Fourteen drama students from across the UK have been awarded bursaries by the Society of London theatre (SOLT) to help them continue their theatrical studies.
Granted by the organisation behind this website, the Laurence Olivier Bursaries have been handed out annually since 1987 in honour of the legendary actor’s 80th birthday.
Providing monetary support for students who otherwise might not be able to complete their studies, the bursary aims to lift the financial burden of those undertaking acting courses, the rigorous nature of which often means that the students are unable to take up paid employment.
Talking about how much the award would help her in her final year, Rebekah Lowings, who was “ecstatic” on hearing that she had received the bursary, told us she feared that she wouldn’t be able to continue her course without it: “I was so worried that my third year wouldn’t be able to happen, I would have had to get a bank loan or credit card, which is ridiculous, so having this now I might not even have to work in my third year,” while Beth Mullen was equally excited by the good news, saying: “It will help me out so much in third year so I’m very grateful that the Society has given me the award.”
The other successful recipients of 2013’s bursaries, which also include the Behrens Foundation Bursary, Carmen Silvera Bursary and Mary Selway Bursary, are David Burnett, Crystal Condie, Celeste Dodwell, Rebecca King, Fiona MacNeil, Simon Mokhele, Beth Mullen, Adam Newington, Georgia Oldman, Brontë Tadman, Imogen Lindquist, Simon Haines and Lizzie Clarke.
SOLT President Mark Rubinstein, who presented the students with their awards at today’s ceremony, said: “More than ever before there are talented drama students who, without additional financial support, would be unable to complete their course. Drama schools across the country proposed 40 applicants. These were auditioned and interviewed by the panel, which then selected 14 students from 12 different colleges. We are delighted that we have been able to help the talent of tomorrow and we look forward to seeing them on West End stages very soon.”
The budding actors join a string of successful performers including Michael Sheen, Bryony Hannah, Paterson Joseph, Ewan McGregor, Daniel Rigby and Vinette Robinson, who are all previous recipients of the Laurence Olivier Bursary.
The bursaries given out today totalled more than £55,000, with each individual receiving between £1,000 and £7,500 to help realise their ambition of becoming as successful as these well-known actors in the future.