The 2019 winners of The Stage Debut Awards, in association with Access Entertainment, were announced in a ceremony which took place at The Brewery, London this weekend.
The public crowned Jac Yarrow as the winner of the Joe Allen Best West End Debut Award for his performance in the title role of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium. Fresh out of drama school, this was Yarrow’s full professional debut, triumphing over Hollywood star Matthew Broderick, On Your Feet! star Christie Prades and The Inheritance’s Andrew Burnap and Samuel H Levine.
Presenters at the awards ceremony, hosted by Cush Jumbo, included Mark Gatiss, Giles Terera, Inua Ellams, Jenna Russell, Caroline Sheen, Rufus Norris, Jonathan Bailey, Rosalie Craig, Michael Xavier and Janie Dee.
Actors and creatives were recognised for productions large and small, across the UK. Winners taking home awards this year included Felix Hagan, Natasha Hodgson and Zoe Roberts of SpitLip for composing the madcap parody Operation Mincemeat at London’s New Diorama in London and Atri Banerjee for directing an imaginative revival of Hobson’s Choice at the Royal Exchange, Manchester.
Designer Frankie Bradshaw and director Lynette Linton were recognised for their combined creation of crafting a vivid representation of small-town Pennsylvania on a West End stage for Sweat at the Donmar Warehouse and the Gielgud Theatre, while deaf performer Jamal Ajala won for his powerful performance delivered using British Sign Language in Ear for Eye at London’s Royal Court.
Jasmine Lee-Jones was praised for her imaginative script for Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner at the Royal Court and Danielle Fiamanya was a popular choice as Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in a supporting role in The Color Purple at Curve, Leicester and Birmingham Hippodrome.
Alistair Smith, editor of The Stage, said:
“Congratulations to all our supremely talented winners. This is our third Debut Awards and I’m delighted to say that they are now firmly established in the industry calendar. British theatre’s support for the awards and our winners has been phenomenal. We’re delighted to see previous winners and nominees going on to even bigger and better things – whether starring in the West End, being nominated for Olivier awards or even taking over the running of theatres.”
The Stage Debut Awards recognise outstanding emerging talent from actors and directors to designers, writers, composers and lyricists, all of whom have made their professional debuts in the past year.
Danny Cohen, president of headline sponsor Access Entertainment, said: “Access Entertainment is delighted to continue its support for The Stage Debut Awards as part of our ongoing commitment to nurturing new talent across the creative industries.”
THE STAGE DEBUT AWARDS’ 2019 WINNERS IN FULL
Best Actress in a Play – Sponsored by Audible
Lauren O’Leary for The Awkward Years at the Other Room, Cardiff
Best Actor in a Play – Sponsored by Audible
Jamal Ajala for Ear for Eye at the Royal Court, London
Best Actress in a Musical – Sponsored by Really Useful Group
Danielle Fiamanya for The Color Purple at Curve, Leicester and Birmingham Hippodrome
Best Actor in a Musical – Sponsored by Encore Radio
Adam Hugill for Standing at the Sky’s Edge at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Best Director – Sponsored of Smith & Williams
Atri Banerjee for Hobson’s Choice at the Royal Exchange, Manchester
Best Designer – Sponsored by Robe Lighting
Evie Gurney for Antony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre, London, and The Hunt at the Almeida Theatre, London
Best Composer or Lyricist – Sponsored by Trafalgar Entertainment Group
David Cumming, Felix Hagan, Natasha Hodgson and Zoe Roberts for Operation Mincemeat at the New Diorama Theatre, London
Best Writer – Sponsored by Sonia Friedman Productions
Jasmine Lee-Jones for Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner at the Royal Court, London
The Joe Allen Best West End Debut
Jac Yarrow for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium
Best Creative West End Debut – Sponsored by Noël Coward Foundation
Frankie Bradshaw (designer) and Lynette Linton (director) for Sweat at Donmar Warehouse and the Gielgud Theatre
Child Performer of the Year – Sponsored by Stagecoach
Taya Tower for The Hunt at the Almeida Theatre, London