The Stage Debut Awards 2023 winners announced at London ceremony

The winners of The Stage Debut Awards 2023 have been announced.

In association with ATG, the results of the annual awards ceremony were revealed on Sunday night at a star-studded bash at 8 Northumberland Avenue, London.

Legendary drag artist, performer and songstress Divina De Campo hosted the evening as the spotlight fell on a total of 45 nominees across 8 categories.

Elan Davies poses with her award
Elan Davies (c) Alex Brenner

The former winner of 2021’s Strictly Come Dancing, Rose Ayling-Ellis scooped up the Best West End Debut award – the only category voted for by the public – for her performance in As You Like It at @sohoplace.

The night also saw two categories with joint winners. Best Performer in a Play was awarded to both Isobel Thom for Shakespeare’s Globe’s I, Joan and Elan Davies for Imrie at the Sherman Theatre Cardiff, while the Best Creative West End Debut award was also shared between two winners: Rob Madge, for writing their West End hit show My Son’s a Queer, (But What Can You Do?) at the Garrick Theatre and Ambassadors Theatre and Tingying Dong for her sound design that created an eerie atmosphere for The Crucible at the National Theatre and Gielgud Theatre.

Jessica Lee took home the Best Performer in a Musical award for Miss Saigon at Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, while productions staged at the Bush Theatre, London had two winners in the creative categories: Anoushka Lucas was honoured for Best Writer for Elephant and Emily Ling Williams received the Best Director award for A Playlist for The Revolution.

Andrea Scott won for her video design for My Neighbour Totoro in the Best Designer category while Michael R Jackson scooped the Best Composer, Lyricist or Book Writer for the London debut of his show A Strange Loop.

The Stage editor Alistair Smith, said: “Our wonderful winners highlight just how much emerging talent there is across British theatre. I’m particularly pleased that this year we were able to recognise our first ever winner in a Welsh-language performance.

“Meanwhile, also for the first time this year, I’m delighted to reveal that, in partnership with ATG, we are offering a £10,000 prize fund split among our winners. Along with the exposure these awards bring, we hope this will be a real tangible help to them as they embark on what we have no doubt will be stellar careers.”

The ceremony also featured live performances by Divina De Campo, who opened the night with an exclusive musical number devised especially for the ceremony. Rachael Wooding sang 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 performed Cabaret’s soaring ballad Maybe this Time and rounding off the evening Zizi Strallen performed Champagne Dreams from Cake: The Marie Antoinette Playlist which recently ran at the Lyric Theatre.

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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