A LANCASHIRE actor who has been playing the role of a Burnley soldier in a West End play has been nominated for a prestigious award.

Joshua Miles, 22, has been nominated for best newcomer at the whatsonstage.com awards and has been praised by the Burnley-born actor Sir Ian McKellen.

Higher Walton-born Joshua has earned rave reviews for his portrayal of a Burnley squaddie in the play Bully Boy.

Written by Sandi Toksvig it tells the fictional story of a Burnley soldier accused of drowning an eight-year-old Afghan during an assault on a village.

The show pits a wheelchair-bound veteran of the Falklands War, Oscar (Anthony Andrews), against a 20-year-old soldier from Burnley, Eddie (Joshua Miles).

Eddie, it emerges, did not fire one round in the face of enemy fire, so why did he turn on the child?

Bully Boy is the first play to be staged at the new St James Theatre, near Buckingham Palace.

Joshua has always loved performing, and acting with Eccleston based Ces't Tous Theatre Company led to small roles in Coronation Street, Waterloo Road and The Royal.

He went on to study musical theatre at Pendleton College, in Salford, before heading to London.

The Daily Telegraph called his performance ‘remarkable’ and the Evening Standard said he ‘bristles with emotion’.

Sir Ian McKellen, who starred in the Lord of the Rings, tweeted ‘A brilliant young actor, Joshua Miles, stars as the bully boy.’ The whatsonstage.com awards, known as the ‘theatregoers’ choice’, are the only major theatre awards in which the audience are the judges across all categories.

The awards ceremony will take place at the Palace Theatre on February 17.