Monday 25 September 2017

John Boyega and Amber Riley see West End debut success with award nods

The stars joined a line-up of actors recognised for their first-time ventures onto the country’s biggest stages.

Amber Riley and John Boyega (PA)
Amber Riley and John Boyega (PA)

By Francesca Gosling

Actors John Boyega and Amber Riley have been recognised for their instant West End success with nods for The Stage Debut Awards.

US actress Riley, best known for her role in hit musical TV series Glee, has stunned audiences playing Effie White in The Savoy Theatre’s Dreamgirls, while British star Boyega, who plays Finn in the Star Wars movies, has impressed with his leading role in The Old Vic’s adaptation of Georg Buchner’s Woyzeck.

Their first-time forays onto two of the country’s most prestigious stages have earned them shortlist slots for the organisation’s Joe Allen Best West End Debut prize, along with Anthony Boyle (for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child), Andy Karl (for Groundhog Day), Audra McDonald (for Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar And Grill), Andrew Polec (for Bat Out Of Hell) and Imogen Poots (for Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?).

The final winner, which will be announced during an awards ceremony on September 7, will be selected through a public vote.

Other categories, which recognise high achievers in productions across the country, include best actor and actress in a play, best actor and actress in a musical, best director, best designer, best composer and best writer.

Lyn Gardner, The Stage performing arts magazine’s associate editor and one of the judges, said: “The Stage Debut Awards are a unique chance to celebrate emerging theatre talent.

“With so much great theatre taking place across the country, we have a really strong and diverse set of nominees – from young actors making their debuts in small fringe theatres to designers, writers and directors at major regional and national producing theatres.

“It’s great to see such a great range of talented theatremakers and gives cause for great optimism about the future of theatre in the UK.”

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