Howard Hudson Wins Best Lighting Design at WhatsOnStage Awards

The annual WhatsOnStage Awards took place at the Prince of Wales Theatre last night. Now in its 20th year, the Awards are the only major accolades in the UK where the audience choose the majority of winners. Alongside supplying the lighting equipment for the main ceremony, WL once again sponsored the Best Lighting Design Award which was won by Howard Hudson for & Juliet.






This year’s WhatsOnStage Awards were the biggest yet, and

for the first time, broadcast live on Radio 2 in a special show presented by

Elaine Page and Paddy O’Connell. The biggest names from the worlds of theatre

and showbiz were in attendance; as was WL who marked ten years of sponsoring

the Best Lighting Design Award.






This year’s Best Lighting Design Award was won by Howard Hudson for & Juliet. & Juliet looks at one of the most famous love stories of all time and asks what would happen if Julia decided to choose her own fate and if her famous ending was in fact just the beginning… The hilarious new musical uses the back catalogue of songs written by Swedish songwriter Max Martin, including ‘I Want It That Way’, ‘I Kissed A Girl’, ‘…Baby One More Time’ along with ‘It’s My Life’.






Bryan comments: “We are absolutely delighted that Howard is this year’s recipient of the Best Lighting Design Award. A long-time friend of WL (we are currently supplying the 9 to 5 UK tour), we remember supplying some of the first shows he lit after graduating and have had the privilege of seeing him truly grow and develop to become a now award-winning lighting designer”.






Howard has been a lighting designer for over ten years now, with select credits including 9 to 5 (Savoy Theatre), Strictly Ballroom (Piccadilly Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Garrick Theatre), The Little Shop of Horrors (Regents Park Open Air Theatre) and Kiss Me Kate (Sheffield Crucible). He had twice previously been nominated for Best Lighting Design for his work on In The Heights (2016) and The Little Shop of Horrors (2019). Nominated alongside Howard for Best Lighting Design were Jon Clark (Evita), Ben Cracknell (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), Jessica Hung Han Yun (Equus) and Tim Lutkin and Hugh Vanstone (Present Laughter).






& Juliet was the biggest winner on the night, having won six awards in total which included all of the creative technical categories such as Best Sound, Best Lighting, Best Costume and Best Set Design, alongside Best Actress in a Musical for Miriam-Teak Lee.



Other big winners included Come From Away, which won five awards including Best New Musical and Best Supporting Actress for Rachel Tucker, whereas the Old Vic took home three acting awards for Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress.






WhatsOnStage’s COO Sita McIntosh said: “In our 20th year, we’d also like to say a particular thank you to the audiences who are the lifeblood of our Awards, voting in their thousands. Their support and championing of shows is what keeps our industry alive”.






The WhatsOnStage Awards are one of several that WL sponsors, such as the upcoming Olivier Awards, OffWestEnd Awards and Tonic Theatre to name but a few.






Bryan concludes: “As the leading lighting supplier to West End and UK touring theatre, we feel it’s important we celebrate the great work that is made up and down the country and recognise the brilliant individuals involved. From everyone at WL, we’d like to say a massive well done to Howard and all the other winners on what was another great evening for our industry”.









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