Winners for The Stage Debut Awards 2023

The winners of The Stage Debut Awards, in association with ATG, have been announced at the
annual awards ceremony in a star-studded bash at 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, hosted by
legendary drag artist, performer and songstress Divina De Campo,

This year the spotlight fell on a total of 45 nominees across 8 categories, ranging from performers
to composers and designers through to writers, lyricists and directors, whose work debuted on
stages across the country. For the first time, this year’s winners also took home a share of a
£10,000 prize fund.

Best performer in a play
Sponsored by Cabbells

Bukky Bakray
Sleepova, Bush Theatre, London
Rita Bernard-Shaw
Trouble in Butetown, Donmar Warehouse, London
Natalie Blair
Spring and Port Wine, Octagon Theatre, Bolton
Rhian Blundell
Let the Right One In, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
WINNER – Elan Davies
Imrie, Sherman Theatre, Cardiff
Rilwan Abiola Owokoniran
The Importance of Being Earnest, Leeds Playhouse and touring
Daniel Rock
Richard The Second, Omnibus Theatre, London and touring
WINNER – Isobel Thom
I, Joan, Shakespeare’s Globe, London

Best performer in a musical
Sponsored by Carnival Cruise Line

Liv Andrusier
Ride, Charing Cross Theatre, London
Josh Barnett
Newsies, Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, London
Arcangelo Ciulla
Newsies, Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, London
Carla Dixon-Hernandez
Mrs Doubtfire, Shaftesbury Theatre, London
Drew Hylton
Unexpected Twist: An Oliver Twisted Tale, Royal and Derngate, Northampton and touring
WINNER – Jessica Lee
Miss Saigon, Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Maisie Smith
Strictly Ballroom the Musical, Churchill Theatre, Bromley and touring

Best director
Sponsored by Arts Council England

Daniel Blake
Bones, Park Theatre, London
Indiana Lown-Collins
The Solid Life of Sugar Water, Orange Tree Theatre, London
Denzel Westley-Sanderson
The Importance of Being Earnest, Leeds Playhouse and touring
WINNER – Emily Ling Williams
A Playlist for the Revolution, Bush Theatre, London

Best designer
Sponsored by Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL

Carly Brownbridge
Set & Costume for Agatha, Theatre503, London
Peter Butler
Set & Costume for The Shape of Things, Park Theatre, London
WINNER – Andrea Scott
Video for My Neighbour Totoro, Barbican Theatre, London

Best writer
Sponsored by Sonia Friedman Productions

Sasha Hails
Possession, Arcola Theatre, London
Lenny Henry
August in England, Bush Theatre, London
WINNER – Anoushka Lucas
Elephant, Bush Theatre, London
Jennifer Lunn
Es & Flo, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
Richard Mylan
Sorter, Swansea Grand Theatre
Zak Zarafshan
The Boys Are Kissing, Theatre503, London

Best composer, lyricist or book writer
sponsored by Crossroads Live

Gerel Falconer
Alice in Wonderland, Brixton House, London
WINNER – Michael R Jackson
A Strange Loop, Barbican Theatre, London
Jenny Moore
Robin Hood: The Legend. Re-written, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London
Lilly Pollard
Sugar Coat, Southwark Playhouse, London

Best West End debut performer

WINNER – Rose Ayling-Ellis
As You Like It @sohoplace
Emily Fairn
Brokeback Mountain @sohoplace
Mike Faist
Brokeback Mountain @sohoplace
Kyle Ramar Freeman
A Strange Loop, Barbican Theatre
Gabriel Howell
The Unfriend, Criterion Theatre
Paul Mescal
A Streetcar Named Desire, Phoenix Theatre
Zachary Quinto
Best of Enemies, Noël Coward Theatre
Samira Wiley
Blues for an Alabama Sky, National Theatre

Best creative West End debut
Sponsored by Trafalgar Entertainment

Joe Bunker
Musical Director, Operation Mincemeat, Fortune Theatre
David Cumming, Felix Hagan, Natasha Hodgson and Zoë Roberts (SpitLip)
Composer, Lyricist & Book Writer, Operation Mincemeat, Fortune Theatre
WINNER – Tingying Dong
Sound Designer, The Crucible, National Theatre and Gielgud Theatre
Michael R Jackson
Composer, Lyricist & Book Writer, A Strange Loop, Barbican Theatre
Scott Le Crass
Director, Rose, Ambassadors Theatre
WINNER – Rob Madge
Writer, My Son’s a Queer, (But What Can You Do?), Garrick Theatre and Ambassadors Theatre

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