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Shortlist announced for 2017 Ian Charleson Awards

Sope Dirisu in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Coriolanus. Photo: Helen Maybanks Sope Dirisu in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Coriolanus. Photo: Helen Maybanks
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Sope Dirisu, Ellie Bamber and Tamara Lawrence are among the actors nominated for this year’s Ian Charleson Awards.

The awards are named after Charleson, a Scottish actor who died in 1990 aged 40, and celebrate performances by actors under 30 in a classical role.

Dirisu has been shortlisted for Coriolanus at the Royal Shakespeare Company, in which he played the title role, while Bamber’s performance as Hilde in Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea at the Donmar Warehouse and Lawrence’s turn as Viola in the National Theatre’s Twelfth Night earned them nominations.

Daniel Ezra, who played Sebastian in Twelfth Night, is also on the shortlist, alongside Rebecca Lee, Ned Derrington, Douggie McMeekin, Arthur Hughes and Hannah Morrish.

James Corrigan and Natalie Simpson are nominated for the second year in a row.

The nominations were announced in the Sunday Times and winners will be presented at the National Theatre on May 18. The first prize winner will receive £5,000, with second and third places taking home £2,000 and £500 respectively.

Last year, the award was won by Paapa Essiedu for performances in Hamlet and King Lear at the RSC.

The nominations in full

  • Ellie Bamber for Hilde in The Lady from the Sea by Henrik Ibsen, Donmar Warehouse, directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah
  • Daniel Ezra for Sebastian in Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
, National Theatre, directed by Simon Godwin
  • Tamara Lawrence for Viola in Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare,
 National Theatre, directed by Simon Godwin
  • Rebecca Lee for Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, 
Watermill, Newbury, directed by Paul Hart
  • James Corrigan for Mark Antony in Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare 
Royal Shakespeare Company, directed by Angus Jackson
  • Ned Derrington for Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare 
Shakespeare’s Globe, directed by Emma Rice
  • Sope Dirisu for the title role in Coriolanus by William Shakespeare 
Royal Shakespeare Company, directed by Angus Jackson
  • Arthur Hughes for Lucius in Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare,
 Crucible, Sheffield, directed by Robert Hastie
  • Douggie McMeekin for Snug in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, 
Young Vic, directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins
  • Natalie Simpson for Duchess Rosaura in The Cardinal by James Shirley, 
Southwark Playhouse, directed by Justin Audibert
  • Hannah Morrish for Lavinia in Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare
 Royal Shakespeare Company, directed by Blanche McIntyre
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