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Lucie Sword and Francesco Piacentini-Smith Scoop Spotlight Stage and Screen Prize

Lucie Sword from RADA has been named Best Stage Actor at this year’s Spotlight Showcase, with Francesco Piacentini-Smith from The GSA being named Best Screen Actor. This year’s stage showcase was judged by acclaimed actors Imelda Staunton, Alex Jennings, Josette Simon, and Pippa Bennett-Warner, along with stage director Robert Icke, and casting directors Leo Davis, Helena Palmer CDG, Fiona Weir CDG and Reg Poerscout-Edgerton CDG.

The nominees took part in a screen acting workshop with award-winning director Susan Jacobson earlier in July. Their final screen performances were judged by casting directors Tusse Lande, Russell Boast, Robert Sterne CDG, Susie Parriss CDG, Faye Styring, Nathalie Cheron, Jina Jay CDG, Andy Morgan CDG and Kirsty McGregor CDG.

Lucie’s performance at 8 Northumberland Avenue on Tuesday 17th July, of Boys Will Be Boys by Melissa Bubnic, and Francesco’s pre-recorded screen performance of Skins by Jack Thorn, each won them a £2,000 prize.

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.

Last year’s screen showcase winner, Yasmin Mwanza from Manchester School of Theatre has since been cast in television series Hanna for NBC Universal and Amazon, and is currently filming her first feature film. 

Lucie Sword is currently unrepresented, and Francesco Piacentini-Smith is represented by 42.

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 2018 copyright of Joanna Nicole Photography.