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Wednesday 26 January 2022, 10:57am

As we head into awards season, RADA has much to celebrate in terms of awards, nominations and casting over the past few months, as well as other headline news from students, staff and graduates.

Kenneth Branagh's Belfast looks to continue its success next month with possible Academy Award and BAFTA nominations, after being nominated at the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and winning Best Screenplay at the Golden Globes earlier this month. Fellow RADA graduate Cynthia Erivo also won for Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Television Movie or Limited Series for her portrayal of Aretha Franklin in National Geographic's Genius: Aretha.

In other news, on the 21 November, David Jonsson won Best Male Actor in a Play at the 2021 Black British Theatre Awards for his performance in and breathe… at the Almeida Theatre. 

In December, renowned composer, lyricist and RADA Honorary Fellow Stephen Sondheim died aged 91. You can read more about his impact on RADA on its students and graduates in our article here. Sondheim accepted the Honorary Fellowship at a special ceremony in New York in 2019.

Our RADA 2021 short films were recognised with several laurels and five awards at international film festivals, including the International Short Film Festival, Phoenix Film Festival, Cannes Shorts, London Rocks Film Festival, and New York Short Film Festival.

On 19 September, at the Emmy Awards 2021Tobias Menzies won Supporting Actor in a Drama Series as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in Netflix's The Crown. Fellow graduate Robert Sterne also won Outstanding Casting in a Drama Series for his work on the multi-award-winning television series.

In casting news, Cynthia Erivo will be involved in two major film projects, taking on the iconic role of Elphaba in Universal Pictures' big-screen adaptation of the award-winning musical Wicked. In addition, Erivo will star alongside Idris Elba in Netflix's feature film version of the iconic television series Luther.

Dame Diana Rigg's final screen performance will feature alongside fellow RADA graduate Josh Zaré in Focus Feature's Last Night in Soho, directed by Edgar Wright. While MA Theatre Lab graduate Luke Wilson will join Michael Balogun in Much Ado About Nothing at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

RADA Council member and graduate Lolita Chakrabarti will join fellow graduate Kerr Logan in the new BBC drama Showtrial. Also, David Bradley will appear in a new film version of Alan Bennett's Allelujah, adapted from the stage show first seen at the Bridge Theatre.

Tom Hiddleston has appeared as a guest star in The Play What I Wrote, running at the Birmingham Rep and Theatre Royal, Bath. Also, David Harewood and Syrus Lowe performed in James Graham's brand-new play Best of Enemies at the Young Vic, which closed this month to rave reviews. It is also the last chance to see graduates Kirsty Besterman and Matthew Cottle at The Menier Chocolate Factory, in the revival of Alan Bennett's comedy Habeas Corpus which closes in February.

Recent graduate Samuel Tracy is performing in Romeo and Juliet at Southwark Playhouse as part of their Shakespeare for Schools project. At the same time, Francis Lovehall will be playing Omz in Tyrell Williams' new play Red Pitch! at the Bush Theatre, which opens in February. 

On to Technical Theatre news, where Amelia Jane Hankin will join Lovehall as Set and Costume Designer for Red Pitch! at the Bush Theatre, Eleanor Field designs on All of Me, a one-woman show, which will tour the UK, while fellow TTSM graduate Katie Lias will design set and costumes on Spike at The Watermill Theatre which opens at the end of January. You can also catch the work of graduate Simisola Majekodunmi, Associate Lighting Designer for The Shark Is Broken, at the Ambassadors Theatre before the production closes in February.

Finally, Paschalla Sharpe joined the latest Wes Anderson film, The French Dispatch, as 1st Assistant Editor last year. You can catch the movie on Disney+ from 11 February 2022.

Congratulations to all our students and graduates on their continued success. We look forward to seeing more great work in the future.

Image Credits:
Belfast - Universal Pictures / Focus Features / Rob Youngston
Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin - National Geographic
David Jonsson in 'and breathe...' - Marc Brenner
Tobias Menzies as Prince Phillip - Netflix
The Shark is Broken - Sonia Friedman Productions / Helen Maybanks
Diana Ring in Last Night in Soho - Parisa Taghizadeh / Focus Features
Stephen Sondheim - Kurt Sneddon