What type of membership would you like to apply for?
Account access problem
You do not have permission to access this page with your current sign in details. If you require any further help, please get in touch at questions@spotlight.com.

We’re excited to announce the finalists and directors for this year’s Spotlight Prize

The Spotlight Prize is our annual event where selected graduate nominees showcase their talents in front of industry professionals. Since the 50s, it’s been an exciting opportunity for graduates to perform in front of an audience of leading industry figures – helping to establish their careers as professional performers.

Previous finalists include Bessie Carter, Jodie Whittaker, Ben Whishaw, Edward Bluemel, Rosalind Eleazar, Sam Heughan, Gwendoline Christie, Joel Fry, Denise Gough and Yasmin Mwanza.

Over 70 drama schools and universities were invited to nominate a student from their graduating class to submit a self-tape audition for this year’s Spotlight Prize. The 20 finalists were selected by a panel of industry experts based on the quality of their auditions.

Without further ado, the finalists for The Spotlight Prize 2023 are:

  • Amy Tara / Arden School of Theatre
  • Arnold Patrick Lumu / Guildhall School of Music & Drama
  • Charlotte Delima / Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts
  • Chelsie Lockwood / Fourth Monkey
  • Chiara McDougall / Trinity Laban
  • Darcy Braimoh / Guildford School of Acting
  • Edward Neale / Italia Conti (Acting)
  • Jess Gough / Manchester School of Theatre
  • Kurtis Thompson / Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
  • Lillia Squires / D&B Academy of Performing Arts
  • Lucas Albion / Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
  • Megan Kennelly / Bow Street Academy
  • Olivia Chandler / Rose Bruford
  • Olivia Michi Shrenzel / Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
  • Öncel Camci / East 15 Acting School
  • Ria McLeod / Queen Margaret University
  • Riess Fennell / Arts Education Schools
  • Shannon Watson / Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
  • Teddy Moore / The Lir
  • Yasemin Junqueira / Oxford School of Drama

We’re delighted that Paulette Randall MBE will return to direct the finalists as they film their monologues for the Best Actor (Screen) Award. We’re also pleased to welcome actor, playwright and theatre director, Ché Walker, as he directs the finalists’ stage performances as part of the Best Actor (Stage) Award.

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 18 July 2023 at The Spotlight Prize Awards.

We’ll be announcing the judging panel in July ahead of the awards.

The finalists will join last year’s winners Aaron Hodgetts (Guildford School of Acting) and Angela Jones (LAMDA). Previous winners and nominees include Rhiannon Clements, Francesco Piacentini-Smith, Rosalind Eleazar, Mimi Ndiweni, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, Bessie Carter, Edward Bluemel, Andrew Gower, Jim Broadbent, and Judi Dench.

Spotlight Prize alumni have starred in TV shows and films like Doctor WhoOutlanderBlack MirrorGame of ThronesFresh MeatThe Personal History of David Copperfield and Slow Horses. They’ve also gone on to tread the boards at The Globe, the National Theatre and become members of The Royal Shakespeare Company and the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company.

Previous judges have included actors: Imelda Staunton, Alex Jennings, Sheila Atim, Vicky McClure, Lesley Manville, Daniel Mays, Hayley Atwell, Paapa Essiedu, Gemma Chan, Michael Balogun, and casting directors: Debbie McWilliams, Aisha Bywaters, Fiona Weir, Shaheen Baig, and Nina Gold

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

Photo credit: Joanna Nicole Photography