The 2017 Spotlight Prize Winners Are...
Cecily Redman and Yasmin Mwanza Scoop Spotlight Stage and Screen Prize
Cecily Redman from the Royal Academy of Music has been named Best Stage Actor at this year’s Spotlight Showcase, with Yasmin Mwanza from the Manchester School of Theatre being named Best Screen Actor. This year's stage showcase was judged by acclaimed actors Sarah Parish, Mark Bonnar, Vicky McClure, Paapa Essiedu and Elaine Cassidy, along with casting directors Shaheen Baig, Carolyn McLeod, Jessica Ronane CDG and Andy Pryor CDG.
The nominees took part in a screen acting workshop with award-winning director Shimmy Marcus from Bow Street School of Screen Acting, earlier in July. Their final screen performances were judged by casting directors Gemma Sykes, Lucy Jenkins CDG, Jane Anderson CDG, Simone Pereira Hind CDG, Alice Purser, Sam Stevenson CDG, and Vicki Thomson CDG.
Cecily's performance at The Underglobe on Tuesday 11th July, of Changing My Major (Song) from Fun Home, and Yasmin's pre-recorded screen performance of A Profoundly Affectionate Passionate Devotion to Someone, each won them a £2,000 prize.
Speaking after her success, Yasmin said, “I really can’t believe it. I was not expecting it at all!”
I actually can’t speak. This is ridiculous. I have no words. Amazing. Incredible. I never thought this would happen.
Each of the 20 young performers, who this year were selected from self-tapes submitted by graduate actors from over 70 drama schools, had just three minutes to perform in front of a specially invited panel of judges and an audience of agents, casting directors, producers, directors and actors.
Judge Paapa Essiedu said, “Everyone was brilliant, really. It was amazing to watch. Cecily had a real twinkle in her eye. She moved us.”
Fellow judge Mark Bonnar added, “All I wrote on my programme was 'I cried'.”
Last year’s stage showcase winner, Peter Losasso from LAMDA, is currently starring in the West End transfer of The Wipers Times. Bessie Carter from Guildhall, who won the Screen Acting Prize, has just finished filming Howards End for the BBC, after featuring in King Lear at The Old Vic.
Read more about the judges, take a look at interviews with past winners, and see this year's full list of nominees. All images in this article and from the Spotlight Prize 2017 copyright of Joanna Nicole Photography.