The annual The Stage Debut Awards 2023 is gearing up for its awards ceremony on 1 October, and has announced who will be presenting and performing on the night.
The awards will be hosted by Drag artist and performer Divina De Campo, and take place on 1 October 2023 at 8 Northumberland Avenue in London.
Presenters at this year’s awards include: Actor Callum Scott Howells (Cabaret, It’s a Sin) presenting the Best Performer in a Play award; Actor Omari Douglas (Cabaret, It’s a Sin) presents Best Creative West End Debut; Actor Faye Tozer (42nd Street) presents the Best Performer in a Musical award; Director Rebecca Frecknall (Cabaret, Romeo & Juliet, A Streetcar Named Desire) presents the Best Director award; Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (Emilia) presents the Best Writer award; Lighting designer Prema Mehta presents Best Designer; Actor John Partridge (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie) presents Best Composer, Lyricist or Book Writer; and Actor Bertie Carvel (Pygmalion) presents Best West End Debut Performer award.
Performers at the awards will include Rachael Wooding singing After the Rain from Standing at the Sky’s Edge; Emily Benjamin (Bronco Billy The Musical) will perform Maybe this Time from Cabaret; and Jack Wolfe will sing a number from Next to Normal.
The awards recognise breakthrough theatre talent from the previous 12 months, celebrating their outstanding professional debuts, and 45 people have been nominated across 8 categories.
Nominees were revealed last month, and include some high profile names including Paul Mescal (A Streetcar Named Desire), Samira Wiley (Blues for an Alabama Sky), Zachary Quinto (Best of Enemies), Mike Faist (Brokeback Mountain), Rose Ayling-Ellis (As You Like It), and Lenny Henry (August in England).
Performers and creatives nominated from current and forthcoming London shows include Carla Dixon-Hernandez (Best performer in a musical) for Mrs Doubtfire at Shaftesbury Theatre; Andrea Scott (Best designer) for video design for My Neighbour Totoro at Barbican Theatre; Anoushka Lucas (Best writer) for Elephant at Bush Theatre; Best creative West End debut nominees include Joe Bunker (musical direction) and SpitLip’s David Cumming, Felix Hagan, Natasha Hodgson and Zoë Roberts (composers/creators) for Operation Mincemeat at Fortune Theatre.
Submissions for the awards were open until 30 June 2023, for debuts made before 17 July 2023. The awards are initially nominated by The Stage’s theatre critics and the potential nominees themselves, and then a selection of 20 expert advisers curate a longlist, before then selecting the shortlist of nominees.
Winners are then selected by the judging panel, apart from the winner of the Best West End Debut Performer, which is decided by public vote. This year’s judging panel consists of: Theatre critics Dave Fargnoli (Freelance), Dominic Cavendish (Telegraph), and Sam Marlowe (The Stage); The Stage editor Alistair Smith; Deadline’s Baz Bamigboye; and journalist and writer Holly Williams.
Last year’s winners included Jodie Comer, and the ensemble of For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy.