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The Stage Debut Awards 2018: Aidan Turner, Bryan Cranston and Kelli O’Hara make Joe Allen Best West End Debut shortlist

Aiden Turner (photo: Johan Persson), Kelli O'Hara (photo: Paul Klonik), Bryan Cranston (photo: Jan Versweyveld) Aiden Turner (photo: Johan Persson), Kelli O'Hara (photo: Paul Klonik), Bryan Cranston (photo: Jan Versweyveld)
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Kelli O’Hara, Bryan Cranston and Aidan Turner have been shortlisted for this year’s Joe Allen Best West End Debut award.

The award is part of The Stage Debut Awards, in association with Access Entertainment, which celebrate emerging talent in the theatre industry.

It is given to an actor or creative team member who has made their West End debut during the past year, and is the only category in The Stage Debut Awards to be decided by a public vote.

O’Hara is nominated for her leading role in The King and I at the London Palladium, while Cranston’s performance in Network at the National Theatre and Turner’s in The Lieutenant of Inishmore at the Noel Coward earned them a place on the 10-strong shortlist.

Others include Lucie Shorthouse and John McCrea, who are both nominated for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre, and Adrienne Warren, who plays Tina Turner in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical at the Aldwych.

Michelle Greenidge is nominated for Nine Night at the National Theatre, while the list also includes Ashley Banjo, for Dick Whittington at the London Palladium.

Mohammad Amiri is shortlisted for The Jungle, at the Playhouse, as are the play’s writers Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy. Robertson and Murphy are the only non-performers on this year’s shortlist.

The Stage associate editor Mark Shenton said: “The shortlist for the West End debut award offers an eclectic but electrifying set of contributions, including three Tony-winning stars in Bryan Cranston, Kelli O’Hara and Adrienne Warren, each of whom made their London debuts in the last year.

“It also includes an actor making his adult West End debut (John McCrea previously appeared in the West End as a child actor) and another who is already a national TV star, Poldark’s Aidan Turner.

“But the West End is still a destination and a kind of validation for their talents, in which they join other theatrical newcomers to this global showcase like the co-writers of The Jungle and one of its principal actors. The nominating panel acknowledge them all, now it is up to the public to decide the winner.”

Members of the public can vote online for the winner of the Joe Allen Best West End Debut award here.

Voting is open until September 16 and the winners of The Stage Debut Awards will all be announced at a ceremony in London on September 23.

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