LAMDA students in final of Sondheim Society competition

10 June 2024

On Sunday 9 June, the Stephen Sondheim Society held its 16th annual Student Performer of the Year competition at the Sondheim Theatre, with second place going to LAMDA’s own Gavin Rasmussen.

This year, 330 talented students from drama schools across the UK submitted audition tapes with hopes of getting into the finals. This was whittled down to a longlist of 72 students, who performed to a judging panel, before a final twelve were selected. 

In wonderful news, three LAMDA students made it to this year’s finals: Brooke Bazarian, Katie Leach and Gavin Rasmussen. Two more LAMDA students, Apollonia van den Brand and Matthew Macfarland, also made it to the semi-finals.

This marks a significant milestone for LAMDA as it equals the record for students from a single school represented at the finals of this highly prestigious competition.

We were also delighted to host all twelve finalists at LAMDA the day before the competition finals took place, offering rehearsal spaces where they could practice group performances of Sondheim songs which would bookend the event.

For their solos, the finalists were asked to prepare two songs and perform them in front of a live audience, one from the Sondheim catalogue and one from a new UK musical. A judging panel, led by music journalist Edward Seckerson and West End star Jenna Russell, watched and critiqued each performance before selecting a winner.

Brooke, Gavin and Katie performed brilliantly and we’re incredibly proud of them for their hard work throughout the competition and for representing LAMDA to such an exceptional standard. Plus, a heartfelt congratulations to Gavin for his inspired rendition of the song 'Tartarus' from The Sorrows Of Satan and winning the coveted second place. All three students are winners for LAMDA.

In more Sondheim-related news, LAMDA is putting on a production of the beloved musical Into The Woods, which will be performed by our Musical Theatre MA/MFA students. Taking place at LAMDA’s Sainsbury Theatre at the end of July, priority tickets go on sale on Wednesday 12 June and general tickets go on sale on Wednesday 19 June.

LAMDA heads to the Edinburgh Fringe

Introducing the next generation of musical theatre talent in a bold new production of the Tony Award-winning classic. Stephen Sondheim’s wickedly funny musical plays at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August.