Spotlight Prize

Andrew Gower - Showcase Prize 2010

The Spotlight Prize is awarded each year to the best UK drama school graduate. Each school nominates their best graduate student who in turn have three minutes to perform live in front of an audience of showbiz professionals (actors, producers, agents, journalists, …) and a jury chooses the winner based on this performance. Past winners include Judy Dench and Jim Broadbent.

In 2010 Andrew was nominated by the Oxford School of Drama and won the Spotlight Prize on 20 July 2010 as Best Actor.

It’s one of the most prestigious awards going. The Spotlight Prize showcases some of the most talented young actors and attracts fierce competition.

The annual Spotlight Prize showcase took place yesterday and it was Oxford School of Drama’s Andrew Gower who took away the main award.

Vivienne Bell from the Central School of Speech and Drama won the highly commended award.

A total of 21 of the most talented acting students from the UK’s major drama schools took part in the showcase at the Bloomsbury Ballroom, with judges that included casting directors, actors, actresses and other prominent industry figures.

(Source: Fourth Wall Magazine)

Watch a small clip from his award winning performance, a monologue from the play Me, As a Penguin by English playwright Tom Wells.

(The play is about) about a young man from a small seaside town, who goes to stay with his sister and her husband in Hull to try and sample the Hull gay scene. It’s about what happens when you’re outside your comfort zone. Obviously there’s a penguin involved…

The main character Stitch has a bit of a relationship with someone who works in an aquarium and ends up rashly stealing a baby penguin in a moment of impulse. The theft takes place before the play starts, so the narrative is the fallout of that. Stitch is already openly gay, and I think his family is really supportive but the town where he’s from, Withernsea, is really rural and he wouldn’t be likely to meet anyone there.

(Source: What’s on Stage)

“I had a good think last night. While I was projectile vomiting. And I decided, perhaps the gay scene of Hull isn’t for me. It’s the vodka, I think. Among other things. Honestly. I looked deep inside myself. And I just found: wool. I’m not a great one for nightclubs, not a party animal. Can’t imagine I ever will be. I don’t even like sex that much, to be honest. Rather have a good yoghurt. I think the best thing I can hope to do with my life is. Knitting.”

Wells, Tom. Me, As a Penguin (NHB Modern Plays) (Kindle-Positionen668-671). Nick Hern Books. Kindle-Version.

You can also watch the moment he was revealed as the winner:

“It was very exciting and unexpected. My mum was away and I couldn’t get hold of anyone so I was just sat on the tube grinning with a cheque in my hand and a bunch of flowers.”

“It’s really exciting times at the moment and I just hope it continues.”

(Source: Warrington Guardian)

In this snippet he gives advice to the 2012 nominees how to choose the perfect monologue:

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