2022 Best Actress in a Play + in a Musical

Best Actress in a Play

Sophie Melville, Iphigenia in Splott
Solo performances ruled the roost for much of the year but few were as deeply affecting as Melville’s work here, returning to the role which desperately still feels so relevant, its rawness felt like something brand new.

Honourable mention: Erin Doherty, The Crucible
Keeping it in the same household, Doherty’s intensity made her ideal casting for the canniness of Abigail Williams but it was her reactive acting that mesmerised me, I could have watched the whole production again observing the thoughtful complexities of her reactions.

Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo, Blues for an Alabama Sky
Noma Dumezweni, A Doll’s House Part 2
Chris Nietvelt, Age of Rage
Claire Rushbrook, Middle
Nicola Walker, The Corn is Green

Jodie Comer, Prima Facie; Mei Mac, My Neighbour Totoro; Ruth Wilson, The Human Voice

Best Actress in a Musical

Katie Brayben, Tammy Faye
In Tammy Faye, Brayben gave an absolute blinder of a lead performance that went a long way to electrifying the show and papering over some of its cracks. A West End transfer has yet to be announced so maybe some more work in being done on it but I pray to the Lord that they retain Brayben if it does indeed transfer.

Honourable mention: Courtney Bowman, Legally Blonde
You kinda knew Legally Blonde would knock it out of the (Regent’s) park but Courtney Bowman’s exuberant take on the iconic Elle Woods was one for the ages. And if you’re inspiring the likes of Quentin Letts to one of his petty outbursts, you have to think she was doing something right.

Carly Anderson, Crazy For You
Liv Andrusier, Ride
Kerry Ellis, Anything Goes
Joanna Riding, Gypsy
Frida Rødbroe, La Maupin

Anoushka Lucas, Oklahoma!; Miri Mesika, The Band’s Visit; Gemma Sutton, The Wicker Husband

NB: I’ve kept the categories divided by gender as I’m unsure of the best way forward in terms of both representation and recognition. Merging them is one answer but I dislike that that means fewer performances end up being awarded. I shall be consulting and considering over the next year and changes will be implented for 2023.

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