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Winners Announced For The Stage Debut Awards 2020 - Sam Tutty, Shan Ako, Daniel Monks, and More!

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The awards were presented as a virtual ceremony on Sunday, September 27.

The Stage has announced the 2020 winners of The Stage Debut Awards, in association with Access Entertainment. The awards were presented as a virtual ceremony on Sunday, September 27, filmed at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, in the heart of London's West End.

Newcomer Sam Tutty scooped two awards for his star-making performance in the hit West End musical, Dear Evan Hansen. Marking his professional debut in one of the most anticipated productions of last year, Tutty captured 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 (The Wire, Suits), David Mitchell (Peep Show) and Aimee Lou Wood (Netflix's Sex Education).

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 include: 

  • Martha Kiss Perrone for directing an energetic and exhilarating mixture of performance and activism with When It Breaks It Burns, that spilled out of Battersea Arts Centre on to the streets.
  • Sam Tutty for delivering a truly star-making performance as the lead in Dear Evan Hansen, at the Noël Coward Theatre in London's West End.
  • 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, London.
  • Writer Temi Wilkey for The High Table at the Bush Theatre, London, 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 recreating 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, says, "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.  

Danny Cohen, president of headline sponsor Access Entertainment, said: "Access Entertainment is delighted to sponsor The Stage Debut Awards for the third year and continue our commitment to nurturing new talent - needed now more than ever at such a challenging time for theatre and the creative industries."

Best Performer in a Play - Sponsored by Audible

WINNERS:
Daniel Monks for Teenage Dick at The Donmar Warehouse, London
Rachel Nwokoro for Little Baby Jesus at the Orange Tree Theatre, London

Saida Ahmed for Little Miss Burden at The Bunker, London

Katie Erich for Oliver Twist at Leeds Playhouse (in a co-production with Ramps on the Moon)

Brooklyn Melvin for Oliver Twist at Leeds Playhouse (in a co-production with Ramps on the Moon)

Jessica Rhodes for The Sugar Syndrome at the Orange Tree Theatre, London

Khai Shaw for Little Baby Jesus at the Orange Tree Theatre, London

Bobby Stallwood for Faith, Hope and Charity at The National Theatre, London  

Best Performer in a Musical

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

Lucy Anderson for Dear Evan Hansen at the Noël Coward Theatre, London

Chase Brown for Mame at the Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

Oli Higginson for The Last Five Years at the Southwark Playhouse, London

Adriana Ivelisse for West Side Story at Curve, Leicester

Tom Noyes for Preludes at the Southwark Playhouse, London

Bethany Tennick for Islander at the Southwark Playhouse, London

Best Director - Sponsored by Smith & Williamson

WINNER:
Martha Kiss Perrone for When It Breaks It Burns at the Battersea Arts Centre, London

Georgia Green for The Mikvah Project at the Orange Tree Theatre, London

Alex Sutton for Preludes at the Southwark Playhouse, London

Best Designer - Sponsored by Robe Lighting

WINNER:
Rose Revitt (set and costume) for Dr Korczak's Example at Leeds Playhouse

Liam Bunster (set and costume) for The Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare's Globe, London

Andrew Exeter (lighting) for High Fidelity at the Turbine Theatre, London

Best Composer or Lyricist

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

Jherek Bischoff for The Ocean at the End of the Lane at The National Theatre, London

Robbie Williams for The Boy in the Dress at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon

Best Writer

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

Samuel Bailey for Shook at the Southwark Playhouse, London

Mari Izzard for Hela at The Other Room, Cardiff

Eleanor Tindall for Before I Was a Bear at The Bunker, London

Best West End Debut Performer - Sponsored by Trafalgar Entertainment

WINNER:
Sam Tutty for Dear Evan Hansen at the Noël Coward Theatre

Shan Ako for Les Misérables at the Sondheim Theatre

David Mitchell for The Upstart Crow at the Gielgud Theatre

Daniel Monks for Teenage Dick at The Donmar Warehouse

Samantha Pauly for Evita at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Wendell Pierce for Death of a Salesman at the Piccadilly Theatre

Aimee Lou Wood for Uncle Vanya at the Harold Pinter Theatre

Best Creative West End Debut - Sponsored by the Noël Coward Foundation

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

Fabian Aloise (choreographer) for Evita at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Nadia Latif (director) for Fairview at the Young Vic Theatre

Benj Pasek, Justin Paul and Steven Levenson (composer, lyricist & book) for Dear Evan Hansen at the Noël Coward Theatre

David West Read (book) for & Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre



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