17 drama school students from across the UK have been awarded Laurence Olivier bursaries, administered by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT), to help them complete their training.
Thanks to contributions from SOLT, and generosity of key donators – The Estate of Sir Peter and Lady Saunders, The Clothworkers’ Foundation, The Behrens Foundation, Barry Burnett and The Casting Directors’ Guild, a total of £79,000 has been distributed amongst recipients.
Now in its 36th year, the bursaries were established by SOLT in 1987 to mark Laurence Olivier’s 80th birthday, intended to support exceptional students entering their final year of drama school, who are facing financial difficulties that might jeopardize their studies.
Previous bursary winners have included Michaela Coel, Denise Gough, Bryony Hannah, Paterson Joseph, Ewan McGregor, Daniel Rigby, Vinette Robinson, Juma Sharkah, and Michael Sheen.
Nominees, put forward by drama schools across the UK, are auditioned on a West End stage and interviewed by a panel of theatre industry professionals, led by West End producer and Chair of the Laurence Olivier Bursaries Committee, Lee Menzies. This year’s auditions took place at St Martin’s Theatre earlier this month.
The Sir Peter and Lady Saunders Laurence Olivier Bursary
Donated by the Estate of Sir Peter and Lady Saunders
Tamsin Benn (The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art)
The Clothworkers’ Laurence Olivier Bursary
Given in conjunction with the Laurence Olivier Bursary, donated by The Clothworkers’ Foundation
Abdelaziz Sanusi (The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)
Behrens Foundation Bursary
Given in conjunction with the Laurence Olivier Bursary, donated by The Behrens Foundation
Arabella Smith-James (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School)
Benjamin Skym (Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts)
Ellie Roberts (SLP College Leeds)
Matt Underhill (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire)
Mehmet Yakar (Drama Studio London)
Joseph Stanley (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School)
Shakeel Haakim (The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art)
Carmen Silvera Bursary
Given in conjunction with the Laurence Olivier Bursary, donated by the agent Barry Burnett
Ashlyn Joely (Urdang)
Laurence Olivier & Casting Directors’ Guild Bursary
Donated by Society of London Theatre with additional donation by the Casting Directors’ Guild
Chantelle Amon (The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)
Laurence Olivier Bursary
Donated by Society of London Theatre
Ben McGuinness (Italia Conti)
Georgi Arthur (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire)
Jake Evans (ArtsEd)
Nina Cassells (Guildhall School of Music and Drama)
Tateyana Arutura (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art)
Zannie Stutely (The Royal Conservatoire Scotland)
Laurence Olivier Bursaries panel:
Atri Banerjee (Director)
Jill Green (Casting Director and member of the Casting Director’s Guild)
Gareth Johnson (Producer and SOLT member)
Lee Menzies (Producer, SOLT member & Bursary Chair)
Sita McIntosh (Inclusive Audiences)
Isabella Odoffin (Casting Director and member of the Casting Director’s Guild)