The Stage Debut Awards today unveils a star-studded line-up of guest presenters and performers taking part in the 7th annual awards ceremony, held in association with Ambassador Theatre Group, recognising the best breakthrough theatre talent in the UK.
Some of the biggest names in the performing arts industry will join this year’s host legendary drag artist, performer and singer Divina De Campo on Sunday October 1 at 8 Northumberland Avenue to honour the achievements of this year’s cream of the breakthrough crop. Forty-five nominees across 8 categories, from performers to composers and designers through to writers, lyricists and directors, all of whom have made their professional debuts in the past 12 months, will be celebrated.
Award-winning Welsh actor Callum Scott Howells leads the guest presenters this year announcing the winner of the Best Performer in a Play. Scott-Howells who has recently been seen playing the iconic role of Emcee in Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club is also widely known as fan favourite Colin in Russell T Davies’ hit drama It’s A Sin. Former cast mate Omari Douglas, who also starred in the original line up for Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, and was an Olivier award nominee for Constellations, as well performing in Ivo Van Hove’s A Little Life, joins him at the ceremony to award the accolade for the Best Creative West End Debut. Former popstar turned West-End musical theatre performer Faye Tozer who is currently starring as Maggie Jones in the UK tour of 42nd Street, presents the category Best Performer in a Musical.
Tozer says: “I can’t tell you what an honour it is to be a small part of The Stage Debut Awards and to be surrounded by all these wonderful, talented artists. I feel absolutely privileged to be presenting the award for Best Performer in a Musical.”
Presenting awards recognising talent behind the scenes include Rebecca Frecknall, the prolifically successful director behind Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club and the critically-acclaimed productions of A Streetcar Named Desire and Summer and Smoke, who will award the Best Director. The Best Writer category will be presented by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, the playwright and screenwriter behind the triple Olivier award-winning show Emilia. Renowned lighting designer of over 200 productions with recent work at The Royal Court, Sheffield Theatres, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Young Vic Prema Mehta, founder of Stage Sight, an inspiring initiative which advocates for widening representation of the backstage workforce, will present Best Designer. John Partridge, currently playing Hugo/Loco Chanelle in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, on UK Tour & at London’s Peacock Theatre will present Best Composer, Lyricist or Book Writer.
The Best West End Debut Performer award, voted for by the public, will be presented by Bertie Carvel, currently starring as Henry Higgins alongside Patsy Ferran’s Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion at the Old Vic. He is best known for creating the role of ‘Miss Trunchbull’ in Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin’s Matlida The Musical (RSC, West End, Broadway). His iconic performance won him a raft of awards including the Olivier Award for ‘Best Actor in a Musical’, playing to sell-out houses in Stratford and London, before transferring to Broadway in New York, where he picked up the prestigious Drama Desk Award, a Theatre World Award and a Tony nomination. Bertie’s performance in another musical, Parade at the Donmar Warehouse, also won him a ‘Best Actor in a Musical’ Olivier nomination.
Among this year’s performers showcasing some of the best showtunes will be Rachael Wooding singing After the Rain from the hit new British musical Standing at the Sky’s Edge opening at the Gillian Lynne Theatre in the West End in 2024 ; Charing Cross theatre’s upcoming Bronco Billy: The Musical lead’s Emily Benjamin will perform Cabaret’s soaring ballad Maybe this Time and rounding off the evening is stage and screen star Jack Wolfe who will sing a number from Next to Normal, a revival of the Pulitzer Prize winning show he is currently starring in as Gabe at the Donmar Warehouse.
The Stage Debut Award winners will be announced on October 1 2023 at 8 Northumberland Avenue, London. With thanks to our headline sponsors Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) as well as Arts Council England, Cabbells, Carnival Cruise Line, Crossroads Live, Sonia Friedman Productions, TodayTix, Trafalgar Entertainment and Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL.