Entertainment & Arts

Charlie takes on Mormon at WhatsOnStage awards

Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Gavin Creel as Elder Price in The Book of Mormon
Image caption Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Gavin Creel as Elder Price in The Book of Mormon

Big budget musicals The Book of Mormon and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are up against each other at next year's WhatsOnStage awards.

Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint also appear among the nominees.

Radcliffe is nominated for best actor for his role in Martin McDonagh's The Cripple Of Inishmaan.

Grint is shortlisted for newcomer of the year for his stage debut in the revival of Jez Butterworth's Mojo.

Dame Helen Mirren is up for best actress for her role as the Queen in The Audience.

The winners, voted for entirely by theatre-goers, will be announced at a ceremony and concert at the Prince of Wales theatre in London on 23 February.

Satirical musical Book of Mormon, by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, opened in the West End in February having been a huge Broadway hit.

It also made headlines when it was singled out, along with The Audience, by The Stage as having the most expensive seats in the West End (£127).

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Oscar-winner Sam Mendes, opened its doors in May with Douglas Hodge as the enigmatic sweet factory boss Willy Wonka.

Also in the best new musical category are the National Theatre's The Light Princess, with music by Tori Amos; Once, based on the 2006 Irish film; and From Here to Eternity, with lyrics by Tim Rice.

Dame Helen Mirren's best actress nomination follows her Olivier and Evening Standard wins for playing the Queen. She also picked up an Oscar in 2007 for playing the British monarch.

Peter Morgan's play imagines the private meetings between Queen Elizabeth II and her prime ministers over her 60 year reign.

The other best actress nominees are Anne-Marie Duff, for Eugene O'Neill's Strange Interlude; Tanya Moodie for Fences; Hayley Atwell for The Pride and Suranne Jones for Beautiful Thing.

The Audience also receives nods for best supporting actress for Haydn Gwynne's Margaret Thatcher, best supporting actor for Richard McCabe's Harold Wilson and best new play.

The best new play shortlist also includes The Events by David Greig, Peter and Alice by John Logan, Chimerica by Lucy Kirkwood; and The Herd, a debut play by Rory Kinnear.

Kinnear is also up for best actor for his portrayal of Iago in the National's Othello, alongside Ben Whishaw, nominated jointly for playing a psychopath in Mojo and for Peter and Alice; James McAvoy for Macbeth; Lenny Henry for Fences and Radcliffe for the title role in The Cripple of Inishmaan.

Nominated for theatre event of the year are:

  • Punchdrunk's return to London with The Drowned Man
  • The Lyric Hammersmith's Secret Theatre company season
  • The Michael Grandage West End season at the Noel Coward Theatre
  • The National Theatre's 50th anniversary gala, broadcast live on the BBC
  • The opening of the National's Shed as a temporary performance space

The nominations for the 14th annual WhatsOnStage awards were revealed on Friday at a launch party at London's Cafe de Paris.

Over the past month, theatregoers have broken a new record by submitting more than 80,000 nominations across 27 different categories.

The full list of nominations is on Whatsonstage.com website.

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