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The nominees of the Spotlight Prize 2023 lined up on stage extending their arm

Image credit: Joanna Nicole Photography

We’re thrilled to announce the finalists for the Spotlight Prize 2024!

Since its introduction in the 50s, the Spotlight Prize has given graduates the chance to establish their careers in front of industry professionals. 

Over 70 drama schools and universities were invited to nominate a student from their graduating class, who then submitted a self-tape audition for this year’s Spotlight Prize. The 22 finalists were selected by a panel of industry experts based on the quality of their auditions.

Spotlight’s Managing Director, Matt Hood, was overjoyed with the selection, saying:

“Congratulations to our Spotlight Prize nominees for 2024. In a year with so much talent, the judges found it incredibly difficult to narrow down to just 20 nominees, so much so that this year, for the first time, we have 22 finalists. We’re excited to celebrate these performers at our annual showcase and add two more winners to the long list of Spotlight Prize alumni.”

The nominees and winners of past Spotlight Prize showcases include Gwendoline Christie, Sam Heughhan, Jodie Whittaker, Faye Marsay, Ben Whishaw, Edward Bluemel, Joel Fry, Bessie Carter, Laura Donnelly, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, Rosalind Eleazar and Gabrielle Creevy – amongst many, many more.

Previously, the Prize was known as The Millington Award, and notable nominees and winners include Dame Judi Dench, Albert Finney, John Hurt, Brian Cox, Zoë Wanamaker, Robert Lindsay, Bill Treacher, James Bolam and Anna Calder-Marshall.

Without further ado, the finalists of the Spotlight Prize 2024 are:

1. Adam Hashmi

Drama Studio London

Headshot credit: Billy Brown

2. Alfanso May

London College of Music

Headshot credit: YellowBellyPhoto

3. Alyson Handley

Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

Headshot credit: Stewart Bywater

4. Alyssa Thabisile Sibanda

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

Headshot credit: Stewart Bywater

5. Bethany Wooding

Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Headshot credit: Olivia Spencer

6. Callum Alexander-Smith


Headshot credit: Stanley Morgan

7. Cindy Chawula

ICTheatre – Brighton campus

Headshot credit: Sam Cartwright

8. Dúa Róberts

Norwich University of the Arts

Headshot credit: M.A.D. Photography

9. Emma Symmonds

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

Headshot credit: AKTA Photography

10. Gabrielle K. Appiah

Rose Bruford College

Headshot credit: Matt Jones

11. Georgi Arthur

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Headshot credit: YellowBellyPhoto

12. Jaden Asha Evelyn

Fourth Monkey

Headshot credit: Fay Summerfield

13. Jessica Oppong


Headshot credit: YellowBellyPhoto

14. Katie Shelley

D&B Performing Arts

Headshot credit: YellowBellyPhoto

15. Lara Dailey

Anglia Ruskin University

Headshot credit: Paul Tait

16. Niamh-Ella McCann

American College Dublin

Headshot credit: fnati.c headshots

17. Penny Morris

The Lir

Headshot credit: Leo Byrne

18. Scott Bowden

East 15 Acting School

Headshot credit: Benkin Photography

19. Senam Akpokavi

Arts Educational Schools

Headshot credit: Samuel Black

20. Trudy Akobeng

Guildford School of Acting

Headshot credit: Dujonna Gift

21. Tsen Day-Beaver

Manchester School of Theatre (MMU)

Headshot credit: AKTA Photography

22. Zannie Benfield

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Headshot credit: Harry Livingstone

An esteemed panel of judges will watch the finalists’ performances and announce the winners of the Best Actor (Screen) Award and Best Actor (Stage) Award on 17 July 2024 at The Spotlight Prize Awards. We’ll be announcing the directors and judges very shortly!

Spotlight Prize alumni have gone on to star in TV shows and films like Doctor Who, Outlander, Black Mirror, Game of Thrones, Fresh Meat, The Personal History of David Copperfield and Slow Horses. They’ve also gone on to tread the boards at The Globe and the National Theatre, and become members of The Royal Shakespeare Company and the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company.

From all of us at Spotlight, a huge congratulations to the finalists – we’re so excited to see your performances!

Take a look at our website for more information about the Spotlight Prize, including interviews with 2022’s winners Aaron Hodgetts and Angela Jones.