East 15 Wins Laurence Olivier Award for Six Years out of Seven

For an unprecedented six years out of seven, a student from East 15 has won the Laurence Olivier Award Bursary - the most prestigious national award for drama students in the UK.

This year the top prize of 7,500 was given to East 15 second year BA Acting student Arsher Ali, from Nottingham. Due to this bursary he will now be able to continue to pursue his dreams, following in the success story of many of the East 15 graduates such as Alison Steadman, Billy Murray, John McArdle, Alan Ford and Stephen Daldry, to name a few.

Previous East 15 Olivier Bursary Award winners at East 15 include Gary McErlane (2003) from Coventry, Stephen Gill (second prize 2003) from Birmingham, Jody Osterland (2002) from Wales, Kieran Garland (2001) from Sussex, Glen Eagles (2000) from Merseyside, and Peter O'Connor (1999) from Manchester.

The Laurence Olivier Bursary Scheme was set up by the Society of London Theatres, in consultation with Lord Olivier, to help the development of future acting talent for the British stage. The awards are open to second year drama students attending a National Council for Drama Training accredited drama programme. Each of these 22 schools can nominate only two students.

The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) represents all of the major theatre producers in the UK, including commercial West End Theatres, The Royal National Theatre, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. The two-day selection process for the award takes the form of a ten-minute audition on a West End stage, followed by an interview. The selection panel consists of casting directors from TV and theatre as well as West End producers.

John Baraldi, Director of East 15, said: 'This is overwhelmingly wonderful news for Arsher as well as for the school. This prestigious award to Arsher recognises his extraordinary professional potential. Arsher is a worthy recipient, and his success reflects his hard work and talent, as well as the very fine teaching that happens at East 15.'