The nominees have been revealed for the Ian Charleson Awards 2022.
The shortlist includes Jonathan Ajayi and Norah Lopez Holden for Hamlet at the Young Vic; Anna Russell-Martin and Lorn Macdonald for Life is a Dream at the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh; Rebekah Murrell for Romeo and Juliet, and Josh Zaré for Measure for Measure, both at Shakespeare’s Globe; Aimee Lou Wood for Uncle Vanya at the Harold Pinter Theatre; Baker Mukasa for the RSC’s The Comedy of Errors; and Gloria Obianyo for Paradise at the National Theatre.
The awards were established in 1990 in memory of Ian Charleson, the successful and popular British actor who died of AIDS. Supported by The Sunday Times and the National Theatre, the Ian Charleson Awards celebrate the best performances by actors under 30 in a classical role.
Previous winners are a roll call of successful stage and screen talent, including Andrea Riseborough, David Oyelowo, Cush Jumbo, Rory Kinnear, Rebecca Hall, and Tom Hollander. Past nominees include Michael Sheen, Jodie Whittaker, Benedict Cumberbatch, Adrian Lester, Helen McCrory, Jude Law, Damian Lewis, Hugh Bonneville, David Tennant, and Ben Whishaw.
The judges of this year’s awards include the National Theatre casting director Alastair Coomer, actors Emma Fielding and Ashley Zhangazha, and the former Times theatre critic Kate Bassett.
Emma Fielding, who won in 1993, told the Sunday Times that, “It’s been very moving to see the amount and scale of work that has been achieved under the most difficult circumstances. I know we’re by no means out of the woods yet, but having the Ian Charleson Awards bookend the pandemic has given me much-needed hope for the future.”
Ashley Zhangazha said: “It’s been a great pleasure to be a judge this year and to champion the rich and vibrant work of this year’s nominees. The quality of their performances is testament to the high level of talent we have in this country and how brilliant it is to have the industry back and showcasing excellent actors.”
There’s no current information on when the winners will be announced, but past years have seen the recipients revealed in May.
Also see our Awards section
Ian Charleson Awards – Nominees
Jonathan Ajayi, 25 – Hamlet, Young Vic
Norah Lopez Holden, 27 – Hamlet, Young Vic
Lorn Macdonald, 29 – Life Is a Dream, Lyceum
Baker Mukasa, 27 – The Comedy of Errors, RSC
Rebekah Murrell, 29 – Romeo and Juliet, Globe
Gloria Obianyo, 27 – Paradise, National Theatre
Anna Russell-Martin, 24 – Life Is a Dream, Lyceum
Aimee Lou Wood, 28 – Uncle Vanya, Harold Pinter
Josh Zaré, 29 – Measure for Measure, Globe