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The Concert Artistes' Association Speech Prize for Actors 2024

The purpose of the Speech Prize for Actors is “to encourage the communication of English words, with clarity, understanding and imagination”.

The final took place on Friday, April 12th 2024 1.30pm – 5.00pm

The prizewinners:
1. Melanie Lavery - Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
2. Josh Gracie - Drama Studio London
3. Nathaniel Turay-Boxx - Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Thanks to our sponsors - The Concert Artistes' Association, and John & Julia Dewhurst

Details of the 2025 competition will be announced in early January


The competition preliminary round and finals will take place at:

The Concert Artistes' Association, 20 Bedford Street, London WC2E 9HP

Competition dates

Preliminary round – Thursday April 11th 2023 11am – 5pm

Final  - Friday April 12th 2023  1.30pm – 5pm*

The deadline for entries is Thursday, March 28th  2024



The purpose of the 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 an eight minute themed programme from memory, to include at least one poem and a piece of prose from the vast wealth of literature written in English. This should be presented with imagination.

The entire programme must be delivered from memory.

The programme will be the same for both rounds.

The judges will be looking for a technically sound and expressive use of the speaking voice to give clarity and fluency of delivery combined with an 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

Selected prize winners will be offered the opportunity to perform in the AESS’s Prize Winners Concert in the autumn of 2024 as part of The London Song Festival

Previous Prize Winners

AESS Speech Prize for Actors Prize Winners
Download PDF • 35KB

The 2024 Programmes

2024 Actor's Prize programmes
Download PDF • 69KB

The 2023 Programmes

Speech prize programme for website
Download PDF • 120KB


Preliminaries on Thursday April 11th – 11am – 5pm

Finals on Friday April 12th – 2pm – 5pm

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


There is no entry fee for this competition.

Entries must be made below by March 28th 2024.

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

2017 inaugural speech prize
Download PDF • 57KB


By email only to:

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