The Timothy West and Prunella Scales Speech Prize for Actors 2018

The Timothy West and Prunella Scales Speech Prize for Actors 2018


The competition will take place at the London Bridge Campus of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Central Bankside, Emerson Building, 4 – 8 Emerson Street, London SE1 9DU

Competition date

Preliminary round Saturday April 7th 2018 between 10 am – 5pm

Final round Saturday April 14th 2018, 2pm – 5pm

The deadline for entries is Thursday March 29th 2018.


The purpose of the Timothy West and Prunella Scales Speech Prize for Actors, in accordance with the general aims of the AESS, is “to encourage the communication of English words, with clarity, understanding and imagination”


The competition is open to young actors aged 18 to 23 who are in full or part time training at a recognized institution.

Each institution may nominate up to TWO candidates but may at the discretion of the committee be allowed further candidates if they are of a very high standard.


Competitors are asked to prepare up to a seven minute themed programme from memory, to include at least one poem or sonnet, and prose from plays and literature from any period, (or written by themselves), within a creative framework.

The entire programme must be delivered from memory.

The programme will be the same for both rounds.

The judges will be looking for clarity of expression, fluency of delivery, imaginative use of material and an ability to take the audience on a dramatic journey.

Age Limit:

Actors should be within the above age-range on or before the date of the final.


First Prize –     £1,000 – sponsored by Timothy West & Prunella Scales

Second Prize – £500

Third Prize –   £250

2nd & 3rd prizes sponsored by John and Julia Dewhurst

Selected prize winners will be offered the opportunity to perform in the AESS’s Prize Winners Concert in December 2018 as part of The London Song Festival.

The Competition:

The competition will be in two stages.

Preliminaries on Saturday April 7th between 10am – 5pm

Finals on Saturday April 14th between 2pm – 5pm.

The panel of judges will be drawn from AESS members and other members of the acting profession.


A nominal, non-refundable, entry fee of £15.00 is charged to cover administrative expenses. Entries must be made on the official forms provided and must be received no later than March 29th 2018 .

Application form

Please send the completed form by email only to:

Cheques and applications can also be sent to Stephen Varcoe, Ansells Farm, Alphamstone, Bures, Suffolk CO8 5HN

Jamie Sandersfield, the 2017 competition winner, writes of his experience of the competition here