David Tennant and Catherine Tate’s Much Ado About Nothing scooped two awards tonight at the WhatsOnStage Awards 2012.
The play which ran at Wyndham’s Theatre from May till September last year was named as Best Shakespearean Production, seeing off competition from the likes of Hamlet at the Young Vic, and another production of Much Ado About Nothing at the Globe.
It was also named The AKA Theatre Event Of The Year.
Director Josie Rourke accepted both awards on behalf of the company and thanked, first of all, the audiences for making the event so special throughout the summer. She also thanked David Tennant and Catherine Tate for coming up with the idea and the rest of the company for generally being so wonderful!
Catherine Tate sent a message from LA where she is currently shooting The Office to thank her co-stars and the audiences who voted for the play in both categories.
During the awards interval, Josie Rourke was interviewed about the double win. Asked if they had expected the production to work, she laughingly said that they hadn’t, but they had gone into the project feeling really excited about bringing a great company together. David and Catherine had been so great in their roles – the project had, of course, been their idea after all – but she added that a successful production always starts with great casting.
Josie once again praised what she described as the most extraordinary audiences who laughed at 400-year old jokes, jumped to their feet every night and made the whole company feel like rock stars. She explained that they were all borne along by the audience response and so it felt wholly appropriate for the play to have won the Event Of The Year prize as it reflected the company’s experience of the summer. No doubt, there are many members of the audiences who would agree with that sentiment!
The director also spoke a little about the setting, saying that it was a contemporary one that people enjoyed. Allowing audiences to be able to reflect upon the 1980s and the post-Falklands era was a useful hook into the drama that made it accessible to many.
Unfortunately David Tennant and Josie Rourke were not as lucky in their own categories. David lost out in the Best Actor In A Play award to James Corden for his celebrated role in One Man, Two Guvnors which is just about to transfer to Broadway. Josie Rourke was beaten to the Best Director prize by Danny Boyle who directed Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller in Frankenstein.
However, there was good news too as Catherine Tate won the Best Supporting Actress In A Play for her role in Season’s Greetings, and the Wyndham’s Theatre production of Driving Miss Daisy picked up wins for Best Play Revival and Best Actress In A Play for Vanessa Redgrave.
The awards were hosted by Sheridan Smith, Alan Davies and Jenny Éclair from the Prince of Wales Theatre and were streamed live online on the WhatsOnStage and Time Out websites. Check back on the WhatsOnStage site tomorrow for edited highlights, interviews and outtakes.
So, to all of tonight’s winners, big congratulations from everyone at DT Forum! And remember you can still purchase a download of Much Ado About Nothing from Digital Theatre – view the trailer here.