Andrew Polec wins at the Stage Debut Awards
The inaugural awards recognise the best breakthrough actors and creatives in theatre
The winners of the inaugural Stage Debut Awards have bee announced in a ceremony in London.
Bat Out of Hell star Andrew Polec beat performers John Boyega, Amber Riley, Audra McDonald and Andy Karl to the West End Debut Award. The public voted Polec as the winner for his performance in the Jim Steinman musical which will return to London in 2018.
Best Actress in a Play went to Grace Molony for her turn in The Country Girls at Chichester, while Abraham Popoola took home Best Actor in a Play for Othello at Tobacco Factory Theatres. Actor in a Musical went to Samuel Thomas for Allegro at Southwark Playhouse.
Katherine Soper won Best Writer for her new play Wish List at the Royal Exchange, Manchester and Royal Court, while Dan Gillespie Sells won Best Composer for Everybody's Talking About Jamie at the Crucible in Sheffield.
The event was hosted by Ben Forster, and the awards were presented by Rufus Norris, Michael Grandage, Noma Dumezweni, Sharon D Clarke, Preeya Kalidas and Kenneth Cranham.
The Stage Debut Awards voting system involved the Stage's network of theatre critics making nominations, as well as actors putting their names forward. A judging panel of Stage editor Alistair Smith, Lyn Gardner, Mark Shenton, Sam Marlow and Stage reviews editor Natasha Tripney then created a shortlist. The Best West End Debut was shortlisted by the judging panel and then the winner decided by public vote.
The winners of the Stage Debut Awards in full
Best Actor in a Play
Abraham Popoola for Othello at Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol
Best Actress in a Play
Grace Molony for The Country Girls at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester
Best Actor in a Musical
Samuel Thomas for Allegro at Southwark Playhouse, London
Best Actress in a Musical
Miriam-Teak Lee for On the Town at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, London
Lekan Lawal for Betrayal at Derby Theatre, Derby
Rosie Elnile for The Convert at the Gate Theatre, London
Dan Gillespie Sells for Everybody's Talking About Jamie at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Katherine Soper for Wish List at the Royal Exchange, Manchester
The Joe Allen Best West End Debut
Andrew Polec for Bat Out of Hell at the London Coliseum