2013 Whatsonstage Awards – A personal plug

7 Dec

As a lot of you will have noticed the shortlists for the 2013 Whatsonstage Awards have been announced today. So now it’s time to start thinking about who to vote for. For some categories voting will probably be easy for you and I’m sure there will be the odd category in which you are undecided or simply have no idea who to vote for.

If one of those categories happens to be Best Takeover in a role I’d like you to consider giving your vote to Dean Chisnall for Shrek in Shrek the musical. Now, I know this show is not to everyone’s taste and you may have seen it and not been blown away by it. But please read on and let me tell you why I think you should vote for Dean anyway.

I have known Dean for a couple of years now. I first saw him on stage when he was in Never Forget and I have followed his career ever since. And I can say without a doubt that I have never met a more dedicated performer in my 15+ years of theatre going. Dean truly loves his job and he puts everything into it. After understudying the part for almost a year he was promoted to first cast Shrek in February 2012 and he has been playing the role night after night to rave reviews ever since (actually those reviews started while he was still an understudy – I’ve never heard people say a bad word about his performance no matter if they liked the show as a whole or not). Shrek is one of the toughest parts in the West End at this point – he’s on stage almost constantly and you can imagine performing in that costume is not easy. But Dean will never give less than 100%.

I interviewed Dean for this blog a short while ago and asked him about the awards. This is what he had to say: “I’m so competitive! And everyone wants to win, of course they do. But I feel like the show deserves a bit more recognition than it’s had. And it would feel like such a triumph not just for me but for anyone who’s ever understudied. I’m sure there are other people in the category who will get shortlisted who won’t have done the route that I’ve done. I’ve been an understudy for so many years and then to get the part of Shrek – it would be a triumph for everyone who has ever covered anything. That’s my main reason for wanting to win. Obviously personal pride comes into it as well but I’d rather win it for everybody else to be honest.”

I know competition in the Best Takeover category is tough. I adored Ramin Karimloo’s take on Jean Valjean and really enjoyed seeing Gina Beck as Glinda (to name just two other nominees). So all I ask of you is to consider giving your vote to someone who has truly worked his butt off for being where he is today and who – after being an understudy in several shows – has finally gotten a lead part in a big West End show. Personally, I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of an award.

Follow this link to vote: http://awards.whatsonstage.com/awards/vote

PS: Thought this might be quite fitting. Feel free to use this wherever you like. 😉


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