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Winners of £78k Laurence Olivier drama student bursaries announced

Winners of last year's Laurence Olivier drama student bursaries
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Drama students across the UK have been awarded £77,500 worth of bursaries by the Society of London Theatre to help them complete their training.

The Laurence Olivier bursaries range from £500 to £7,500 and were given to 23 students. They include the Clothworkers’ Foundation bursary, which awarded funding of £7,500 to student Precious Mustapha from East 15.

SOLT established the bursary scheme in 1987, aiming to “provide financial support to exceptional students”. The industry body, which represents theatres in London, said that it is often “impossible” for students to train and undertake paid employment at the same time, and that it aims to “remove some of this financial burden”.

The grants include 13 Laurence Olivier bursaries, as well as other awards funded by organisations including the Casting Directors’ Guild and the Behrens Foundation.

Students must be entering their final year of drama school and facing financial difficulties to be eligible for the funds.

Drama school principals across the region can nominate two students, who then audition in front of a panel at a West End theatre.

Previous bursary winners include Ewan McGregor, Michaela Coel, Paterson Joseph and Denise Gough.

Full list of Laurence Olivier bursary recipients 2017

  • George Readshaw (Bristol Old Vic)
  • Jake Ashton Nelson (Manchester School of Theatre)
  • Damian Schedler Cruz (Cygnet Theatre)
  • Omar Ahmed (Arts Educational Schools)
  • Henry Whittaker (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire)
  • Laura Barnard (Trinity Laban Conservatoire)
  • Romario Simpson (Academy of Live and Recorded Arts)
  • Andrew Buzzeo (Drama Centre at Central Saint Martins)
  • Olivia Lee (Guildford School of Acting)
  • Zachary Wyatt (Guildhall School of Music and Drama)
  • Alexandra Meyrick (Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts)
  • Rosalind Lailey (Guildhall School of Music and Drama)
  • Robbie Noonan (The Musical Theatre Academy)

The Mary Selway bursary (funded by Casting Directors’ Guild) and Laurence Olivier bursary
Thomas Davison (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama)

The Clothworkers’ Laurence Olivier bursary
Precious Mustapha (East 15 Acting School)

The Behrens Foundation bursary
Hugo von Fragstein (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire), Jesse Jones (East 15 Acting School), Tara Divina Gulrajani (Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts), Asa Haynes (Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts)

The Doreen Jones bursary 2017 (funded by Casting Directors’ Guild)
Shaniqua Okwok (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)

The Carmen Silvera Bursary (funded by Barry Burnett)
Ellie Clayton (The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)

Society of London Theatre bursary for musical theatre dancers
Nicky Griffiths