The Actors Centre

Alan Bates Award

The fantastic Shauna McLean from Italia Conti won the Alan Bates Award 2016 after a tough 3 rounds of auditions and the most applications we have ever had. Here is what she had to say about her experience:


Applications for the Alan Bates Award 2016 are now CLOSED.

Sir Alan Bates was the Patron of the Actors Centre from 1994 until his death in 2004. He cared passionately about the craft of acting and about the cause of young actors entering the profession. The Alan Bates Award was endowed to commemorate his inspirational work on behalf of the Actors Centre and will be awarded annually to an actor of exceptional talent.

The Alan Bates Award comprises of a generous prize bundle designed to equip the new graduate with everything they will need to launch themselves as a professional working actor. Along with the Actors Centre’s vast range of professional development workshops and courses the winner will receive headshots, showreel and voice-reel, a professionally built website, Equity and Spotlight subscriptions and many more industry essentials. As an Actors Centre member, they will also be joining a community of professional actors with whom they can network and collaborate.

Here's what our process looks like:

The winner of the Award will be selected via a three stage audition and interview process and in the final round by a panel of judges who are industry practitioners in their own right. Previous judges have included Richard E. Grant, Lesley Sharp, Lindsay Duncan, Henry Goodman, Richard Wilson, Alex Jennings, Frances de la Tour, Frances Barber, Neil LaBute and Janet Suzman.

The Alan Bates Award 2016 is open to all acting students graduating in 2016 from Acting Courses on the Actors Centre approved course list click here for list*.

The Award prize bundle is worth over £3000** and includes:

**No cash alternative is offered for any prizes.

*Only open to applicants on courses from the Actors Centre Approved Course List. Courses NOT on the approved list including Drama UK “Recommended” schools are not eligible. The Actors Centre reserves the right at all times to ask for further verification or refuse entry should occasion arise.

How to apply:

  • Please read the application criteria, approved course list, terms and conditions within the application form carefully. If you are eligible to apply please complete the application form
  • Downloadable application form: click here for PDF / click here for DOC
  • Approved course list (courses will be verified via Spotlight)
  • Once you have completed the application form, send it by post (preferred) or email, with a headshot photo to:

Alan Bates Award
The Actors Centre
1a Tower Street

IMPORTANT: You MUST address the envelope or email subject heading with the reference:


NOTE: Failure to do so could result in a delay in your application being processed.

NOTE: Please make sure you are adding enough postage on large envelopes.

  • Applications must be received by Friday 4th March 2016
  • Round 1 Auditions will be held on 25th 26th and 27th April 2016 – individual 10 minute slots will be allocated – please inform us if any days clash with showcase/show dates and we will try our best to accommodate. 2nd round auditions are on Sunday 2nd May 2016. Please make sure you are available as we regret that we cannot offer any alternative audition dates. The final round auditions and awards ceremony will be held on Thursday 5th May 2016 at the Actors Centre/Tristan Bates Theatre.



'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

'Winning the Alan Bates Award was a wonderful way to start my professional career. The Award is a real jump-start to settling myself as an actor and the incredible honour has given me such confidence for entering the profession. I feel ecstatic with the amount of help and support I’m receiving at the beginning of my career. The Actors Centre has provided me with a framework of support and advice which was much needed after leaving drama school.' - Christine Clare, Award winner 2009

'Winning the Alan Bates Award is a huge honour and a real confidence boost to take into my first year in the industry. The financial assistance it provides means I am able to develop my portfolio of skills and resources in the coming year in a way I would never have been able to afford otherwise. In short – it’s a little godsend!" - Luke Norris, Award winner 2008


Alan Bates Award Supporters