The Stage Scholarship 2018 at Liverpool Theatre School has been awarded to 20-year-old Samuel Craig from Manchester. The award, valued at £31,500, is for a place on the school’s three-year diploma in professional acting.
“I am overjoyed to have been chosen,” Samuel says. “To be honest, I had almost forgotten about the scholarship opportunity and after the auditions I was concentrating on work and getting enough hours in to hopefully fund the tuition. Obviously the scholarship is a huge relief for me, but there’s also a lot of pressure on me to do well. But that’s what I need to drive me.”
Samuel, who was born in Stretford near Old Trafford, was first introduced to performing at Footlights, a Saturday school in the area, when he was nine. There, he would regularly attend classes in singing, dancing and acting for the next eight years. It was attending a workshop by Alan Pattison, head of acting at Liverpool Theatre School, that helped him focus his efforts properly.
He says: “It was an amazing experience. He was one of the best directors I had ever worked with and he made me feel that I could do so much better. It rekindled a passion for acting that I had not had for a while.
“I looked online and realised that he was teaching at Liverpool, so I thought I’d audition there. The other students that I met on the day were very welcoming and they all said how great the school was.”
As it turns out, the audition was a great move on Samuel’s part, and he beat more than 60 students to the coveted scholarship place. From his point of view, Pattison enthuses about Samuel’s performance at the audition.
“It’s clear that Samuel is a young man of great potential. During his audition, he demonstrated some really strong qualities and the pieces he chose to perform were all highly appropriate and well delivered,” he says.
“Samuel is hugely deserving of this opportunity to train as an actor and I am sure he will work hard to make this a real landmark moment in his acting career.
“We are looking forward to welcoming him to Liverpool Theatre School in September, where I am confident he will excel in developing a sophisticated acting technique.”
Liverpool Theatre School made headlines earlier this year when principal Maxine Ellis announced that it was eliminating audition fees to encourage more working-class applicants.