Brian May & Kerry Ellis Headline Whatsonstage.com Awards
Queen’s Brian May will bring the 2012 Whatsonstage.com Awards to a rock ‘n’ roll conclusion when he performs the finale of the Awards Concert on Sunday 19 February 2012 at the West End’s Prince of Wales Theatre.
The guitar legend will be appearing alongside West End diva Kerry Ellis, who has been nominated in the 2012 Whatsonstage.com Awards for Best Solo Performance for Anthems, a show arranged and produced by May as a showcase for Ellis’ talents. Anthems premiered at the Royal Albert Hall last spring prior to a UK tour.
Both May and Ellis have enjoyed previous success at the Whatsonstage.com Awards. In the 2003 Awards, which pre-dated the introduction of the now-annual Awards Concert, Queen musical We Will Rock You, which May also co-produces, won five prizes, including Best New Musical.
At a special performance of We Will Rock You, the Whatsonstage.com trophies were presented to May, Roger Taylor and the musical’s original cast, which included Ellis.
Following her breakthrough playing Meat in We Will Rock You, Ellis went on to huge West End success as Elphaba in Wicked – for which she won Best Takeover in a Role in the 2008 Whatsonstage.com Awards – and Nancy in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
The Whatsonstage.com Awards, now in their 12th year, are the only major UK theatre awards decided across the board by the public. This year, more than 70,000 theatregoers (a new record – up from 46,000 in 2011) took part in the voting, which concluded on 31 January 2012. Winners will be announced at the Awards Concert, which also kicks off Whatsonstage.com’s own celebrations of 15 years as the UK’s leading theatre website.
Brian May said today: “I'm very happy to be coming along to make some noise with Kerry Ellis at the Whatsonstage.com Awards. We will be celebrating Whatsonstage.com’s 15th birthday, and Kerry's nomination for a gong for our Albert Hall show - Anthems - last May. We'll be performing a song from that show.”
Anthems: The Concert was born out of the album of the same name, which May and Ellis also collaborated on. According to May: “From the moment I first heard Kerry sing, I was entranced, and felt the conviction that I would one day make an album for her. That conviction never left me. The hard thing was to find the right medium to harness that amazing voice - the material and arrangements had to be worthy, and a musical style evolved to capture her unique magic.” He describes what they’ve created as “a new form of music - a kind of anthemic-orchestral-rock-musical-theatre fusion.”
The full line-up for the 2012 Whatsonstage.com Awards at the Prince of Wales Theatre will be announced shortly.
Awards Concert tickets are priced £35 to £55 and can be purchased, while supplies last, via the Prince of Wales box office on 0844 482 5133 or online through Delfont Mackintosh.