Poldark’s Aidan Turner wins award for West End debut

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Marc Brenner

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Turner in rehearsals for The Lieutenant of Inishmore

Poldark’s Aidan Turner has won a Stage Debut Award for his performance in The Lieutenant of Inishmore.

He won the best West End debut award, beating Breaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston and Diversity’s Ashley Banjo.

Turner thanked director Michael Grandage in his speech, calling the role “one of the most incredible jobs I’ve ever worked on”.

Turner played a terrorist deemed too violent to be a member of the IRA. One critic described him as a “revelation”.

He took a break from filming the fifth series of Poldark to accept the award.

Other big winners at The Stage Debut Awards, which took place on Sunday night, included Amara Okereke for her performance in the West End’s Les Miserables. She was the first black woman to play the role of Cosette.

Katy Rudd won for directing The Almighty Something at Manchester Royal Exchange, whilst Akshay Sharan pick up a prize for his role as a native Pakistani who becomes disenchanted with the West post-9/11 in The Reluctant Fundamentalist at the Yard Theatre in east London.

The Stage Debut Awards celebrate breakthrough talent in theatre, including actors, directors, designers, writers and composers who have made professional debuts in the past twelve months.

Full list of winners

  • Best Actress in a play – Gemma Dobson for Rita, Sue and Bob Too at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton
  • Best Actor in a play – Akshay Sharan for The Reluctant Fundamentalist at Yard Theatre, London
  • Best Actress in a musical – Amara Okereke for Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre, London
  • Best Actor in a musical – Louis Gaunt for Oklahoma! at Grange Park Opera, West Horsley
  • Best Director – Katy Rudd for The Almighty Sometimes at the Royal Exchange, Manchester
  • Best Designer – Khadija Raza for Hijabi Monologues, Spun, and Mixtape, at the Bush Theatre, London, the Arcola Theatre, London and the Royal Exchange, Manchester.
  • Best Composer or Lyricist – Gus Gowland for Pieces of String at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester
  • Best Writer – Andrew Thompson for In Event of Moone Disaster at Theatre503, London
  • The Joe Allen Best West End Debut – Aidan Turner for The Lieutenant of Inishmore at the Noël Coward Theatre

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