, television, architecture and musical theatre.
Bryan Raven, WL’s Managing Director, comments: “We were delighted to once again sponsor this year’s Best Lighting Design Award. We have worked with Patrick on several projects now, including the recent tour of The Band along with the Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains exhibition at the V & A Museum, and it’s fantastic that he has won this accolade for the first time”.
The biggest winner of the evening was 42nd Street, which won Best Musical Revival, Best Choreography, Best Costume Design and Best Set Design. The show was also nominated for the Best Lighting Design Award by Peter Mumford (you can read his interview about the production here). Other notable winners included David Tennant for Best Actor in a Play, Olivia Colman for Best Actress in a Play, The Ferryman for Best New Play, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie for Best New Musical and Sonia Friedman for Services to Theatre.
Two new awards were also presented this year. These included the Best Original Cast Recording which went to Les Misérables. There was also the Best Show Poster Award which went to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. WL supplies the lighting for both productions.
WhatsOnStage’s Chief Operating Officer Sita McIntosh comments: “2017 was such a strong year for theatre, and it’s wonderful to see such a broad cross section of work recognised in this year’s awards – many of the nominees were running neck and neck during the voting process due to the strength of talent represented.”
Bryan adds: “The WhatsOnStage Awards are truly unique in the sense that they are one of very few that are solely decided by the audience. Ultimately, shows are there to serve their audiences and it only makes sense that the work/performances that they admired the most should receive recognition. It also marks our continued commitment to celebrating the very best of the theatre industry, as seen with our sponsorship of the OffWestEnd Awards and the Tonic Theatre Awards; both recognising theatre at all levels”.