Photo Flash: Winners Announced for The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year and Stiles and Drewe Prize

The Stephen Sondheim Society and Mercury Musical Developments have announced the winners of the Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year and Stiles + Drewe Prize. The winners were revealed at the West End Gala held at the No?l Coward Theatre which was hosted by Olivier Award winner Clive Rowe.

Check out photos from the gala below!

Izuka Hoyle wins the Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year performing "Last Midnight" from Stephen Sondheim's musical Into the Woods and 'The Matchmaker' written by Claire McKenzie and Scott Gilmour. Hoyle was selected out of 12 finalists who qualified from the UK's many musical theatre courses and has been awarded a £1,000 first prize. Shaq Taylor is named runner-up for performances of 'Epiphany' from Sondheim's Sweeny Todd and new song "Apology to a Child' by Tom Slade. In addition, Oscar Conlon-Morrey was awarded third place.

Tom Lees and Claire Rivers win the Stiles + Drewe Prize for Best New Song for 'Gerry and Me'. This prize recognises an outstanding song from a new musical, and the winners receives a prize of £1,000 to put towards developing their work.

In addition to this Ben Glasstone wins the MTI Stiles + Drewe Mentorship Award, supported by Music Theatre International (Europe), with his new musical, Reanimator. The Award offers 12 months of mentorship and sustained support including a writing retreat, two Progress Labs, and culminates in an industry showcase. The inaugural winner of the Mentorship Award The Wicker Husband recently had its presentation at The Other Palace after winning the award last year.

The winners were selected by a panel of judges including Rachel Kavanaugh, Simon Lee, Alex Young and Janie Dee for the Student Performer of the Year Award with the panel chaired by Edward Seckerson and Julia McKenzie presented the prizes. The Best New Song Prize was judged by Dan Gillespie Sells, Giles Terera, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.

This annual gala is co-produced by The Stephen Sondheim Society and Mercury Musical Developments and was this year directed by Chris Hocking, with musical direction by Stephen Ridley.

The Stephen Sondheim Society Chairman Craig Glenday said today 'We say every year that the standard gets better and better but this year we saw a real change in the talent on offer. How the judges could choose from such a talented group is beyond me. All three students recognised in the top three were outstanding and are undoubtedly destined for stardom.'

Executive Director of MMD Victoria Saxton said 'British talent is thriving. Now is such an exciting time for new work and tonight proved there's enough new talent to fill UK theatres twice.'

Stiles and Drewe said today, 'There is no question that there is a wonderful new wave of writing talent, starting to crest in the UK. The diversity and strength of the writing featured in this afternoon's gala bears testament to a very exciting future for British musical theatre.'

Photo credit: David Ovenden

high res photos Photo Flash: Winners Announced for The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year and Stiles and Drewe Prize
Anthony Drewe, Dan Gillespie Sells, Giles Terera and George Stiles Photo Flash: Winners Announced for The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year and Stiles and Drewe Prize
Anthony Drewe, Giles Terera, Tom Lees, Georgia Frost, Claire Rivers, Dan Gillespie Sells and George Stiles Photo Flash: Winners Announced for The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year and Stiles and Drewe Prize
George Stiles, Ben Glasstone (winner of the MTI Stiles and Drewe Mentorship Award) Anthony Drewe and Bert Fink Photo Flash: Winners Announced for The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year and Stiles and Drewe Prize
Izuka Hoyle and Julia McKenzie Photo Flash: Winners Announced for The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year and Stiles and Drewe Prize
Janie Dee, Shaq Taylor (2nd place), Izuka Hoyle (winner), Julia McKenzie, Clive Rowe, Oscar Conlon-Morrey, Georgia Frost and Katie Buchholz Photo Flash: Winners Announced for The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year and Stiles and Drewe Prize
Judges and performer finalists Photo Flash: Winners Announced for The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year and Stiles and Drewe Prize
Shaq Taylor (2nd place), Izuka Hoyle (1st place) and Oscar Conlon-Morrey (3rd place) Photo Flash: Winners Announced for The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year and Stiles and Drewe Prize
Simon Lee, Janie Dee, Rachel Kavanaugh, Julia McKenzie, Edward Seckerson and Alex Young

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