A summer celebration of the arts commences as nominees are announced for the 27th South Bank Sky Arts Awards

Thursday 15 June 2023

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2023 will take place at The Savoy Hotel on Sunday 2 July,  

airing on Sky Arts, Freeview and streaming-service NOW on Wednesday 5 July, 10pm  

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards – the first and only awards ceremony to celebrate every genre of the arts, including Dance, Theatre, Pop, TV Drama, Film, Classical Music, Literature, Opera, Comedy and Visual Art – returns on Sunday 2 July. The ceremony, presented by Melvyn Bragg, will take place at The Savoy Hotel and will air on Wednesday 5 July at 10pm on Sky Arts, the UK’s only free-to-air TV channel dedicated to arts, music and culture.

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2023 nominees, officially announced today, celebrate a host of artists and arts organisations across the full spectrum of the industry.  Nominated in the Pop category this year are RAYE and Kojey Radical with their respective debut studio albums, and Arctic Monkeys with their seventh studio album, The Car.

The TV Drama category celebrates memorable TV moments from the past year, with nominees including the highly anticipated return of Happy Valley, revisionist Western miniseries The English, and award-winning writer James Graham’s crime drama Sherwood. Occupying the Film category are Ali & Ava, The Wonder and Aftersun.

Big Boys, created, and written by Jack Rooke, is nominated in the Comedy category alongside the third and final series of Lisa McGee’s  Derry Girls, both for Channel 4. Jordan Gray’s ground-breaking stage-show Is It A Bird? is also nominated, following a sell-out success at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe. 

 Nominations for Theatre include one-woman play by Suzie Miller, Prima Facie (Harold Pinter Theatre), Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky (National Theatre) and A Streetcar Named Desire (Almeida Theatre) written by Tennessee Williams. 

In the Opera category, Violet, Britten Pears Arts and Music Theatre Wales for the Aldeburgh Festival, English National Opera’s The Rhinegold and Welsh National Opera’s The Makropulos Affair compete for the award. Literature category nominations this year include Tom Crewe’s The New Life, Paddy Crewe’s My Name is Yip and Charlotte Mendelson’s The Exhibitionist.

The world of ballet dominates the Dance category this year, with The Royal Ballet’s Light of Passage, Scottish Ballet’s Coppélia and Say It Loud by Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black vying for the prize.  Classical Music nominations include Hive by Sally Beamish, performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales with Catrin Finch (harp) for the BBC Proms; Gavin Higgins' Concerto Grosso for Brass Band and Orchestra, performed by The Tredegar Band with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, also for the BBC Proms; and Manchester Collective & Abel Selaocoe’s The Oracle.

Three nominations round out the Visual Art category; Hew Locke’s The Procession (Tate Britain), Mohammed Sami’s The Point 0 (Camden Art Centre) and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s Fly In League With The Night (Tate Britain).

The Outstanding Achievement Award – an award which acknowledges an artist’s remarkable contribution to the Arts over the course of their career to date – will be announced at the ceremony. The 2022 accolade was awarded to Tamara Rojo, in recognition of her services to Ballet, and particularly her 10 transformational years as Artistic Director of English National Ballet. 

The Times Breakthrough Award shines a spotlight on up-and-coming talent in the British Arts. Nominees announced today are Leo Woodall (TV Drama), Leo Reich (Comedy), Louise Kennedy (Literature), Freddie De Tommaso (Opera), Sophie Kauer (Classical), Rana Begum (Visual Art), Musa Motha (Dance), Rosie Sheehy (Theatre), Raine Allen-Miller (Film) and Jockstrap (Pop). Previous winners include creator of critically acclaimed One Woman Show, Liz Kingsman, playwright Samuel Bailey, actors Jessie Buckley and Tom Hiddleston, and British rapper, singer and songwriter Stormzy.

Melvyn Bragg said: "For our 27th South Bank Sky Arts Awards, we once more celebrate the artistic excellence that our country has to offer, across the entire spectrum of the arts. As reflected in the nominations, the British Arts are thriving and continue to shape our cultural landscape.” 

Director of Sky Arts, Phil Edgar-Jones added: “The South Bank Sky Arts Awards bring together the most incredible range of people across the arts all in one room. It’s a hotbed of creativity and testimony to the health of our vibrant arts sector and a demonstration of the power of the Arts to enrich our lives.” 

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards was commissioned by Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts and Entertainment for Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content for Sky UK and Ireland. The Commissioning Editor for Sky is Benedetta Pinelli. The South Bank Sky Arts Awards is part of a portfolio of South Bank content on Sky Arts produced by Directors Cut Productions.

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards will take place on Sunday 2 July. 

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards will air on Sky Arts, Freeview and 

streaming-service NOW on Wednesday 5 July, 10pm. 

For further information, please contact PREMIER: calum.mcgarry@premiercomms.com 



Hive; Sally Beamish - BBC National Orchestra of Wales with Catrin Finch (harp), BBC Proms 

The Oracle – Manchester Collective & Abel Selaocoe  

Gavin Higgins' Concerto Grosso for Brass Band and Orchestra – The Tredegar Band with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Proms


Big Boys - Roughcut Television/Channel 4 

Derry Girls - Hat Trick Productions/Channel 4 

Jordan Gray, Is It A Bird?


Light of Passage – The Royal Ballet 

Say It Loud – Ballet Black 

Coppélia – Scottish Ballet


Ali & Ava 

The Wonder 



The New Life – Tom Crewe 

My Name is Yip - Paddy Crewe 

The Exhibitionist – Charlotte Mendelson


Violet - Britten Pears Arts and Music Theatre Wales for the Aldeburgh Festival  

The Rhinegold - English National Opera 

The Makropulos Affair - Welsh National Opera


RAYE – My 21st Century Blues 

Kojey Radical – Reason To Smile 

Arctic Monkeys – The Car


Prima Facie – Harold Pinter Theatre 

Blues for an Alabama Sky – National Theatre 

A Streetcar Named Desire – Almeida Theatre


The English - Drama Republic Limited & Eight Rooks for Amazon & BBC 

Happy Valley - Lookout Point/BBC One 

Sherwood - House Productions/BBC One


Hew Locke: The Procession - Tate Britain 

Mohammed Sami: The Point 0 - Camden Art Centre 

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Fly In League With The Night - Tate Britain


Comedy - Leo Reich 

TV Drama - Leo Woodall 

Literature - Louise Kennedy 

Opera - Freddie De Tommaso 

Classical - Sophie Kauer 

Visual Art - Rana Begum 

Dance - Musa Motha 

Theatre - Rosie Sheehy 

Film - Raine Allen-Miller 

Pop – Jockstrap


To be announced