Cheshire Musical Theater student secures Olivier scholarship

A Musical Theater student from Warrington will be following in the footsteps of the likes of Ewan McGregor and Michael Sheen after securing a prestigious scholarship.

Neeve Dilworth is one of 19 drama students from across the UK who have been awarded Laurence Olivier Bursaries by the Society of London Theater (SOLT). From autumn, Neeve will be embarking on the third year of her University of Chester BA Hons Musical Theater Performance degree course at The Hammond in Chester.

Previous bursary winners have also included Bryony Hannah, from BBC One’s Call the Midwife, and Paterson Joseph, known for starring in Royal Shakespeare Company productions and films such as The Beach.

The fund was established in 1987 to mark Laurence Oliviers 80th birthday, the bursaries provide support to exceptional students entering their final year of drama school, to help them complete their training.

Nominees, put forward by drama school principals across the UK, are auditioned on a West End stage and interviewed by a panel of theater industry professionals, led by West End producer and Chair of the Laurence Olivier Bursaries Committee, Lee Menzies. This year’s auditions took place at St Martin’s Theater in June.

Neeve, who is from Warrington, said it was wonderfully unexpected to be nominated by The Hammond and to be chosen by the panel from the 45 who auditioned.

“Going to London and singing and acting on the West End stage was an amazing experience. It was lovely to share the experience with my dad who accompanied me.

“To be awarded the scholarship was the cherry on the cake – I feel extremely privileged. It will make a big difference, and I’m very grateful for the support.”

The 19-year-old added: “Working in musical theater or performing is the big dream, and in the longer term, I’d love to open a music and drama school with my sister.”

The 2022 bursary recipients will be formally presented with their awards at a later date, with plans to celebrate their achievements to be revealed soon.

The 19 students from across the UK have been awarded a total of £77,500 worth of bursaries by SOLT.

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