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The Spotlight Prize is an annual event where graduate nominees have a chance for their performance to be showcased in front of industry professionals, with a £2000 prize awarded to the overall winner.

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 audition.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Spotlight Prize will take on a slightly different format this year. We’ll be awarding the prize for Best Screen Actor but due to ongoing social distancing measures, we’ve sadly had to cancel the Best Stage Actor prize.

We’re delighted that Paulette Randall MBE will be directing the finalists as they film their monologues in September. The performances will be judged by an esteemed panel of casting directors with the winner announced on Friday 16 October and awarded their £2000 prize.

The 2020 Spotlight Prize finalists are:

  • Yasmine Haller (LAMDA)
  • Tomisin Ajani (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire)
  • Talia Nyathi (Manchester Met University)
  • Ryan Mal (Mountview)
  • Rachel Barnwell (RADA)
  • Michael Bunga (Arts ED)
  • Mariana Nunes (GSA)
  • Luke Polie (East 15)
  • Luke Nunn (Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama)
  • Leah Balmforth (ALRA South)
  • Lawrence Hodgson-Mullings (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland)
  • Khadija Sallet (Royal Academy of Music)
  • Kelsea Knox (Arden School of Theatre)
  • Katie Okehurst (Drama Centre)
  • Nimshi Kongolo (Bristol Old Vic)
  • Amy Smurthwaite (Oxford School of Drama)
  • Emile John (Rose Bruford)
  • Emanuel Vuso (Guildhall School of Music and Drama)
  • Bruce Allinson (Italia Conti Acting)
  • Amy Hoole (Liverpool Theatre School)

Good luck to you all!

Last year’s Best Screen Actor prize winner Lucy Reynolds from Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama also won the Carleton Hobbs Award and received a five-month contract with the BBC Radio Drama Company.

Rhiannon Clements from ALRA North, who won the Best Stage Actor prize in 2019 had been confirmed to play in The Glass Menagerie at the Manchester Royal Exchange. She will also be appearing in Kenneth Branagh’s upcoming Poirot film Death on the Nile.

Find out more about previous Spotlight Prize winners and finalists or read about how to deliver a monologue successfully.

Image by Joanna Nicole Photography.