Young Offenders star Chris Walley has been nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in Martin McDomagh's play The Lieutenant of Inishmore.

The 23-year-old Cork-born actor who is best known for playing Jock O'Keefe  in The Young Offenders, won The Jack Tinker Award for Most Promising Newcomer at the The Critics' Circle Theatre Awards earlier this year for the role.

He was also nominated for an Evening Standard Theatre Award Emerging Talent Award and last year, amid controversy, won a "Breakthrough Brit" award at the BAFTAs. 

The Lieutenant of Inishmore is a black comedy by London-Irish playwright McDonagh, in which Poldark star Aiden Gillen plays the 'mad' leader of an Irish National Liberation Army splinter group who discovers that his cat has been killed.

Walley and co-star in The Young Offenders Alex Murphy 

Walley plays Davey in the play and he has described working on the production as "a bit overwhelming and mad".

The rising star was cast in The Young Offenders while still studying at RADA theatre school in London and his acclaimed appearance in the play was his first role since finishing his course.

Chris Walley and director Michael Grandage at The Critics' Circle Theatre Awards 2019 at The Prince of Wales Theatre in London. (Photo by Getty Images)

Last year he told the Press Association: "That was my first job out of drama school and I couldn't have really asked for a better first job.

"I love Martin McDonagh's stuff. I grew up reading his work and I always dreamed of getting cast in one, and for Michael Grandage to be directing it, it was kind of bit overwhelming and mad.

"To play the part Davey is just such a treat as well, I had the best summer. The cast were just such a lovely group of people, and that's rare, or at least I have been told it is."

The Lieutenant of Inishmore has been produced twice in the West End and on Broadway, where it received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play.

Walley, who was raised in the Glanmire area of Cork, said he remained close friends with Turner in the production at London's Noel Coward Theatre.

Walley arrives at The 64th Evening Standard Theatre Awards at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane last November (Getty Images)

He added: "There literally was never any drama. Just pure fun for the whole summer. Aiden is just an absolute legend. Just a lovely, lovely, fella, who I have remained close friends with.

"He's just very talented and really down to earth. He shies away from all the fame and is just as normal as they come."

Company and Come From Away lead the nominations at this year's Olivier Awards, with nine nods each, while The Inheritance is the most nominated play with eight nominations.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Sunday April 7th.