The Actors Centre

The Alan Bates Award 2016

12 May 2016

Shauna McLean wins the award!

BAFTA nominated and regular stage and screen actor, Juliet Stevenson, CBE, awarded this year’s Alan Bates Award to Shauna McLean from Italia Conti at the Actors Centre on Thursday 5 May. It was a wonderful evening and we couldn't be happier for this year's winner!

Over the past 12 years the Award has showcased the best of young British talent, attracting high profile patrons and celebrity supporters. It was created in honour of one of Britain’s greatest actors and Patron of the Actors Centre from 1994 to 2004, Alan Bates, who cared passionately about the craft of acting and about showcasing and supporting young British talent. The Award is designed to provide recent graduates with the tools and support to assist them in finding work and sustaining a career in an ever-challenging industry.

The winner has been awarded a vast prize bundle. Along with the Actors Centre's varied range of professional workshops and opportunities, the winner will receive headshots, a showreel and voicereel, a bespoke website and Equity and Spotlight subscriptions. Leading fashion brand, Ted Baker, will style and dress the winner from “Ted to Toe”. Along with a supply of books from publishing powerhouses, Methuen Drama, Oberon Books and Nick Hern Books, and plays from Samuel French, the winner will also be appearing at Shakespeare’s Globe in the Read not Dead programme of staged readings.

2016 is the second year where all six finalists, including Oliver Church, Ruby Campbell, Robyn Holdaway, George Naylor, Maanuv Thiara and Shauna McLean will benefit from the “You and Me” mentoring opportunity offered by the Actors Centre. The Actors Centre is a bridge between drama school and the profession, so this scheme pairs each finalist with experienced actors who have walked the road they are about to embark on.

With a meeting every month for the next year, this aspect of the Award is invaluable to a new actor starting out. This year’s mentors include; Olivier Award nominated actor Paul Chahidi, actor Thomas Coombes, noted TV actor Kazia Pelka, previous Alan Bates Award winner, actor and board member Elliot Barnes Worrell, Actors Centre Chairman and actor Paul Clayton and collaborative not-for-profit project The Mono Box.

The Alan Bates Award is the toughest and most unique competition of its kind. Graduating actors nominate themselves before the winner is selected through a rigorous, three-stage audition and interview process which includes a panel of actors and industry judges.

Hear what Shauna had to say about winning the award and what it means to her:


Actors Centre Chairman and mentor in this year’s scheme, Paul Clayton said that the “mentoring scheme brings people together from different backgrounds, it’s that sharing, you can both learn”.

Actor and panel judge on this year’s final round, Alex Jennings said “I was thrilled to be asked to be on the panel of judges this year, I knew Alan and was a huge admirer of him as an actor. I think it’s a fantastically important opportunity for young emerging talent”.

2016 presenter and actor Juliet Stevenson had this to say:


The Actors Centre is striving forward in the continuation of its support for young and newly established actors as they carve a way for themselves in those daunting early years of an acting career. The Alan Bates Award provides an invaluable platform for actors, to allow their talent to be seen and heard.