WhatsOnStage Logo
Home link

Theatre stars shortlisted for Times Breakthrough Award

The actors and playwrights will battle it out in the audience-voted award

Zizi Strallen, Matt Henry, Barney Norris and Michaela Coel
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Zizi Strallen, Matt Henry, Michaela Coel and Barney Norris are among the nominees for this year's The Times Sky Arts South Bank Breakthrough Award.

Alongside comedian Romesh Ranganathan and grime artist Stormzy, the actors and playwright have been shortlisted for the award which will be chosen in an online vote by Times readers and presented at The South Bank Sky Arts Awards on 5 June.

Strallen, currently starring in the titular role in a UK tour of Mary Poppins, was commended for her performance in Matthew Bourne's The Car Man. Kinky Boots star Henry adds the nomination to the WhatsOnStage and Olivier Awards he won earlier in the year.

Playwright Norris won the Critics' Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright for Visitors and is nominated in the literature category for his debut novel Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain.

Coel is an established theatre actress and playwright, her debut play Chewing Gum Dreams won the Alfred Fagon Award and went on to play at the National Theatre. It has since been adaptated into a TV series and it is this she is recognised for in the TV Drama category.

The other nominees are Jennifer France (Opera), Charlotte Moth (Visual art), Mark Simpson (Classical) and Agyness Deyn (Film).

The winner will join previous winners including Tom Hiddleston, dancer Aaron Sillis and comedian Nick Helm.

Voting for The Times Sky Arts South Bank Breakthrough Award is open on the Times website until midnight on 6 May.