Entertainment & Arts

Legally Blonde scoops four What's On Stage awards

Sherdian Smith and Duncan James
Legally Blonde was nominated for seven prizes

West End musical Legally Blonde has won four prizes at this year's What's On Stage Awards, it has been announced.

The show's leading lady Sheridan Smith took home the prize for best actress in a musical and co-star Jill Halfpenny won best supporting actress.

The Savoy Theatre production was also named best new musical and scooped the gong for best choreographer.

Wicked The Musical and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies both went home with two awards apiece.

Legally Blonde star Smith said: "Thank you to everyone at the Savoy theatre. You're a well-oiled machine - I was just a small cog in the wheel."

The top two acting awards - best actor and actress in a play - went to David Suchet and Zoe Wanamaker for All My Sons at the Apollo.

"What we're trying to do is to catch the heart off-guard and blow it open. I hope we've done that," said Wanamaker.

The show, by Arthur Miller, ran from May until September 2010.

Miserables treble

Meera Syal picked up the best solo performance award for her portrayal of Shirley Valentine.

Ramin Karimloo
Love Never Dies star Ramin Karimloo was named best actor in a musical

"It's a particularly lonely place standing in the wings before you go out to do a one-person show, but I can honestly say that every time I went out there and saw all the Shirleys looking back at me I never felt alone," she said.

Rachel Tucker was named winner of the best takeover in a role for Wicked.

The singer, who participated in the BBC series I'd Do Anything in 2008, replaced Alexia Khadime as the role of Elphaba in March.

The musical, based on the acclaimed novel by Gregory Maguire, also picked up best West End show.

Ramin Karimloo was named best actor in a musical for Love Never Dies and Joseph Millson took home best supporting actor in a musical for the Phantom Of The Opera sequel.

Karimloo said the crew were the "unsung heroes".

"They rock up and do triple the hours I do."

There were three awards for Les Miserables - its 25th anniversary concert, which took place in October at London's O2 arena, won best ensemble performance and theatre event of the year.

Its anniversary production at the Barbican also won best musical revival.

"To have had the chance in my own lifetime to revive one of the greatest shows I will ever do is extraordinary," said Les Miserables producer Cameron Mackintosh.

Tamsin Greig was presented with the best supporting actress in a play award for The Little Dog Laughed and the same prize in the actor's category went to Nigel Lindsay for Broken Glass.

"Finally the long hours of hard work and self-sacrifice have paid off," he said.

"It's very lonely sitting in internet cafes voting for yourself hour after hour with only a coffee and a croissant to keep you going," he added.

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