Audra McDonald, Amber Riley, John Boyega and More Receive U.K.'s Stage Debut Award Nominations

London News   Audra McDonald, Amber Riley, John Boyega and More Receive U.K.'s Stage Debut Award Nominations
 
The shortlist recognizes artists in stunning debut performances across England.
Audra Mcdonald, John Boyega, and Amber Riley
Audra Mcdonald, John Boyega, and Amber Riley Joseph Marzullo/WENN / Shutterstock

London publication The Stage has announced their shortlist of nominees for The Stage Debut Awards, which will be presented September 17, 2017.

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Andy Karl Joan Marcus

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

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