Aidan Turner wins big at The Stage Debut Awards 2018

The winners of this year’s Stage Debut Awards have been announced, with Aidan Turner beating out fellow stars such as Bryan Cranston and Ashley Banjo for a gong.

The awards, which honours newcomers to the world of West End Theatre including performers, writers, directors and designers, took place on Sunday night.

Akshay Sharan, who won for best actor in a play for his turn in The Reluctant Fundamentalist, said: “It’s the first time that I’ve been to an awards show like this, and to be recognised is very flattering. I feel very grateful, thank you so much. Tonight really shows how much love and connection [The Stage] can generate and I really recommend it to anyone who is in this world or who is hoping to break into it.”

The winners in full:

Best director – Katy Rudd for The Almighty Sometimes
Best actor in a play – Akshay Sharan for The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Best composer or lyricist – Gus Gowland for Pieces of String
Best actor in a musical – Louis Gaunt for Oklahoma!
Best actress in a play – Gemma Dobson for Rita, Sue and Bob Too
Best writer – Andrew Thompson for In Event of Moone Disaster
Best designer – Khadija Raza for Hijabi Monologues, Spun and Mixtape
Best actress in a musical – Amara Okereke for Les Miserables
The Joe Allen Best West End Debut – Aidan Turner for The Lieutenant of Inishmore