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Awards & Bursaries

Awards & Bursaries

Awards & Bursaries 

Note: This is an archive page. All awards and bursaries are currently suspended until further notice.

Alan Bates Award

In Association with The Stage

Applications for the Alan Bates Awards 2019 are now CLOSED. 


Now in it’s fifteenth year, The Alan Bates Award has established itself as the most prestigious awards for graduating actors. Every year, one winner will be the recipient of a prize package worth over £5000* comprising of everything they need to launch their career after drama school.

There are four rounds to the Alan Bates Award, each judged by a panel of established industry professionals. Previous judges have included Catherine Willis, Hannah Miller, Julia Crampsie, Matt Weston, Amanda Howard, Deborah Willey, Alex Jennings, and Janet Suzeman.

The award is named for Sir Alan Bates, patron of the Actors Centre from 1994 until his death in 2004. Sir Bates was passionate about acting and supporting young talent entering the profession. It is in his memory and in honor of his inspirational work that the Alan Bates Award is presented annual to an actor of exceptional talent.

* Prizes cannot be exchanged for cash equivalent.

This year The Alan Bates Award extends, with no less than thirteen applicants being offered free showcase space. To be considered for this additional stand, please 'opt in' on the application when asked.

The Award

The Alan Bates Award 2019 is open to all acting students graduating in 2019 from a drama school who has the ability to work in the UK for twelve months following graduation.

The Award prize bundle is worth over £5000** and includes:

  • Membership of the Actors Centre for one year
  • £1000 worth of Actors Centre credit
  • Equity subscription for one year
  • The Stage subscription for one year
  • 1 year's free accountancy from Theataccounts
  • A day's paid work on a Big Finish audio production
  • A guaranteed role in the first Read Not Dead “performance with script” as part of the Shakespeare’s Globe (Globe Education) summer season
  • A Ted Baker VIP shopping spree at one of Ted’s full price standalone stores with a 1-2-1 appointment with the very best of Ted’s team who will advise on dressing you Ted-To-Toe. Ted will then whisk you off for a pamper at either Ted’s Grooming Room or Ted’s Beauty Spot
  • Spotlight subscription for one year
  • Automatic entry to a heat stage MonologueSlam UK showcase courtesy of Triforce Creative Networks
  • Edited Showreel courtesy of
  • Voicereel courtesy of Silver Tongued Productions
  • Headshot session by Simon Annand
  • Reproduction services for headshots with Visualeyes
  • Website consultation, design and 12 months hosting courtesy of Site Your Art
  • Books from Methuen Drama, Nick Hern Books, Oberon Books, and Samuel French
  • Expert mentoring (for all 6 finalists) and networking opportunities in the first steps of an acting career
  • Other prizes may be added at a later date – keep checking the website
  • **No cash alternative is offered for any prizes

Note: You must be eligible to live and work in the UK for at least a year after graduation to take advantage of this Award.

Quotes from previous Alan Bates Award winners:

"It's an honour and a privilege to be the winner of The Alan Bates Award 2019 because it shows that you don't need to be perfect to do what you love, you need to be passionate, adaptable, open, experimental and more. All these attributes have been integral to my growth as an actor and as a person. It is an amazing opportunity for people you know to see where you have gotten to with all the stuggles you have encountered, because it encourages hope. It is also encouraging to those who may only see your face but believe they can do and they have a chance. Representation matters more than a lot of people realise, and I'm proud to represent." – Moronke Akinola, Winner 2019

"Taking part in the Alan Bates Award competition was fantastic. The prizes that accompany the award are incredibly valuable and are allowing me to build my skills and my professional profile in a way I would otherwise not have been able to afford. Additionally, the support I have received from the Actors Centre has helped immensely during my first year in a 'business' I've realised I actually knew very little about! Not to mention the confidence it has given me, and the joy I feel every time I think back to the moment when I was named the winner." – Adam Buchanan, Winner 2013

"It is an amazing opportunity and wonderful prize; it enables an actor to pursue their dreams and passions in the harsh wilderness of the industry. Not only have I reaped the benefits of what the award offers on paper, I also have priceless tutoring, new friends, and a title that associates me with a great thing." – Elliot Barnes-Worrell, Winner 2012

Alan Bates Award Sponsors



Joseph Millson Bursary

Applications for the Joseph Millson Bursary are now CLOSED. Thank you to everyone that applied.


The Joseph Millson Bursary is a fantastic opportunity for anyone aged 22 to 102, who has the desire to act but not yet had the means or capability to explore their potential.

The recipients of this Bursary (worth over £2000) will gain an introduction to the training that is needed to be a working actor, tailored support and mentoring and membership to the Actors Centre. 

What is the Joseph Millson Bursary?

This year two Bursaries will be given to the most promising male and female entrants. They will be allocated fully funded places on two of the Actors Centre’s renowned “Get Into” courses:

  • Get Into Acting
  • A month long intensive (4 weekends) covering the fundamental skills areas of vocational acting at an introductory level.
  • Get Into Screen Acting
  • A 5-day intensive screen acting course which introduces participants to the world of TV/Film acting, the skills needed to perform on screen and the “business”.
  • The recipients of the Joseph Millson Bursary will also receive 12 months Standard Membership to the Actors Centre which includes access to our extensive range of professional workshops and courses and the full range of member benefits. We’ll even throw in £30 workshop credit to get you started.

Introducing Joseph Millson

Joseph Millson has played leading roles for the National Theatre, The Royal Court, The Almeida, Old Vic, Peter Hall Company, The Donmar Warehouse, Shared Experience and the Royal Shakespeare Company where he is an associate artist. He recently played Macbeth at Shakespeare's Globe to great acclaim. This production was subsequently filmed and screened across the world. He was the original Raoul in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies for which he won a WhatsOnStage award. He has also played the title role in The Rover for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

On television Joseph was recently seen on BBC2 playing the leading role of Major Ross in Jimmy McGovern's hit drama Banished. Other recent television includes The Last KingdomPenny Dreadful and 24: Live Another Day. Before these, he was best known for various long running roles as TV doctors, Luc Hemingway in Holby City and Sam Morgan in Peak Practice.

His film credits include Casino Royale, I Give It A Year and most recently the lead role in zombie epic The Dead 2.

Joseph was made a Fellow of the Rose Bruford College in 2013.  He is also a member of the advisory panel at the Drama Centre London. 

Who is eligible?

You can apply for this bursary if:

  • You are aged 22 or over (no upper age limit).
  • Have not attended a UK Drama School or had the opportunity to study acting at a higher education or professional level.
  • Are not a current Actors Centre member.

We are looking for someone who can take this opportunity and make the most of it; someone who may not have had the chances or opportunity to explore or train in acting due to other life commitments/pressures.

We aim to make our application process as easy as possible and we welcome applications from people of all walks of life. There could be one or a number of reasons you might not have had the opportunity to discover acting as a vocation:

  • Financial restrictions
  • Family/cultural/life pressures
  • Late discovery of acting as a vocation
  • Other life commitments
  • Lack of opportunity

Our judges want to identify Bursary recipients who have a genuine need for the opportunities on offer, and will utilise this opportunity to its fullest.

How to enter?

Applications for the Bursary are now CLOSED.

The Joseph Millson Bursary has two application rounds. The first round is via the video applications, shortlisted applicants will be invited to Round Two which is an all day workshop round at the Actors Centre on Sunday 29 October 2017; where you will get to meet and workshop with Joseph Millson and other industry practitioners.

The Joseph Millson Bursary is generously supported by Glen McCarty, Joseph Millson and our Corporate Sponsors Feast Creative. Thank you for supporting this project.