2023 UK Theatre Award nominations announced

Nominations announced for the UK Theatre Awards 2023

·         Lyric Theatre Belfast and Sheffield Theatres lead the way with five nods apiece

·         Best Performance in a Musical category is dominated by female nominees

Thursday 14 September: Today, the nominees for this year’s UK Theatre Awards have been announced. The UK Theatre Awards are the only nationwide awards to honour and celebrate outstanding achievements in theatre throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland by UK Theatre members.  

With nominees across the UK, this year’s shortlist showcases the creativity, originality and resilience of theatre. Leading the nominations, both with acknowledgements across five categories, are Lyric Theatre Belfast and Sheffield Theatres. Lyric Theatre Belfast’s nominations include Best Design, Best Director, Best New Play, Best Play Revival and Best Show for Children and Young People, while Sheffield Theatres is represented in Best Musical Production, Best Play Revival, Best Performance in a Musical and Best Performance in a Play.

Meanwhile, two theatres receive three nods across various categories – Birmingham Rep and Nottingham Playhouse. Birmingham Rep was home to productions with nominees in performing categories, including Best Supporting Performance and Best Performance in a Play, while Nottingham Playhouse is acknowledged in the Excellence in Touring, Workforce Award and Most Welcoming Theatre categories. Separately, Shakespeare North, The Mill at Sonning and Leeds Playhouse have garnered two nominations apiece.

Elsewhere in performing categories, actors Siobhán McSweeney (Happy Days), Peter Forbes (On The Beach), Daniel Rigby (Accidental Death Of An Anarchist) and Wiliam Young (Of Mice & Men) are all nominated for Best Performance in a Play. This year, Best Performance in a Musical is dominated by female actors, with Joanna Ampil (Miss Saigon), Lena Hall (In Dreams) and Rebecca Thornhill (Gypsy) making up the list of nominees.

The exceptional work created by each of this year’s nominees demonstrates that there is no better time to support local theatre. The winners will be announced on 8 October, during a lunchtime ceremony at London’s Guildhall. The event’s host was announced on Monday as Zoe Birkett.

Hannah Essex, Co-CEO of UK Theatre, said,

“We are incredibly proud to celebrate theatre across our four nations and the inspiring work of our UK Theatre members. This year’s nominees are a reflection of the quality and diversity of talent, story-telling and community engagement that is needed now more than ever.

“We would like to thank all our sponsors for supporting the event and offer our congratulations to all those nominated. We look forward to celebrating your inspiring work at the ceremony on Sunday 8 October.”

Nominations for the UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre Award were announced last month, with

Curve, National Youth Theatre, and Nottingham Playhouse making the shortlist. The winner will be revealed as part of the ceremony.

The recipient of this year’s Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre Award is yet to be announced ahead of the ceremony.

The UK Theatre Awards 2023 are sponsored by Birra Moretti, Harbottle and Lewis, Howard Park Wines, John Good Ltd, Marshfield Farm Ice Cream, Music Theatre International, Setting Line Production Management, Spektrix, Theatre Tokens, Trafalgar Theatres, Tysers in association with Ecclesiastical, Unusual Rigging and White Light.

Full list of nominations for the UK Theatre Awards 2023

On Stage Awards

Best Design

Conor Murphy for Propaganda: A New Musical, a Lyric Theatre Belfast and The Belfast Ensemble Production

Justin Nardella & Dan Steele for iShowmanism!, a Theatre Royal Bath production

Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey & UTLZ for Tambo & Bones, a Theatre Royal Stratford East Actors Touring Company co-production

Best Director

Matthew Dunster & Jimmy Fairhurst for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a Shakespeare North Playhouse, Not Too Tame and Northern Stage co-production

Omar Elerian for As You Like It, a Royal Shakespeare Company production

Garry Hynes for DruidO’Casey, a Druid Theatre production at Lyric Theatre Belfast

Best Musical Production Sponsored by Tysers in association with Ecclesiastical

The Book Thief, an Octagon Theatre Bolton production

Gypsy, a The Mill at Sonning production

Miss Saigon, a Sheffield Theatres production

Best New Play

Agreement, a Lyric Theatre Belfast production

Enough Of Him, a National Theatre of Scotland and Pitlochry Festival Theatre co-production

Untitled F*ck M*ss S**gon Play, a Royal Exchange Theatre, Factory International for Manchester International Festival, Young Vic Theatre and Headlong co-production

Best Play Revival Sponsored by Trafalgar Theatres

The Beauty Queen Of Leenane, a Prime Cut and Lyric Theatre Belfast co-production

The Comedy Of Errors (More Or Less), a Shakespeare North Playhouse and Stephen Joseph Theatre co-production

The Contingency Plan, a Sheffield Theatres production

Best Performance in a Play

Peter Forbes for On The Beach, a Sheffield Theatres production

Siobhán McSweeney for Happy Days, a Landmark Productions production at Birmingham Rep

Daniel Rigby for Accidental Death Of An Anarchist, a Sheffield Theatres and Lyric Hammersmith co-production

Wiliam Young for Of Mice & Men, a Birmingham Rep, Leeds Playhouse and Fiery Angel co-production

Best Performance in a Musical

Joanna Ampil for Miss Saigon, a Sheffield Theatres production

Lena Hall for In Dreams, a Leeds Playhouse production

Rebecca Thornhill for Gypsy, a The Mill at Sonning production

Best Show for Children and Young People

The Famous Five, a Theatr Clywd and Chichester Festival Theatre co-production

Mirrorball, a Replay Theatre Company production at Belfast Children’s Festival, Lyric Theatre Belfast

The SpongeBob Musical, a Selladoor Worldwide production

Best Supporting Performance (in a Musical or Play)

Bryony Corrigan for I, Daniel Blake, a Nothern Stage, Birmingham Rep, ETT, Oldham Coliseum and tiny dragon Productions production in association with Cardboard Citizens

Antony Eden for Family Album, a Stephen Joseph Theatre production

LJ Parkinson for Modest, a Middle Child and Milk Presents co-production

Achievement in Opera

Glyndebourne for Dialogues Des Carmélites

Opera North for Orpheus

Welsh National Opera for Blaze Of Glory!

Achievement in Dance

Jo Fong & George Orange for The Rest Of Our Lives 

Rambert for Peaky Blinders: The Redemption Of Thomas Shelby 

Scottish Ballet for Coppélia 

Off Stage Awards

Excellence in Touring


Northern Stage

Nottingham Playhouse

Digital Innovation Sponsored by Spektrix

HOME X presented by the Barbican

Pilot Theatre

Tara Theatre

Excellence in Inclusivity

Capital Theatres

Midland Arts Centre

Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch

Excellence in Arts Education

Birmingham Hippodrome

Blackpool Grand Theatre

Hackney Empire

Workforce Award

Ambassador Theatre Group

Grand Opera House York

Nottingham Playhouse

UK’s Most Welcoming Theatre Sponsored by Theatre Tokens


National Youth Theatre

Nottingham Playhouse