The Stage has revealed the shortlist for its inaugural The Stage Debut Awards, ahead of the ceremony on 17 September. The awards recognise the best breakthrough actors and creatives in theatre across the UK.
The nominees range from young actors making their first forays into the industry, right the way through to established stars with stage debuts. The shortlist highlights the breadth of new talent on and off stage with categories celebrating performers, writers, composers and directors.
Lyn Gardner, The Stage's associate editor and one of the judges, said: "We have a really strong and diverse set of nominees. It's great to see such a range of talented theatremakers and it gives cause for optimism about the future of theatre in the UK."
The Joe Allen Best West End Debut category is the only award to have the winner decided by public vote, and voting is now open. The winners will be announced on 17 September.
The nominees in full:
The Joe Allen Best West End Debut
John Boyega, Woyzeck
Anthony Boyle, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Andy Karl, Groundhog Day
Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill
Andrew Polec, Bat Out of Hell
Imogen Poots, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Amber Riley, Dreamgirls
Charlie Stemp, Half A Sixpence
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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