Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award

LAMDA students take part in the prestigious Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award.

12 April 2021

Two of our graduating actors, Lucy Havard and Conor Dumbrell, recently took part in the prestigious Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award. Named after one of radio’s most distinguished actors, the Carleton Hobbs initiative has been run by BBC Radio Drama every year since 1953 and has established a strong reputation for finding and encouraging those starting out on their professional acting careers. 

This year, instead of taking place at Broadcasting House, the competition was held virtually, with Lucy and Conor working remotely from LAMDA’s in-house audio suite. In the run-up to the competition the pair had been working entirely online for the first few weeks of term, so they had to quickly get used to being back in the studio.   

Once rehearsals were completed and all the equipment set up, we linked up to the BBC with the actors communicating with the panel via their mics and headphones. The team had the opportunity to perform their prepared duologue and then each student presented an individual piece of sightreading.  

Lucy Havard said “It was interesting working virtually; I think it meant that we had to focus on what we were hearing that much more. It was so much fun working with Conor, finding a text that excited us both, listening to each other's pieces. I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity.” 

Conor Dumbrell said “Brilliant experience! Working remotely with Tamsin and Lucy brought me so much joy - it was really heartening to see that we could still connect and learn despite being separated by the pandemic. The process also taught me a lot about how to work quickly and flexibly, shifting from rehearsing and recording in the studio to in my living room (and back again). I’m incredibly grateful for LAMDA’s support and encouragement throughout the CHBA auditioning process.” 

Tamsin Collison, audio tutor, said, “I am so proud of what these two students have achieved, given the challenging conditions under which they prepared for the competition.   They deserve enormous credit for reaching the standard they did, and for the generous and creative relationship they forged long-distance.  When they met physically in the studio, they had laid very strong foundations on which to work together. They have done themselves great credit.” 

Audio has become an integral part of LAMDA's training, especially since the start of our award-winning partnership with Audible. Many recent alumni have gone on to establish successful careers within the audio industry including Sam Stafford, Rose Batista, Bert Seymour, Cecily Bednar Schmidt, Scarlett Courtney and Ell Potter (who was nominated for a prestigious international Audie Award in 2020). 

Read more about our audio department's work during lockdown here.