Jodie Comer (Killing Eve, Doctor Foster), Emma Corrin (The Crown), Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and the stars of West End musicals Jersey Boys and Back to The Future are among the nominees for The Stage Debut Awards 2022. In association with ATG, The Stage Debut Awards celebrates the best emerging theatre talent in the UK.
In an historic move, the entire ensemble of For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy have received a nomination for Best Performer in a Play. This decision reflects the calibre of performances from the entire cast – all of whom were making their debuts – of Ryan Calais Cameron’s seminal work, which premiered at New Diorama before transferring to the Royal Court. Back to the Future: The Musical’s Hugh Coles and Jersey Boy’s Ben Joyce are competing for both Best Performer in a Musical and Best West End Debut Performer. Also in the running for Best West End Debut Performer is Jodie Comer for her role in Prima Facie against The Seagull’s Emilia Clarke, Broadway star Sutton Foster for Anything Goes and Emma Corrin for Anna X.
The awards recognise ground-breaking debut work and how this contributes to the wider success of a production such as J’Ouvert in the West End, that has received two nominations in the Best Creative West End Debut category, Chris Bush’s Rock / Paper / Scissors at Sheffield Theatres, the critically acclaimed production of Spring Awakening at the Almeida or Jack Holden’s Olivier Award-nominated Cruise.
The full shortlist celebrates the breadth of emerging talent across the UK. It includes newcomers from productions in Sheffield, Bolton, Leeds and Leicester, as well as from shows in Wales, Scotland and London. Productions featuring debuts showcase the full range of theatre with nominees shortlisted for some of the largest productions in the West End and around the UK as well as pub and fringe shows.
Alistair Smith, Editor of The Stage, comments, Judging these awards has, as ever, been a complete joy. We have a wonderful set of nominees. They reflect the artistic flair, skill and diversity of the next generation of theatrical talent who will ensure that British theatre thrives in the years to come. We can’t wait to celebrate their achievements next month.
The Best West End Debut Performer award is the only category in which the winner is determined by an online public vote. Votes can be cast online at
https://www.thestage.co.uk/debut-vote-22. This award celebrates a performer’s first time in London’s West End and voting closes at midday on Sunday 4th September 2022.
Mark Cornell, Chief Executive Officer of ATG commented, ATG is thrilled to be supporting British theatre’s emerging talent through The Stage Debut Awards. At ATG we know that people are at the heart of successful theatre and that new ideas and voices are essential to bringing great live experiences to new audiences. We look forward to being part of an exceptional night celebrating
professional debuts at these awards in September.
Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Sunday 18th September, with the ceremony being live streamed across The Stage’s Facebook page.
Best Performer in a Play:
• Samuel Creasey for Book of Dust at Bridge Theatre, London
• Elisabeth Gunawan for Unforgettable Girl at Voila! Festival, London
• Kudzai Mangombe for Malindadzimu at Hampstead Theatre, London • Saba Shiraz for An Adventure at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton
• Tommy Sim’aan for Starcrossed at Wilton’s Music Hall, London
• Joe Usher for Rock / Paper / Scissors at Sheffield Theatres
• Michael Workeye for House of Ife at the Bush Theatre, London
• Dewi Wykes for Petula at National Theatre Wales
• Ensemble of For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy at the New Diorama and Royal Court, London (Mark Akintimehin, Emmanuel Akwafo, Nnabiko Ejimofor, Darragh Hand, Aruna Jalloh, Kaine Lawrence)
Best Performer in a Musical – sponsored by Carnival Cruise Line
• Hugh Coles for Back to the Future at the Adelphi Theatre, London
• Elijah Ferreira for Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Leeds Playhouse
• Ben Joyce for Jersey Boys at Trafalgar Theatre, London
• Bella Maclean for Spring Awakening at the Almeida, London
• Joe Pitts for Spring Awakening at the Almeida, London
Best Director – sponsored by Theatredor
• Anthony Almeida for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Curve, Leicester
• Alice Fitzgerald for Purple Snowflakes and Titty Wanks at the Royal Court, London
• Monique Touko for Malindadzimu at Hampstead Theatre, London
• TK Hay (set and costume) for An Adventure at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton
• Caitlin Mawhinney (set and costume) for My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored / Teechers Leavers at Leeds Playhouse/Hull Truck
• Liz Whitbread (set and costume) for Favour at the Bush Theatre, London
Best Writer – sponsored by Sonia Friedman Productions
• Kemi-Bo Jacobs for All White Everything But Me at the Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle
• Eilidh Loan for Moorcroft at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow
• Tyrell Williams for Red Pitch at the Bush Theatre, London
Best Composer, Lyricist or Book Writer
• John Patrick Elliott for Cruise at the Duchess Theatre, London
• Jordan Paul Clarke & Francesca Forristal for Public Domain at the Vaudeville Theatre, London
• Lauryn Redding for Bloody Elle at the Royal Exchange, Manchester
Best West End Debut Performer
• Lizzie Annis for The Glass Menagerie at the Duke of York’s Theatre
• Emilia Clarke for The Seagull at the Harold Pinter Theatre
• Hugh Coles for Back to the Future the Musical at the Adelphi Theatre • Jodie Comer for Prima Facie at the Harold Pinter Theatre
• Emma Corrin for Anna X at the Harold Pinter Theatre
• Sutton Foster for Anything Goes at the Barbican
• Hannah Jarrett-Scott for Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) at the Criterion Theatre
• Ben Joyce for Jersey Boys at Trafalgar Theatre
Best Creative West End Debut – sponsored by Trafalgar Entertainment
• Julia Cheng (choreographer) for Cabaret at the Playhouse Theatre
• Tacita Dean (designer) for The Dante Project at the Royal Opera House
• Jack Holden (writer) for Cruise at the Duchess Theatre
• Yasmin Joseph (writer) for J’Ouvert at the Harold Pinter Theatre
• Isobel McArthur (writer) for Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) at the Criterion Theatre
• Rebekah Murrell (director) for J’Ouvert at the Harold Pinter Theatre