A FORMER Solihull School boy and West End actor will be going head to head with Sir Ian Mckellen and Kenneth Branagh in a bid to be crowned Best Actor in a Play.
Ian Hallard has been shortlisted for the prestigious whatsonstage.com award for his role in The Boys in the Band which returned to the stage last September and will be heading to the West End next month.
Other actors nominated in the same category as Ian are Ian McKellen for No Man’s Land, Jamie Parker for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Kenneth Branagh for The Entertainer and Ralph Fiennes for Richard III.
The winner will be announced at a glittering ceremony at the Prince of Wales Theatre in February.
Ian said he was given the news he had been shortlisted for the Best Actor in Play award while rehearsing as Widow Twankey in a pair of platform shoes for his pantomime role.
The 42-year-old added: “I was very surprised and flattered when I was told.
“It would be nice to win the Best Actor in Play award but it would be fantastic if The Boys in the Band won the two awards it is up for as it would reflect the team effort that has gone into reviving the play.”
The Boys in the Band is also up for Best Play Revival and Best Off-West End Production.
The play tells the story of nine men in 1968 who have gathered in a New York apartment for a birthday celebration and as the night progresses the mood swings from hilarity to heartbreak.
Ian went to St James’ Primary School in Shirley and often went to a number of drama classes and group and starred in a couple of musicals at Solihull School including My Fair Lady.
He moved to London to go to drama school 20 years ago and has been acting ever since.
For more or to vote visit www.whatsonstage.com before January 31.