Introducing the nominees for the Spotlight Showcase 2017

20 of the UK and Ireland's most talented young drama school graduates have been selected to compete in front of an exclusive industry panel in July at the Spotlight Showcase 2017.

The finalists will be launching their career to an audience of influential industry professionals on 11th July at The Underglobe, with a live theatre performance and a pre-recorded monologue to camera.

Over 70 drama schools and universities had the opportunity to nominate a student from their graduating class to submit a self-tape audition for this year's Spotlight Prize. The 20 finalists were selected by a panel of industry experts based on the quality of their audition.  

Nominees will take part in a screen acting workshop with award-winning director Shimmy Marcus earlier in July and their final performances will be filmed and judged by a panel of leading casting directors for TV and Film. These performances will screen as part of the theatre showcase and footage will be shared with industry professionals throughout Ireland, the UK and the U.S.

Two prizes of £2000 will be awarded for Best Screen Acting Performance and Best Stage Performance, in front of an invite-only audience of casting directors, agents, producers, directors and actors.

Last year’s screen winner, Bessie Carter from Guildhall, appeared in King Lear at The Old Vic, alongside Glenda Jackson. She can next be seen as Evie Wilcox in the new BBC/Starz adaptation of Howards End. The 2016 stage winner, Peter Losasso from LAMDA, has appeared in Ian Hislop and Nick Newman's satirical play The Wipers Times, which will be transferring to the West End in March.

The full performances from last year's Spotlight Showcase are available to watch here

This year’s finalists are:

Cecily Redman, Royal Academy of Music

Charlotte Guest, Performance Preparation Academy

Ciaran McCourt, Arden School of Theatre

Cory Chambers, Guildford School of Acting

Eimear O’Neill, Italia Conti

Imogen Irving, Oxford School of Drama

Jack Lloyd, Project A

Jake Lampert, Rose Bruford

Jessica Webber, Drama Centre

Jonny Green, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

Karen Young, LIPA

Keturah Chambers, Mountview

Laura Waldren, Bristol Old Vic

Maisie Preston, LAMDA

Matthew Blaney, RADA

Pete Jeffries, London School of Dramatic Art

Tom England, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Unique Spencer, Arts Ed

Yasmin Mwanza, MMU

Zachary Hart, ALRA