London NewsAudra McDonald, Amber Riley, John Boyega and More Receive U.K.'s Stage Debut Award NominationsThe shortlist recognizes artists in stunning debut performances across England.
August 10, 2017
London publication The Stage has announced their shortlist of nominees for The Stage Debut Awards, which will be presented September 17, 2017.
Among the nominees for the Joe Allen Best West End Debut are six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald, Star Wars’ John Boyega, and Glee’s Amber Riley. According to joint lead theatre critic—and former Playbill contributor—Mark Shenton, who serves as a judge, “While the other categories in The Stage Debut Awards only recognise complete newcomers, the Joe Allen Best West End Debut Award is a chance to celebrate talent making their mark in the West End for the first time.”
So while McDonald has a storied (and record-breaking) career in the U.S., her performance in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill marks her West End debut, and has earned her a spot as a nominee here. She is joined in the Joe Allen category by Boyega for his work in Woyzeck, newcomer Anthony Boyle in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Tony nominee Andy Karl in Groundhog Day (who won the Olivier Award for his performance in the Tim Minchin musical), Andrew Polec in Bat Out of Hell, Imogen Poots in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Riley in Dreamgirls, and Charlie Stemp in Half a Sixpence. Unlike other categories (listed below), the Joe Allen award is voted on by the public. Click here to vote.
The Stage Debut Awards on the whole recognize actors and creatives working in Manchester, Belfast, Bristol, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Chichester, Liverpool, Derby, Stratford-upon-Avon, and London.
The network of critics employed by The Stage submit nominees based on the productions they’ve reviewed, and industry professionals across the country contribute their nominations to a longlist. The judging panel consisting of The Stage editor Alistair Smith, associate editor Lyn Gardner, associate editor Mark Shenton, theatre critic Sam Marlowe, and reviews editor Natasha Tripney, met July 31 to narrow down and name the shortlist of nominees and winners—with the exception of the winner for the Joe Allen Award.
The Stage’s associate editor Lynn Gardner noted in a press statement, “It’s great to see such a great range of talented theatremakers and gives cause for great optimism about the future of theatre in the U.K.”
See the full list of nominees below:
Best Actor in a Play Jack Archer for Nivelli's War at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast TJ Jones for The Seven Acts of Mercy at the Swan Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon Kenneth Omole for Assata Taught Me at the Gate Theatre, London Abraham Popoola for Othello at Tobacco Factory, Bristol
Best Actress in a Play sponsored by Pauline Quirke Academy at PQA Studios London Anya Chalotra for Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare's Globe, London Kellan Frankland for The House of Bernarda Alba at the Royal Exchange, Manchester Grace Molony for The Country Girls at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester Jess Peet for Alice in Wonderland at the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
Best Actor in a Musical sponsored by Encore Radio Adam J Bernard for Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre, London Ben Hunter for The Girls at the Phoenix Theatre, London Samuel Thomas for Allegro at Southwark Playhouse, London Daniel Urch for 110 in the Shade at Ye Olde Rose and Crown, London
Best Actress in a Musical sponsored by The Other Palace Chloe Carrington for Hair at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester Emily Hughes for Fiddler on the Roof at Everyman Theatre, Liverpool Siena Kelly for On the Town at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, London Miriam-Teak Lee for On the Town at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, London
Best Director sponsored by See Tickets Sean Aydon for Richard III at the Rosemary Branch, London Alexander Lass for 46 Beacon at Trafalgar Studios 2, London Lekan Lawal for Betrayal at Derby Theatre, Derby Lynette Linton for Assata Taught Me at the Gate Theatre, London
Best Designer sponsored by Robe Rosie Elnile for The Convert at the Gate Theatre, London Joshua Gadsby for Dreamplay at the Vaults, London Simon Spencer for The Tempest at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon Jessica Staton for Extra Yarn at the Orange Tree Theatre, London
Best Composer sponsored by Trafalgar Entertainment Group Jonah Brody for Removal Men at the Yard, London Ruth Chan for Snow in Midsummer at the Swan Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon Dan Gillespie Sells for Everybody's Talking About Jamie at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Stephen Jackson for Roller Diner at the Soho Theatre, London
Best Writer Titas Halder for Run the Beast Down at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury and Finborough Theatre, London Asif Khan for Combustion at Tara Arts, London Katherine Soper for Wish List at the Royal Exchange, Manchester Victoria Willing for Spring Offensive at the Clapham Omnibus, London
The Joe Allen Best West End Debut John Boyega for Woyzeck at the Old Vic Anthony Boyle for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre Andy Karl for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic Audra McDonald for Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill at Wyndhams Theatre Andrew Polec for Bat Out of Hell at the London Coliseum Imogen Poots for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Harold Pinter Theatre Amber Riley for Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre Charlie Stemp for Half a Sixpence at the Noel Coward Theatre