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Drama students awarded £72,500 for their studies by Laurence Olivier Bursaries scheme

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Sixteen drama school students across the UK have been awarded Laurence Olivier bursaries to help complete their training.

Image: Some of the Laurence Olivier Bursary award winners. Credit: Society of London Theatre

A total of £72,500 has been awarded in funding from the bursaries, provided by the Society of London Theatre.

The fund aims to support exceptional final-year drama students who are in financial difficulty. Set up in 1987 to mark the 80th birthday of Lord Olivier, the scheme offers individual bursaries to students ranging from £500 to £7,500 per student.

Eligible students must be nominated by their drama school principals, then auditioned on a West End stage and interviewed by a panel of industry figures. This year’s auditions took place at St Martin’s Theatre.

Lee Menzies, Chair of the Olivier Bursaries Committee, said: “Each year we are astounded by the talent and dedication of the bursary recipients – individuals who, despite financial hardship, are pushing forward to realise their potential. Many have made sacrifices to continue their studies, and without assistance we risk losing gifted performers to other industries.”

Among this year’s recipients of the award are students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Previous bursary winners have included Michael Sheen, Ewan McGregor, Juma Sharkah and Michaela Coel.

The Society of London Theatre is a non-profit organisation which represents the London theatre industry. The Society also runs the Olivier Awards, West End LIVE, Theatre Tokens, the New Year Sale and Kids Week.

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