BA (Hons) Acting students John Wroth-Omack (pictured second left) and Calum Speed (pictured first left)  beat over 250 applicants from drama schools across the country to reach the final of the prestigious Alan Bates Award on Friday 24 April.

Over the past 11 years the award has showcased the best of young British talent, attracting high profile patrons and celebrity supporters. It was created in honour of one of Britain’s greatest actors and patron of the Actors Centre from 1994 to 2004, Alan Bates, who cared passionately about the craft of acting and about supporting young British talent. The Award is designed to provide recent graduates with the tools, services and support to assist them in finding work and sustaining a career in an ever challenging industry.

John and Calum passed two rounds of auditions and interviews to reach the finals, which were held at the Tristen Bates Theatre in front of a panel of actors and industry judges.

2015 is the first year where all six finalists, will benefit from the “You and Me” mentoring opportunity offered by the Actors Centre. The Actors Centre is a bridge between drama school and the profession, so this scheme pairs each finalist with experienced actors who have walked the road they are about to embark on.

Actor and this year’s presenter of the Alan Bates Award Lindsey Coulson said:

“This award is the legacy of Alan Bates’ commitment to prepare young people to enter the profession. The quality of this year’s talent has been really outstanding and it’s so important to have organisations like the Actors Centre in place to nurture the growth of young talent.”

Actress and Alan Bates Award judge, Janet Suzman said:

“I admire young actors today enormously. It is rather humbling as they are all going into to a world that is much more difficult than the world that I went into. Somehow it is more transient, more over-crowded, and you have to learn much more in less time.”