The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art student beat competition from 180 applicants to receive the Bursary worth over £3,000, designed to equip a talented young actor with everything they need to launch themselves as a working professional.
The final round of judging took place on Friday afternoon, after the applicants had been shortlisted to twenty and then whittled down to six finalists. The judging panel included Casting Director Cathy Willis and Kevin Brady, an agent from AHA. Actress and member of the Actors Centre Board Anita Dobson chaired the judges. David Harewood, actor and Patron of the Actors Centre, had recorded a video congratulating the winner, hich was screened during the presentation.
Charles, 23, is currently on the BA Acting course at LAMDA and is set to graduate this summer. He said:
‘I feel really privileged because number one it’s the Alan Bates Bursary; it’s really prestigious and I have an affiliation with that now. Number two I’m going to be going into the industry with all these benefits: free headshots, books, membership to the Actors Centre, Spotlight and Equity, and my free suit! I’m totally grateful.’
The Bursary includes membership to the Actors Centre, £1,000 worth of workshop credit, £600 worth of bespoke tailoring, a show-reel, headshots, a website, script and book bundles and subscriptions to Equity, Spotlight and The Stage.
Charles was presented the award by esteemed British actress Celia Imrie, a long-time supporter of the Actors Centre, and very fittingly, a friend of Sir Alan Bates, whose memory the Bursary is named after. Celia said of Alan:
‘I think he would be absolutely beaming. He would be so happy that this is such a success. This prize is magnificent. I love that Charles is so thrilled to have won.’
Last year’s Bursary winner Adam Buchanan has recently appeared on stage at the Hampstead Theatre. He said of his experience:
‘It was this huge uplifting feeling, I was speechless. Winning the award gives you a constant smile on your face. That’s invaluable.’
There were also two-runners up, Peter Mooney, currently studying at Rose Bruford and Crystal Condie, from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. They also received Actors Centre membership and workshop credit, as well as book bundles and discounts to professional services.
The Alan Bates Bursary will return in 2015.Pic by Kit Shah (HCK Photography)