For Black Boys… cast to host The Stage Awards 2023

Hosts and performers have been announced for The Stage Awards 2023.

The entire, award-winning cast of For Black Boys…will host the awards ceremony on 30 January 2023 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London’s West End.

Mark Akintimehin, Emmanuel Akwafo, Nnabiko Ejimofor, Darragh Hand, Aruna Jalloh and Kaine Lawrence were collectively awarded Best Performer in a Play at The Stage Debut Awards 2022  for their performances in For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy at the Royal Court / New Diorama. This was the first time the award was given to an ensemble of performers rather than an individual. The same production won Best Production Play Award at the Black British Theatre Awards in October 2022

In addition, the award-winning actor Elijah Ferreira will also perform at the ceremony. Elijah Ferreira won Best Performer in a Musical at The Stage Debut Awards 2022 for his performance in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Leeds Playhouse. 

On hosting The Stage Awards, Emmanuel Akwafo said “I am absolutely elated to be hosting the awards with the For Black Boys family, this is a magical moment for me to be on the other side. It’s so important to shine a light and to acknowledge all the achievement we had this year in theatre.” 

Kaine Lawrence added “I can only describe the feeling of being offered this opportunity as MAD. We were made the same way and life is really unpredictable. I am a young black individual trying to leave some positive residual, a legacy. This opportunity allows all of us to celebrate the incredibly influential individuals that are working hard to do the same.” 

Mark Akintimehin also said “From being nominated Best Performer in a Play at The Stage Debut Awards this year, to winning, to now being asked to host The Stage Awards 2023 – what an honour this all is! Alistair Smith and the team – we commend you all for your hard work. 2022 has been a phenomenal year and I cannot wait to see all your beautiful faces…and outfits!” 

On performing at The Stage Awards, Elijah Ferreira said “I’m incredibly excited to be a part of this. The Debut Awards was such a beautiful experience and I’ll hold that evening very dearly for the rest of my life. I’m really very honoured to be given the privilege of being in these rooms with all of these incredibly talented people and to be a part of honouring their work, after having had mine recognised in the wonderful way that it was.’ 

Since the Debut Awards launched in 2017, winners including Atri Banerjee, Lauren O’Leary, Katy Rudd, Amara Okereke, Miriam-Teak Lee, Shan Ako and Sam Tutty have also gone on to host The Stage Awards. 

The Stage Awards launched in 2010 to recognise and celebrate the full scope of excellence in British theatre. It has recognised 95 winners over the years, from national theatres and large-scale organisations to youth theatre and international touring companies. 

They include categories for Theatre of the Year, Community Project of the year and International Award, sponsored by Concord Theatricals. 

Former winners have included Sonia Friedman Productions, Battersea Arts Centre, Leeds Playhouse, ATG Productions, Theatr Clwyd and Nica Burns, as well as theatre technicians, casting directors and understudies.  

👤 📅4 January 2023

📷 Main photo: Company of For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy at Royal Court, London. Photo: Ali Wright

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