£77,500 in 2022 Laurence Olivier Bursaries awarded to talented drama school students facing financial difficulties

19 drama school students from across the UK have been awarded a total of £77,500 worth of bursaries by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT), to help them complete their training. Established by SOLT in 1987 to mark Laurence Olivier’s 80th birthday, the Laurence Olivier Bursaries provide financial support to exceptional students entering their final year of drama school, and facing financial difficulties which might jeopardise their studies.

Previous bursary winners have included Denise Gough, Bryony Hannah, Paterson Joseph, Ewan McGregor, Daniel Rigby, Vinette Robinson, Juma Sharkah, Michaela Coel and Michael Sheen.

Nominees, put forward by drama school principals across the UK, are auditioned on a West End stage and interviewed by a panel of theatre industry professionals, led by West End producer and Chair of the Laurence Olivier Bursaries Committee, Lee Menzies. This year’s auditions took place at St Martin’s Theatre earlier this month.

The 2022 bursary recipients will be formally presented with their awards at a later date, with plans to celebrate their achievements to be revealed soon.

Bursary recipients:

The Sir Peter and Lady Saunders Laurence Olivier Bursary                       

Donated by the Estate of Sir Peter and Lady Saunders


Daniel  Apea (Arts Educational Schools)


The Clothworkers’ Laurence Olivier Bursary

Given in conjunction with the Laurence Olivier Bursary, donated by The Clothworkers’ Foundation

Rebecca Bell (Rose Bruford College)

Laurence Olivier Bursary     

Donated by Society of London Theatre 

Christian Cooper (Mountview)

Conor Doran (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School)

Emily Jones (The Oxford School of Drama)

Jasmine Elcock (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)

Abdul Sessay (Guildhall School of Music & Drama)

Melodie Karczewski (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama)

Yasemin Mutlu (The Oxford School of Drama)

Eliza Parry Williams (Arts Educational Schools)

Shannon Watson (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland)

Neeve Dilworth (The Hammond School)

Eve Werdmuller von Elgg (East 15 Acting School)

Allie Aylott (Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts)

James Taheny (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire)

Behrens Foundation Bursary            

Given in conjunction with the Laurence Olivier Bursary, donated by The Behrens Foundation

Liam Prince-Donnelly (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama)

Lindo Shinda (Performance Preparation Academy)

Carmen Silvera Bursary       

Given in conjunction with the Laurence Olivier Bursary, donated by the agent Barry Burnett

Aimee  Ebsworth (St Mary’s University/Drama St Mary’s)

Casting Directors’ Guild Bursary   

Given in conjunction with the Laurence Olivier Bursary, donated by the Casting Directors’ Guild

Charles Kofi Afedzi Entsie (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art)


Laurence Olivier Bursaries panel:

Lee Menzies – Producer and SOLT member (chair)

Gareth Johnson – Producer and SOLT member

Jatinder Verma – JV Productions/Director

Jane Anderson – Casting Director (Casting Directors’ Guild Vice Chair)

Orla Maxwell – Casting Director


To find out more about the Society of London theatre, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop