Paul Mescal among nominees for 2023 Stage Debut Awards

Paul Mescal Among Nominees For 2023 Stage Debut Awards
Mescal earned a nod for his debut West End performance in A Streetcar Named Desire. Photo: PA
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Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Paul Mescal is among the famous faces that have been nominated for the 2023 Stage Debut Awards.

The Normal People star will go head-to-head against Strictly Come Dancing champion Rose Ayling-Ellis in the best West End debut performer category later this year.


The annual awards ceremony celebrates the best emerging theatre talent, featuring performers to composers, and designers through to writers, lyricists and directors across eight categories.

The 95th Academy Awards – Vanity Fair Party – Los Angeles
Paul Mescal attending the Vanity Fair Oscar Party (Doug Peters/PA)

Mescal, who received a best actor Oscar nomination last year for his performance in Aftersun, earned a nod for his debut West End performance in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Phoenix Theatre.


Former EastEnders star Ayling-Ellis is nominated for her performance in As You Like It at @sohoplace.

The pair are joined in the category by Emily Fairn, Mike Faist, Kyle Ramar Freeman, Gabriel Howell, Zachary Quinto, and Samira Wiley.

Another former EastEnders star Maisie Ellis, who also made the Strictly final in 2020 before losing out to Bill Bailey, also earned a nomination in the best performer in a musical category.

Strictly Come Dancing 2021
Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice with the glitterball trophy during the final of Strictly Come Dancing 2021 (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

Elsewhere, comedian and performer Lenny Henry has earned a first time writer nomination for August In England.

The hit solo show starring Henry honours the 75th anniversary of the Windrush Generation, and was performed at the Bush Theatre, in west London.

This year also sees the first nomination for a Welsh language performance, with Elan Davies receiving a nod for best performer in a play for the Welsh speaking production Imrie, at the Sherman Theatre, in Cardiff.


Writers Jennifer Lunn and Richard Mylan were also nominated for best writer for Es & Flo at Wales Millennium Centre, in Cardiff, and Sorter at the Swansea Grand Theatre, respectively.

National Television Awards 2022 – London
Lenny Henry (PA)

Alistair Smith, editor of The Stage said: “We have another superb shortlist this year, full of extraordinarily talented newcomers.


“It’s particularly thrilling to see the huge geographical spread of the work recognised – with three nominees from Wales, including our first ever nomination for a Welsh language performance – as well as high profile commercial shows from the West End and beyond.

“I look forward to celebrating with our nominees… on the night.”

The winners will be announced at The Stage Debut Awards seventh annual ceremony, hosted by drag artist, performer and singer Divina De Campo, on October 1st, 2023.

The line-up of guest presenters and performers will be revealed in September.

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