The Stage newspaper today announced the shortlist for its inaugural The Stage Debut Awards, which recognise the best breakthrough actors and creatives in theatre.

Shortlisted for their work with us are TJ Jones for Best Actor, Ruth Chan for Best Composer and Simon Spencer for Best Designer.

Aged 16, TJ Jones (pictured) made his professional theatre debut as Mickey in Anders Lustgarten’s new play The Seven Acts of Mercy directed by Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman, which opened in the Swan Theatre in December 2016.

A boy with dark hair wears a blue hoodie and carries a black leather coat.
TJ Jones as Mickey in The Seven Acts of Mercy
Photo by Ellie Kurttz © RSC Browse and license our images

On being nominated in the Best Composer category for Snow in Midsummer (Swan Theatre 2017), Ruth Chan said: "I'm absolutely thrilled to be nominated for this Debut Award, what an honour! Thanks to the RSC and [Director] Justin Audibert for giving me the opportunity to write for theatre."

After working in the RSC lighting department for over 20 years, Simon Spencer made his debut as the Lighting Designer for The Tempest, collaboration with Intel which is currently running at the Barbican Theatre. On being nominated in the Best Designer category he said: "The Tempest was an incredible experience and wonderful opportunity. I feel extremely privileged to be recognised for my work on the production and to be nominated for this fantastic new award."

The winners of the awards are announced by The Stage on 17 September.