The Stage Debut Awards 2017: Dreamgirls, Harry Potter and Half a Sixpence stars on West End shortlist
John Boyega and Amber Riley are among actors shortlisted for The Stage’s new Joe Allen Best West End Debut award.
A total of eight performers have been announced on the shortlist for the publicly voted award, including six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.
It is part of The Stage Debut Awards, a celebration of emerging talent in the industry.
The award, which celebrates an actor or creative team member who has made their West End debut during the past year, is the only category in The Stage Debut Awards to be decided by a public vote.
Others to be shortlisted for best West End debut include Charlie Stemp, for the musical Half a Sixpence, and Anthony Boyle, who originated the role of Scorpius Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
The shortlist also includes Imogen Poots, who made her West End debut in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Harold Pinter Theatre alongside Imelda Staunton.
Members of the public can vote online for the winner of the best West End debut award here until September 10.
Mark Shenton, The Stage's associate editor, joint lead critic and one of the judges, said: "While the other categories in The Stage Debut Awards only recognise complete newcomers, the Joe Allen Best West End Debut award is a chance to celebrate talent making their mark in the West End for the first time.
“We have a really great shortlist that ranges from genuine newcomers like Anthony Boyle, who made his professional debut in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, to Audra McDonald, a legend on Broadway making her belated West End debut in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.”
He added: “This is also the only category that will be put to the public vote, but whoever they chose will be a worthy winner."
The winners of all The Stage Debut Awards will be revealed at an invitation-only ceremony in central London on September 17, 2017.