Danielle Hope to Judge Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year Competition

The twelve finalists for this year's Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year Competition will be judged by Danielle Hope (Dorothy in Wizard of Oz and soon join the cast of West End's Les Misérables), Michael McCabe (Producer, Wicked), David Shrubsole (Conductor, London Road) and Laurie Sansom (Artistic Director, DernGate Theatre, Northampton). The chairman of the judges will be Edward Seckerson, Chief Classical Music and Opera Critic for The Independent and the prize will be awarded by Julia McKenzie and a representative of Overtures: The Bunnett-Muir Musical Theatre Archive Trust, sponsors of the SSSSSPOTY first prize. The event is being hosted by Claire Moore (London Road/Miss Saigon) and takes place at 3pm on Sunday 27 May at the Queen's Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London.

The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year Competition (SSSSPOTY) was created six years ago to give a platform to musical theatre students toshowcase their work before graduation. Students from many of the UK's leading drama schools and other colleges including Mountview, RADA, LIPA, Kingston University and Arts Ed compete for the Student Performer of the Year Prize of £1,000 and a runner up prize of £500. 

The students sing one song by Sondheim and a new song by members of Mercury Musical Developments, an organisation dedicated to the craft of writing book, music and lyrics for musical theatre. Stephen Sondheim who is a patron of both The Stephen Sondheim Society and MMD waskeen to incorporate a Prize for new writing in musical theatre within the event and with support from UK writers George Stiles & Anthony Drewe there will be a presentation of the fifth Stiles and Drewe Best Song Prize, which also has a prize value of £1,000 for the best new song of the evening.

Recent finalists for Student Performer of the Year have been in Les Miserables, Sister Act and Billy Elliot, whilst recent entrants for the Best Song Prize are now Composers in Residence at the Donmar Warehouse, Derngate and FinboroughTheatres.

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