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The Stage Debut Awards nominees revealed including Robbie Williams, Wendell Pierce and Aimee Lou Wood

The winners will be announced at a special ceremony in September

The nominees for this year's Stage Debut Awards
© Daniel Monks: Marc Brenner, all others except David Mitchell: Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage / WhatsOnStage

The shortlist has been revealed for the annual Stage Debut Awards.

Among this year's nominees are Wendell Pierce, who appeared in Death of a Salesman in the West End and at the Young Vic, Robbie Williams (who is co-composer and lyricist for The Boy in the Dress with Guy Chambers – though Chambers was not making his stage debut with this show) and Aimee Lou Wood (a break-out star in Netflix's Sex Education and recently on stage in Uncle Vanya).

Also recognised are Benj Pasek, Justin Paul and Steven Levenson, the composer, lyricist and book-writer for Dear Evan Hansen, as well two of the musical's stars, Sam Tutty and Lucy Anderson. Tutty won the 2020 WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actor in a Musical earlier this year.

Other nominees include Daniel Monks, who led the Donmar Warehouse's Teenage Dick in 2019, Samantha Pauly, who led Evita at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre (which also won a WhatsOnStage Award earlier this year) and director Nadia Latif (Fairview at the Young Vic).

The winners will be revealed in a virtual ceremony on 27 September. One of the categories – Best West End Debut Performer – can be voted on by theatre fans.

The shortlist in full:

Best Performer in a Play – sponsored by Audible

Saida Ahmed for Little Miss Burden at The Bunker, London
Katie Erich for Oliver Twist at Leeds Playhouse  (in a co-production with Ramps on the Moon)
Brooklyn Melvin for Oliver Twist at Leeds Playhouse (in a co-production with Ramps on the Moon) Daniel Monks for Teenage Dick at the Donmar Warehouse, London
Rachel Nwokoro for Little Baby Jesus at the Orange Tree Theatre, London
Jessica Rhodes for The Sugar Syndrome at the Orange Tree Theatre, London
Khai Shaw for Little Baby Jesus at the Orange Tree Theatre, London
Bobby Stallwood for Faith, Hope and Charity at the National Theatre, London  

Best Performer in a Musical

Shan Ako for Les Misérables at the Sondheim Theatre, London
Lucy Anderson for Dear Evan Hansen at the Noël Coward Theatre, London
Chase Brown for Mame at the Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester
Oli Higginson for The Last Five Years at the Southwark Playhouse, London
Adriana Ivelisse for West Side Story at Curve, Leicester
Tom Noyes for Preludes at the Southwark Playhouse, London
Bethany Tennick for Islander at the Southwark Playhouse, London
Sam Tutty for Dear Evan Hansen at the Noël Coward Theatre, London

Best Director – sponsored by Smith & Williamson

Georgia Green for The Mikvah Project at the Orange Tree Theatre, London
Martha Kiss Perrone for When It Breaks It Burns at the Battersea Arts Centre, London
Alex Sutton for Preludes at the Southwark Playhouse, London 

Best Designer – sponsored by Robe Lighting

Liam Bunster (set and costume) for The Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare's Globe, London
Andrew Exeter (lighting) for High Fidelity at the Turbine Theatre, London
Rose Revitt (set and costume) for Dr Korczak's Example at Leeds Playhouse  

Best Composer or Lyricist 

Jim Barne and Kit Buchan for The Season at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and Royal & Derngate, Northampton
Jherek Bischoff for The Ocean at the End of the Lane at the National Theatre, London
Robbie Williams for The Boy in the Dress at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon 

Best Writer

Samuel Bailey for Shook at the Southwark Playhouse, London
Mari Izzard for Hela at The Other Room, Cardiff
Eleanor Tindall for Before I Was a Bear at The Bunker, London
Temi Wilkey for The High Table at the Bush Theatre, London (in a co-production with Birmingham Rep)

Best West End Debut Performer – sponsored by Trafalgar Entertainment

Shan Ako for Les Misérables at the Sondheim Theatre
David Mitchell for The Upstart Crow at the Gielgud Theatre
Daniel Monks for Teenage Dick at the Donmar Warehouse
Samantha Pauly for Evita at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre
Wendell Pierce for Death of a Salesman at the Piccadilly Theatre
Sam Tutty for Dear Evan Hansen at the Noël Coward Theatre
Aimee Lou Wood for Uncle Vanya at the Harold Pinter Theatre

 Best Creative West End Debut – sponsored by the Noël Coward Foundation

Fabian Aloise (choreographer) for Evita at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre
Nadia Latif (director) for Fairview at the Young Vic Theatre
Benj Pasek, Justin Paul and Steven Levenson (composer, lyricist and book) for Dear Evan Hansen at the Noël Coward Theatre
Femi Temowo (composer) for Death of a Salesman at the Piccadilly Theatre and for Three Sisters at the National Theatre
David West Read (book) for & Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre

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