Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat star Jac Yarrow is among the winners of The Stage Debut Awards 2019, in association with Access Entertainment.
The awards, which celebrate emerging theatre talent and are now in their third year, welcomed two new categories for 2019 – best child performer, and best creative West End debut.
The child performer category was won by Taya Tower for The Hunt at London’s Almeida Theatre, while director Lynette Linton and designer Frankie Bradshaw shared the best creative West End debut award for their collaboration on Sweat, which ran at Donmar Warehouse and the Gielgud Theatre.
The creative West End debut prize can recognise any writer, director, designer or composer for their first credit in the West End, with nominees including Come from Away writers Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and playwrights Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Arinzé Kene and Matthew Lopez.
All the winners were chosen by the awards’ judging panel, except the Joe Allen Best West End Debut award – for performers – which is the only category to be voted for by the public.
This year, it was won by Yarrow for his title-role performance in the London Palladium revival of Joseph.
Other nominees in this category included Matthew Broderick, for The Starry Messenger, Sarah Gordy for Jellyfish, The Inheritance‘s Andrew Burnap and Samuel H Levine, and the community cast of the National Theatre’s Pericles.
Yarrow was also nominated in the best actor in a musical category, which went on to be won by Adam Hugill for Sheffield Theatres’ Standing at the Sky’s Edge.
Other performing categories were won by Danielle Fiamanya, whose appearance in The Color Purple at Leicester’s Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome won her the best actress in a musical category, and Lauren O’Leary, who won best actress in a play for The Awkward Years at the Other Room in Cardiff.
Best actor in a play was won by Jamal Ajala, who becomes the first Deaf actor to win at The Stage Debut Awards for his performance in Ear for Eye at the Royal Court.
Elsewhere, David Cumming, Felix Hagan, Natasha Hodgson and Zoe Roberts of theatre company SpitLip won best composer or lyricist for Operation Mincemeat, beating composers for Hadestown, Mythic the Musical and the Young Vic’s Death of a Salesman.
Jasmine Lee-Jones was named best writer for her debut play, Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner at the Royal Court.
The directing award was won by Atri Banerjee for Hobson’s Choice at the Royal Exchange in Manchester, while designer Evie Gurney won for her work on the National Theatre’s Antony and Cleopatra and for The Hunt at the Almeida
Gurney said: “As someone who is really new to the theatre industry, I’ve been really touched by the openness, the inclusivity, the welcome that I’ve had.
“More than anything it has impressed on me the necessity not just to be here for myself but to hold the door open for the next person. We’ve all been there, in the first show or the first year, and there are other people coming up right behind us who might also need someone to say yes to them.”
The Stage Debut Awards were announced at a ceremony in central London on September 15, presented by Cush Jumbo.
Presenters included National Theatre director Rufus Norris, and performers Rosalie Craig, Mark Gatiss and Giles Terera.
Hamilton star Terera said: “It is great to support something like this which says to young artists, young creatives and young people in general, ‘go for it, you’ve got something to say and you’ve got a story to tell’.
“For me, anything that contributes to that is really important. Especially now, it is all about the young people who are coming up with different ways in which we perform and different ways in which we tell stories. This is fantastic.”
The full list of winners can be found here.