The Timothy West & Prunella Scales Speech Prize for Actors 2020 POSTPONED!

The Timothy West & Prunella Scales Speech Prize for Actors 2020

The competition is postponed. Please look for further details later in the year.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the corona virus it is with regret that the AESS has decided to postpone the Actors Prize due to be held on April 18th & 19th until further notice.

The competition final will take place at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama               
64 Eton Avenue London NW3 3HY

Competition dates

Preliminary round – Friday April 17th 2020 10am – 5pm

Final Saturday April 18th 2020, 2pm – 5pm

The deadline for entries is Monday 6th April 2020.


The purpose of the Timothy West & Prunellas 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 THREE 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

Second Prize – £600

Third Prize –   £400

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 on the afternoon of December 12th 2020 as part of The London Song Festival.

The Competition:

Preliminaries on Friday April 17th – 10am – 5pm

Finals on Saturday April 18th – 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 £10.00 is charged to cover administrative expenses. Entries must be made on the official forms provided and must be received no later than April 6th 2020 .

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