Peter O'Toole Prize-winners for 2017-18 make their professional debuts with Bristol Old Vic next Spring

8 Dec 2017

The Peter O'Toole Prize winners for 2017-2018 make their professional debut at Bristol Old Vic next spring. Graduating actresses Verity Blyth and Rosy McEwen will star alongside Kirsty Bushell and Jude Owusu in Michael Boyd's first Chekhov play, The Cherry Orchard. The Peter O'Toole prize is an annual award given to two graduating actors from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School which includes a professional contract at Bristol Old Vic Theatre where Peter O'Toole launched his career. Originally called The Patron's Prize it was renamed in 2014 as the Peter O'Toole Prize, in honour of one of Bristol Old Vic's most recognised and respected alumni. The prize was launched at Peter O'Toole's memorial service held at the Old Vic, London in May of that year.

Verity Blyth "It is an honour and a privilege to be a recipient of the Peter O'Toole Prize this year. It not only allows us as new graduates to enter into professional work but to learn from the skilful and experienced actors that will surround us. We received some of the best training in the world at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and I am looking forward to continuing my education with the company of The Cherry Orchard. I am very hugely grateful to be this year's prize-winner and the wonderful opportunity it presents for me."

Rosy McEwen "I am thrilled to be a part of The Cherry Orchard cast, to be on the Bristol Old Vic stage surrounded by and directed by incredibly well versed and talented people. For my first professional roll I just couldn't be happier. I feel incredibly lucky to be in such a position."

Bristol Old Vic is the longest continuously running theatre in the UK, and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2016. The historic playhouse aims to inspire audiences with its own original productions, both at home and on tour, whilst nurturing the next generation of artists, whether that be through their 350-strong Young Company, their many outreach and education projects or their trailblazing artist development programme, Bristol Ferment.

They use their funding to support experiment and innovation, to allow access to their programme for people who would not otherwise encounter it, or be able to afford it, and to keep their extraordinary heritage alive and animated.

On 24 Sep 2018, Bristol Old Vic completed its 2-year multi-million pound redevelopment project, which transformed its front of house space into a warm and welcoming public building for all of Bristol to enjoy, created a new studio theatre and opened up its unique theatrical heritage to the public for the first time.

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