ACTOR Gemma Dobson has spoken of her joy to be have been nominated for a theatre award for her professional stage debut at the Octagon Theatre.

Gemma, who played Sue in Rita, Sue and Bob Too, has been nominated for the Newcomer Award for her role in this year's Manchester Theatre Awards

The actor took to the Bolton stage in September in a production by the Octagon Theatre, Out of Joint and Royal Court Theatre.

She said: "I was so shocked. It was very much unexpected. I couldn't believe it when I saw my name on the list.

"I have absolutely loved this job. It was amazing to open the show at the Octagon. It's such a beautiful theatre and I feel very lucky to have performed there. The audiences were fantastic."

Gemma added: "I’m overjoyed to have been nominated. I'm lucky enough to have worked with some incredible people across the board on this job and it's been a blast so to be nominated for an award on top of a dream job feels amazing."

Others shortlisted for the Newcomer Award are Scott Hunter for his part in the Yank! at Hope Mill Theatre and Vinay Lad for The Railway Children at The Lowry.

The awards ceremony — billed as the most important theatrical prize-giving outside London — will take place at a red carpet on March 9, hosted by actor and comedian Justin Moorhouse.

The annual ceremony has been a major fixture of the North West cultural calendar since 1981 and honours productions seen in Greater Manchester during 2017.

Members of the public can also buy tickets for the event. Tickets, priced £15 are available from