Central Graduates Win at 2017 Emmy and Stage Debut Awards | The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Monday, 18 September 2017

Central graduates have been announced as winners at two of this year’s most prestigious award ceremonies for film, TV and theatre.

At the 2017 Emmy Awards hosted by Steven Colbert in Los Angeles, Riz Ahmed (MA Acting, 2006) won Best Actor in a Limited Series for his performance as Nasir "Naz" Khan in The Night Of. The show also saw a Best Actor (Miniseries or TV Film) Golden Globe Award for Riz earlier in 2017 and overall critical acclaim for the HBO mini-series, with a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In winning the award, Riz beat a string of Hollywood A-listers including Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert De Niro, Ewan McGregor, Geoffrey Rush and John Turturro.

The Stage Debut Awards 2017

On Sunday evening, two Central graduates won in their categories at The Stage Debut Awards 2017, which recognises and celebrates breakthrough actors and creatives.

Katherine Soper (MA Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media, 2014) won Best Writer for Wish List at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. Written for her Central masters dissertation, Wish List was Katherine’s first play; a sensitive and delicately powerful piece about trying to survive when every system is against you. Premiering at the Royal Exchange Theatre in September 2016, and co-produced with the Royal Court – where it made its London debut in January 2017 – Wish List received critical acclaim and also won the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting.

Also nominated in the Best Writer category was Victoria Willing (MA Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media, 2008) for writing Spring Offensive at the Clapham Omnibus, London.

The Stage Debut Award for Best Designer was won by Rosie Elnile (BA (Hons) Theatre Practice - Design for the Stage 2014), for The Convert at the Gate Theatre, London. From Tony-nominated writer Danai Gurira (Eclipsed), The Convert is a compelling exploration of a pivotal moment in history, when resisting the invading Western culture could mean death.

Also nominated in the Best Designer category was fellow Central graduate Joshua Gadsby (BA (Hons) Theatre Practice – Theatre Lighting Design, 2015), for Dreamplay at the Vaults, London. Joshua was Lighting Designer for Central’s MA Acting Classical productions of Mary Stuart (2016), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2017) and The Devils (2017).

Presenting the awards at the ceremony in London were Olivier award-winning director, Central President (and graduate) Michael Grandage, National Theatre director Rufus Norris, and actors Noma Dumezweni, Sharon D Clarke and Preeya Kalidas.

Find out more

Could you be the next Riz Ahmed, Katherine Soper or Rosie Elnile? Check our handy course finder to see what study options we can offer you.

Image credit (above): The Telegraph