Presented annually since 1976, the Olivier’s are one of the most prestigious awards in British theatre. Named after legendary actor and director Laurence Olivier, the awards are a celebration of excellence in theatre making. Recognising outstanding achievements in all aspects of theatre production – from acting and performance to costume and set design.

This year, Rose Bruford College saw graduates win trophies across various categories. Starting with Acting BA (Hons) alumni Tom Stacy, who shares the Best Supporting Actor award win – with six other performers ­– for playing the role of the Tiger in ‘The Life of Pi’. This is the first time that puppetry has been recognised in this way at the Olivier’s, marking a historical precedent in the industry. It is a significant achievement not only for Tom and his fellow actors, but also for the art of puppetry itself.

Julian Jones, academic leader for Acting BA (Hons) course said

‘It’s so wonderful to see RBC graduates from across the college winning awards in so many categories. I had the great pleasure of teaching Tom Stacy on the BA Hons Acting Course. Tom was exactly the kind of student that one wants in the room. He was totally dedicated, hard working, playful and brave – always positive and always humorous, however challenging the work.’


‘What is so important as an actor is the ability to work generously as part of an ensemble – Tom’s work with the other puppeteers in ‘The Life of Pi’, bringing the Tiger to life, demonstrates precisely that essential quality. Congratulations to the puppeteers for winning the Best supporting Actor award – a great first for the art of puppetry.’

oliviers life of pi

Several graduates from the college’s Costume Production BA (Hons) course won awards for their work in the sell-out smash hit ‘Cabaret’ – which saw the transformation of London’s Playhouse Theatre into the Kit Kat Club. Lucy Martin, Charlotte Simpson, Beth Crossan, Faye Shortfall and Bethany Hayward won big for their work in Costume Supervision and Wardrobe Assisting. Graduates Rachel Benson and Carys McQueen took trophies for their contribution in the Prologue Cast.

The skills and talents of our DMTA graduates have been further recognised with the success of Lighting Design BA (Hons) graduate Josh Pharo’s work in the production ‘Wolf Witch Giant Fairy,’ which won in the Best Family Show category. Alongside his recent accomplishments, Josh has received awards in Creative Innovation in lighting Design and Creative Innovation in Video Projection Design at the Theatre and Technology Awards in 2018.

Lighting Design BA (Hons) course leader Ben Radcliffe says

‘Josh is an excellent example of all that makes Rose Bruford’s Lighting Design course the unique and ground breaking course it is and has been since its inception in 1994 as the first Lghting Design course in Europe.’


‘Josh has a breadth of awareness and a quality of focus that allows him to collaborate and create at the highest level with the most talented professionals in the creative arts. His work as a student was innovative, exciting and explored Lighting and its synergies with other forms and I am glad to see he is still working in the same vein.’

oliviers best family show

Here at Rose Bruford College, we pride ourselves on producing well-rounded graduates who are ready to take on the professional world. It’s fantastic to see so many of our alumni making a name for themselves across the industry. We are confident that our current and future students will go on to achieve great things and we look forward to supporting them every step of the way.