NEWS: Winners announced for The Stage Debut Awards 2020

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Newcomer Sam Tutty scooped two awards for his star-making performance in the hit West End musical Dear Evan Hansen at The Stage Debut Awards 2020. The awards were presented as a virtual ceremony filmed at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket.

Marking his professional debut in one of the most anticipated productions of last year, Tutty was praised for capturing the inner turmoil of the title character with immense skill and vocal precision. The recent Italia Conti graduate was announced as one of two winners for Best Performer in a Musical before it was revealed the general public also crowned him as the winner of Best West End Debut Performer; beating Wendell Pierce, David Mitchell and Aimee Lou Wood.

The Stage Debut Awards, in association with Access Entertainment, were hosted by the Olivier-nominated & Juliet star and former 2017 Debut Award winner Miriam-Teak Lee. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the awards were presented virtually for the first time allowing everyone to watch along at home, attracting over two and a half thousand views across Facebook, YouTube and Scenesaver.

Nominees were recognised for productions across the UK. Winners taking home awards this year included:

  • Martha Kiss Perrone for directing an energetic and exhilarating mixture of performance and activism with When It Breaks It Burns at Battersea Arts Centre.
  • Sam Tutty for delivering a truly star-making performance as the lead in Dear Evan Hansen at the Noël Coward Theatre.
  • Rachel Nwokoro for her agile performance in Little Baby Jesus at the Orange Tree Theatre, in which she delivered her lines with “a lyrical flow that could give rapper Lady Leshurr a run for her money”.
  • Composers and lyricists Jim Barne and Kit Buchan for playing with the conventions of a seasonal staple to create their sparky, small-scale festive musical The Season which played at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and Royal and Derngate, Northampton.
  • Daniel Monks for his powerhouse performance that nimbly mixed menace with charm and vulnerability with villainy in Teenage Dick at the Donmar Warehouse.
  • Writer Temi Wilkey for The High Table at the Bush Theatre, a beguiling exploration of black queer love, described as “a gorgeous, joyous sunburst of a play” by the judging panel.
  • Shan Ako for her vocally towering and wonderfully assured performance as Eponine in Les Misérables at the Sondheim Theatre.
  • Designer Rose Revitt for her impressive set and costumes for Dr Korczak’s Example, vividly re-creating 1940s Warsaw within Leeds Playhouse’s intimate new studio space.
  • Composer Femi Temowo for his significant musical contributions to two major productions, the West End transfer of Death of a Salesman and Inua Ellams’ reworking of Chekhov’s Three Sisters.

Alistair Smith, editor of The Stage, said:

“A huge congratulations to all our amazing winners and nominees. It has been an awful year for everyone in theatre, which makes it all the more important that we celebrate and support the emerging talent that is trying to gain a foothold in the industry at this difficult time. 

“I have no doubt that when theatre comes back, it will return stronger than ever thanks to these exceptional theatremakers.”

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.

The Stage Awards Debut Awards 2020 Winners In Full

Best Performer in a Play 

Daniel Monks for Teenage Dick at the Donmar Warehouse
Rachel Nwokoro for Little Baby Jesus at the Orange Tree Theatre  

Best Performer in a Musical 

Shan Ako for Les Misérables at the Sondheim Theatre
Sam Tutty for Dear Evan Hansen at the Noël Coward Theatre

Best Director  

Martha Kiss Perrone for When It Breaks It Burns at the Battersea Arts Centre

Best Designer

Rose Revitt (set and costume) for Dr Korczak’s Example at Leeds Playhouse

Best Composer or Lyricist 

Jim Barne and Kit Buchan for The Season at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Best Writer  

Temi Wilkey for The High Table at the Bush Theatre (in a co-production with Birmingham Rep)

Best West End Debut Performer

Sam Tutty for Dear Evan Hansen at the Noël Coward Theatre

Best Creative West End Debut

Femi Temowo (composer) for Death of a Salesman at the Piccadilly Theatre and for Three Sisters at the National Theatre

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Press Releases on Twitter
Press Releases
MyTheatreMates publishes a selection of daily press releases sent to us by publicists of the relevant show or theatre. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies contained within these materials.