We are thrilled that Old Oakhamian Lucy Beardmore-Gray (12), who graduated from RADA's BA (Hons) in Acting this month, has won one of the two annual Spotlight Prizes!
Lucy, whose stage name is Lucie Sword, won Best Stage Performance and £2000, after being selected as one of twenty finalists drawn from drama schools across the UK and Ireland. She performed in front of an expert industry panel (including RADA graduates Imelda Staunton and Pippa Bennett-Warner) in a special showcase, comprising both live performances and recorded monologues to camera.
“We are absolutely delighted that Lucy’s acting talents have been recognised,” says Director of Drama Gilly Norell. “In winning this Spotlight prize, it places Lucy at the very top of the acting talent graduating from the UKs best Drama institutions – it really cannot get much better!”
Lucy first starred in Arabian Nights at Oakham when she was just 11 years old. Playing Shahrazad, she wowed audiences. Another highlight of her acting career at Oakham was her role in the Scholars’ production of Scaramouche. This was particularly notable as she had been invited to join the cast on the basis of her exceptional talent even though she was not a Drama Scholar. Her dramatic successes at School were not all confined to the stage. She created a wonderful stop motion video of Alice in Wonderland as part of Oakham Student Arts Festival (OSAF), which showcased both her astonishing skill level and self-motivation.
After leaving Oakham, Lucy went to University before recognising that Acting was the future she wanted to pursue. “We’ve supported her applications to Drama School – helping with audition pieces and highlighting areas she could work on further,” says Director of Drama, Gilly Norell. “She’s spent time with us, as a department, as well as taking part in some of the workshops we’ve run with OO Richard Hope. She has been extraordinarily determined in pursuing her dream – it’s been wonderful to see her respond to feedback on how to develop her talents further. When she didn’t get a place at RADA the first time she applied, she critically appraised what she needed to work on. This led her to study at the renowned L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, and to work specifically on her physicality and movement. Lucy really is a wonderful example of how critical analysis, self-motivation and the ability to learn from rejections are vital ingredients of a successful actor’s make-up.”
Lucy won one of just 28 much-coveted places at RADA and during her time there she performed Karolina in 3 Winters, Martirio in The House of Bernarda Alba, Caliban in The Tempest and Lotte in short film Stag written by Lily Bevan, as well as a number of radio plays.
Oakham has an excellent record of students going on to study Drama at leading institutions – in the same year that Lucy won her place at RADA, so too did Will Kennard-Kettle and James Jip. All have followed in the footsteps of fellow Old Oakhamian, Matthew Macfadyen, who also studied at RADA.