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  • Writer's pictureAmrat

The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year

Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year (SSSSPOTY) is a competition established to support young performing arts students on their journey to professional careers as musical theatre performers. The opportunity is a great tribute to Stephen Sondheim, who understood the importance of supporting young, new talent. Bonnie Langford hosted this year's contest, which featured 12 students performing one song from the Sondheim catalogue and another from New UK Musicals, showcasing music by new UK composers.

The competition took place at the Sondheim Theatre, which is a lovely venue currently home to the popular Les Misérables. This is a perfect place to display such talent, where friends and family can attend and cheer on the students. It was a great evening with performances from younger students, a performance by last year's winner (Milly Willows), and a performance from Bonnie Langford.

Image showing three performing arts students with a judge and Bonnie Langford
Jenna Russell (patron and judge), Oliver Halford (Emil Dale Academy, commended), Madeleine Morgan (Royal Academy of Music, winner), Gavin Rasmussen (LAMDA, runner-up) Photo David Ovenden

Congratulations to Madeleine Morgan, the winner of this year's contest from the Royal Academy of Music. Madeleine performed "Moments in the Woods" from Into the Wood, and "Running on Empty" from Mayflies by Gus Gowland, which was quite a memorable performance.

The runner-up, Gavin Rasmussen (LAMDA), performed "Marry Me a Little" from Company, and "Tartarus" from The Sorrows of Satan by Luke Bateman & Michael Conley. "Tartarus" was a really outstanding performance by Gavin. He engaged the audience with an amusing flamboyance that maintained artistic integrity and was very entertaining.

My personal highlight was Tumi Olufawo's performance of "Broadway Baby" from Follies and "Press Hash to Re-Record" from Fiver. Both performances were exquisite and Tumi seemed incredibly comfortable on stage. Her amazing demeanour and vocal versatility made Tumi come across the least like a student out of all those performing. She performed a truly brilliant, laugh out loud, and relatable performance of "Press Hash to Re-Record." A star in the making.

All the details about how to enter the competition as well as information about next year's date will be published on The Stephen Sondheim Society website in due course. 

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