Belfast Telegraph

Belfast's Anthony Boyle nominated alongside Star Wars actor John Boyega for The Stage Debut Awards

By Jackie Bell

Belfast actor Anthony Boyle has been nominated for the inaugural The Stage Debut Awards alongside Star Wars actor John Boyega and former Glee star Amber Riley.

The Poleglass star, 23,  is shortlisted for the Joe Allen Best West End Debut prize for his turn in the hit West End show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

He faces competition from BAFTA-winning actor Boyega for his leading role in The Old Vic’s adaptation of Georg Buchner’s Woyzeck.

Boyega is best known for playing Finn in the latest Star Wars movies

US actress Riley has been nominated for her turn as Effie White in The Savoy Theatre's Dreamgirls, while also shortlisted are Andy Karl (for Groundhog Day), Audra McDonald (for Lady Day At Emerson's Bar And Grill), Andrew Polec (for Bat Out Of Hell) and Imogen Poots (for Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?).

Meanwhile, emerging actor Jack Archer, who starred in Nivelli’s War, a Cahoots NI and Lyric Theatre Belfast co-production, has been nominated in the Best Actor in a Play category.

Archer starred as young evacuee Ernst in family drama, which was directed by Armagh man Paul Bosco Mc Eneaney with music by Belfast composer Garth McConaghie.

Nivelli’s War, based on the true story of a Holocaust survivor, ran at The Lyric Theatre Belfast in early 2017 before debuting at the The New Victory Theater on Broadway.

The Stage Debut Award winners will be chosen by a public vote and will be announced during an awards ceremony on September 7.

Amber Riley and John Boyega (PA)

Other categories include best actress in a play, best actor and actress in a musical, best director, best designer, best composer and best writer.

Lyn Gardner, The Stage performing arts magazine's associate editor and one of the judges, said: "The Stage Debut Awards are a unique chance to celebrate emerging theatre talent.

"With so much great theatre taking place across the country, we have a really strong and diverse set of nominees - from young actors making their debuts in small fringe theatres to designers, writers and directors at major regional and national producing theatres.

"It's great to see such a great range of talented theatremakers and gives cause for great optimism about the future of theatre in the UK."

In April, Boyle won the Olivier Award for best supporting actor following his successful debut as Scorpious Malfoy - the son of Draco Malfoy.

He was also named most promising newcomer at the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards, as well as winning the best supporting actor prize at the 17th annual WhatsOnStage Awards.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was co-written by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany and premiered in London's West End in 2016.

The two-part play - which is sold out until 2019 - sees Rowling's world of Harry Potter brought to life years in the future after the boy wizard has had children of his own.

Anthony Boyle in the Harry Potter production

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