Alex’s Broadway debut earns Tony nomination

Former Sidmouth Youth Theatre actor Alex Sharp

Former Sidmouth Youth Theatre actor Alex Sharp - Credit: Archant

When Broadway beckoned for former Sidmouth Youth Theatre performer Alex Sharp, he could scarcely believe it. Seven months later, he achieved another landmark in his career by being nominated for a Tony Award.

The 26-year-old this week found himself on the contenders’ list for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play with A-list names including Bradley Cooper and Bill Nighy.

Alex told the Herald: “It feels unbelievable. I’m big fans of those stars’ work, and now I get to hang out with them loads over the next month, which will be fun!

“I had not graduated from The Juilliard Drama School this time last year, so to get this nomination is truly remarkable, surreal, and an unlikely happening.

“You work so hard, and to get recognition like this, and so quickly, for my first ever job, it’s a dream, and profoundly encouraging.”

Alex studied at Sidmouth College in years seven and eight before moving abroad to Europe and then New York, where he attended the Julliard School of Performing Arts.

He was cast as the lead in the award-winning The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time in October last year.

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Alex said he had to turn off his phone due to the response from friends and family following the nomination.

He said: “I have totally dreamed about a Tony. It’s the pinnacle of fine acting awards in so many ways.

“It’s been kind of a blur. A beautiful blur. My friends and family are excited, to say the least. Without their support none of this would be possible.”

Alex once wowed crowds with his performances on the stage of the Manor Pavilion, but now is treading the boards of Broadway.

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time was nominated in six categories at the awards ceremony. It has already won seven Olivier Awards in London, including Best Actor for Luke Treadaway, who Alex replaced.

On the success of the show, Alex said: “Every waking moment for me is about creating a better, more detailed, deeper performance of this unique character. I would describe it as very fulfilling and so much work, work, work.

“I think the show, like the book, speaks to people because they can empathize with the character on such a personal level.

“All I would say to young actors, is that if you’re sure this is what you want to do, then go for it, and don’t let a single person tell you no. Anything is possible, if you work hard enough.”

Angela Davies who directed Alex in the Sidmouth Youth Theatre production of Oliver said: “Right from a young age, he had something about him. I can imagine that his feet haven’t touched the ground and I wish him all the best.”

The 69th Annual Tony Awards will be hosted by Kristen Chenoweth and Alan Cummings on Sunday, June 7.