The Julian Slade Award

In each of his latter years Julian used to help to fund one Bristol Old Vic Theatre School student for one year. His hope was always that the student who received his extra help would prove musically talented or particularly suited to performing in musicals. The Award was re-introduced by Julian’s brother Adrian Slade and his son Rupert in 2008.



In his own words :”I was born and lived in Nottingham where I began my training as an actor. I took an interest in the performing arts from around the age of 11 and considered it a hobby until I became a member of The Television Workshop at the age of 15. In that same year I landed my first professional role as the lead in a short film titled ‘Compulsion’ that was subsequently taken to the London Film Festival and won the Best New Short Film award while it was there. Since then I have been between training and working professionally but most recently I became a student at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and have found a wonderful family in the staff and students here across my first year of training. I have never been trained, until now, (professionally or otherwise) in any kind of singing or the rudiments of music that often accompany it. But with that said it was to my surprise, and with tremendous honour, that I have been awarded The Julian Slade Award this year. I do however think it goes without saying that I owe it chiefly to my tutors and fellow class mates at the school for supporting me through the beginning of what I hope will be a fruitful training and an overwhelmingly positive start to a prosperous career.”

Previous Award Winners (as at July 2018) 



In his own words: I started singing when I was 6 and only started acting at the age of 16. I loved doing both, so kept them up when I went to study Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. I got very involved with the student theatre scene there and took part in some very exciting shows including Arcadia by Tom Stoppard and The Merchant of Venice. I also took a few shows to the Edinburgh Fringe including Hamlet and the improvised comedy show The Improverts.
I loved every second of it so decided that I wanted to train and ended up at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School! With the help of all the fantastic tutors at the school and my fellow students I have grown a lot and learned about my craft. In particular, Pamela Rudge, our singing teacher, pushed me to improve my singing a lot and I was delighted and humbled to become the 10th award winner.
In my final year at the school, I took part in the Julian Slade Celebration evening, which was quickly followed by playing the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, both at the Redgrave Theatre. I then had the honour of being directed by Bill Alexander as Lord Orlando Pope in The Taming of the Shrew at Circomedia. I then played Man in Philip Ridley’s challenging play Tender Napalm at the Wardrobe Theatre and finished off the year by playing Phaeax in Moira Buffini’s Welcome to Thebes at the Tobacco Factory joined a boys choir called Les Pastoureaux in Belgium (where I grew up) when I was 9 years old andover the next 9 years , I toured with the choir all around Europe, North and South America. I was also lucky enough to be part of several productions at La Monnaie National Opera House such as Britten’s ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’, Massenet’s ‘Werther’ and Giordano’s ‘Fedora’ as a treble soloist

       VERITY BLYTH – 2016                                                                                                                                       


Singing has always been a huge part of my life, having danced and taken part in local drama programs  from a very young age. My background in dance naturally directed me toward musical theatre and, whilst at College and University, I took on parts such as Eva Peron in ‘Evita’ (2010 & 2012), Johanna in ‘Sweeney Todd’ (2011) and Sharpay in ‘High School Musical’ (2014)’ Before joining the acting course at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2015, she played the character of Peaches in the original musical ‘Americana’ by HB Productions (2013-2015, stage@leeds, Edinburgh Fringe, Stratford East Theatre) in which her performance was awarded the ‘Best Performance in a Musical (Sunday Times)’ Award at the National Student Drama Festival (2014, Scarborough). She describes herself as ‘fortunate enough’ to go on to record a soundtrack and music video with this company earlier in the following year.’
During the first year at her two year course at BOVTS, she began to build her professional CV with credits such as Portia in ‘The Merchant of Venice’ and in her second year she advanced the cause of women in the theatre when, in the Autumn, she played  ‘Silver’ (Note Not ‘Long John’) in ‘Treasure Island,’ staged at Bristol’s Redgrave Theatre.


Ellie has always loved to sing, starting in community theatre playing Eponine in the Royal Berkshire Academy’s ‘Les Miserables’ (Kenton Theatre, Henley 2008), Elizabeth Bennet in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (Kenton Theatre, Henley 2008) and Dorothy in South Hill Park’s ‘Wizard of Oz’  (2009). She then went on to perform with the National Youth Music Theatre in ‘The Hired Man’ (Hull Truck, 2009), ‘West End Live’ (2009), ‘Songs for a New World’ (Bridewell 2012) and ‘An Evening with Matt Lucas’ (Vaudeville 2012)
With plans to pursue an opera career Ellie went on to study German and Italian at Bristol University. There she performed as Jo in ‘Little Women’ (MR5C, Bristol University 2010) Abigail in ‘The Crucible’ (Manor Hall, 2011) Hope Harcourt in ‘Anything Goes’ (Winston Theatre, 2012) and Marie in ‘Woyzeck’ (Bierkeller, 2013). She also performed in the first project of Little Room productions at Edinburgh Festival, playing the role of Sarah in ‘Sanctuary The Opera’ (The Vault, 2011) . After spending her year abroad working at Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus and Teatro Cerchio, Parma, Ellie decided to explore different genres of theatre and was delighted when she was offered a place at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School She has thoroughly enjoyed her first year of the 2 year FdA in Professional Acting and feels confident enough to call herself an ‘actor’ and not ‘just a singer’.




Jessica plays violin, piano, flute, piccolo and guitar. She also sings opera. Not surprising perhaps when her father, Andrew Nicklin, is the freelance conductor, accompanist, arranger & director, who founded and runs Trent Opera and is Artistic Director of Nottingham Festival Opera. Before joining the BOV Theatre School she had already assembled an impressive CV of stage and musical roles played in Nottingham, Trent Opera and other theatres.  Since graduating in 2016, Jessica has been in Sally Cookson’s production of Peter Pan at the National, Medea at Bristol Old Vic, Who Cares for The Lowry/Lung Theatre inManchester, Pitti-Sing in The Mikado for Charles Court Opera and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet for Insane Root. Jess is about to begin rehearsals for Madness of George iii at Nottingham Playhouse starring alongside Mark Gatiss and Adrian Scarborough.


Agent: CURTIS BROWN Contacts: Mary FitzGerald +44 (0)20 7393 4338 | Lucy Johnson +44 (0)20 7393 4338

In the last three weeks of his two year course at the Theatre School, Ed played two important roles: Dodge in the Theatre School’s production of the musical ‘London Road‘; and Timothy in the School’s tribute concert performance of ‘Salad Days’, staged at the Redgrave Theatre. In August 2014 he returned to the Edinburgh Festival, appearing, highly successfully, as the sole performer in a in a one-man comedy play with music called ‘Stackard Banks is Self-Discovered‘. From October 2014 until April 2015 he played Valentine on a long tour of Tom Stoppard’s ‘Arcadia’, followed by playing Camelot in a Sheffield production of ‘Camelot. The Shining City’. In 2016 Ed had a very successful month at the Edinburgh Festival featuring in two musical shows he wrote himself. In 2017 ne featured in a highly successful two man show, a musical comedy murder called ‘Murder for Two’ which transferred from The Watermill at Newbury to the St James theatre in London for a five week run. He has since been touring with his own production company, followed by a a role in the’The Borrowers’ at Newbury.

 – 2012


Bethan played a number of key acting and singing roles during her last year at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. They included Julie in ‘London Road’, staged in the Bristol Old Vic studio, and Jane in the School’s tribute concert performance to mark the 60th Anniversary of ‘the opening of ‘Salad Days’ in Bristol. In 2013 she toured as Juliet in a highly creative one hour interpretation of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ specially devised for primary schools. The show attracted very good reviews and appreciative audiences at the Edinburgh Festival. In her last appearance as a Bristol Old Vic Theatre School student she played the part of Jane in the school’s one night tribute marking the 60th Anniversary of the opening of ‘Salad Days’, the part played by 2008 award winner Katie Moore in Tete a Tete’s 2010/12 revivals of’at the Riverside Studios in London. She followed again in Katie’s footsteps when she played a principal role in the 2014 Christmas revival of the Bristol Old Vic’s production of ‘Swallows & Amazons‘, first staged at the Theatre Royal and in the West End four years ago. Over Christmas 20i1 6Bethan played the lead Grace Kelly part  of Samantha  in ‘High Society’ at the Mill in Sonning, returning in 2017 in the lead part of Eliza in a  stunning production of ‘My Fair Lady’.



Agent: NARROW ROAD Contacts: AMY IRESON, 3rd Floor, 76 Neal Street, London WC2H 9PL | 020 7379 9598 / 020 7379 9586 |

Since leaving Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in July 2012 Chris has played Geoff in ‘A Taste of Honey‘ at the Crucible, Sheffield, Charles and Little Louie in ‘Piaf’ at the Bolton Octagon, and once again, Geoff in the Hull Truck Theatre production of ‘A Taste of Honey‘ that has been touring from April to July 2014 in Derby, Doncaster, Scarborough, Bury St Edmunds, Salford, Malvern, Cheltenham and York.  Chris’s performance has been described by critics as ‘excellent, sympathetically understated, as Geoff’ and ‘Fine work…as the gentle gay art student who volunteers to hold the baby.’ Chris was also seen last year in a well reviewed production of ‘The Dreaming’ at the Union Theatre in Southwark, described by The Stage as ‘a gorgeous, musically enveloping dream of a show‘. In 2015 he played a key role in a powerful new comedy ‘Chicken Dust’ at the Finborough Theatre in London. This was followed by a transfer to Leicester
Chris has been working for a producer for the last nine months and is currently in charge of a magic show called ‘Impossible’, for which he does all the coordination and logistics. This follows what he describes as ‘a fun but manic seven weeks’ at the Noel Coward theatre in the West End. ‘Impossible’ has been touring  Dubai and  Singapore.

ALI WATT – 2010

Agent: LOVETT LOGAN ASSOCIATES Contacts: LONDON – 40 Margaret Street, London W1G 0JH | Phone: 020-7495 6400 | Fax: 020-7495 6411 | Mobile: 07712 044068 | E-mail: | EDINBURGH – 2 York Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EP | Phone: 0131-478 7878 | Fax: 0131-478 7070 | E-mail:

After a season in the Christmas show of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ at the New Vic, Stoke-on-Trent’ in 2011, Ali was asked back by the theatre for their Mini-Rep season. In April 2012 he played the part of Woody in Alecky Blythe’s new play ‘Where Have I Been All My Life?‘ Last Christmas he returned to the New Vic , Stoke on-Trent to play Crampful in ‘The Borrowers.’ He remained with the New Vic to play Seward in ‘Dracula’ in March 2015.  In 2013 followed the role of Mercutio in a production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in Bury St Edmunds and another Christmas show. And he was then seen at the Oxford Playhouse playing Bren, one of the male leads in ‘England Street’, a new play by Kenneth Emson in which Katie Moore played the female lead.  During their 2014 summer season (May-October) he played four principal roles in four plays at the Pitlochry Festival.Since October 2015 has been playing Siegfried Sassoon in Eden Court’s Scottish  touring production of ‘Not About Heroes’. The production toured out of Inverness to the Tron in Glasgow, the Traverse in Edinburgh, the Byre in St Andrews and various venues in the Highlands. Now he has joined Dundee Repertory where he isplaying Don John in their summer production of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’.’.


Agent: Jane Lehrer Associates Contacts: PO Box 66334 NW6 9QT | 0207 435 9118 | 020 7482 4898 |

Theatre credits since leaving the Theatre School include: Sebastian in ‘The Tempest and Dickens in The Actors’Market ‘(Waterloo East Theatre); Iokanaan in ‘Salome’  (Edinburgh Festival) ‘Rail in Z-Bed’ (landor), Big Bad Wolf in ‘Red Riding Hood ‘(Jjam Theatre); Junior Counsel in ‘Laughed Out Of Court’ (Royal Courts of Justice). Many revues including ‘Love Etc’  ‘An Actor’s life for Me’ and ‘Opera a la Carte’ with Vocalarity (Canal Cafe Theatre, St James Studio} and ‘The Shakespeare Revure Company’ (Cruise ship Minerva).Radio:: Edmund in ‘The Diary of Edmund Warner. TV:.Leading roles inHollyoaks’. (Channel 4 ) and ‘Psychoville’  (BBC2)..
Alex has a degree in Psychology and  is also a Spanish teacher and foreign language dialect coach,. Credits include the new Styes & Drewe musical ‘Travels with My Aunt’ (Chichester); the play ‘Travels With My Aunt’ (Chocolate Factory) and ‘Nell Gwynn’ (Shakespeare Globe and Apollo).part Vocalarity is a four part comedy harmony group whose work can be viewed on He is currently on tour with ‘The Three Little Pigs’ and ‘The Shakespeare Revue’

KATIE MOORE – 2008Katie_8365_no_title

Agent: CURTIS BROWN Contacts: email:

Her very first professional role after leaving Bristol was playing Jane in the highly successful Tete a Tete 2010/11 production of ‘Salad Days’ at London’s Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, where she won critical and audience acclaim. She returned to the part in a longer run of ten weeks in 2012/13 – once again winning plaudits. In the months between Katie appeared in episodes of the TV series ‘Merlin’, played Laura in ‘The Glass Menagerie’ at the New Vic, Stoke-on-Trent and then one of the principal roles in the Bristol Old Vic’s 2011/12 production of ‘Swallows & Amazons‘, which ran to packed houses at the Vaudeville Theatre, London followed by a long tour around the country.  Since ‘Salad Days’ Katie and 2010 Award winner Ali Watt have played the leads in a well received new play ‘England Street’ at the Oxford Playhouse.  In 2013 Katie played the part of Susy in the latest series of the BBC1 period drama ‘The Paradise‘ and starred as ‘The Little Mermaid’ in the Bristol Old Vic Christmas show of that name. In June and July 2014 she played Rita in ‘Billy Liar‘ at the Manchester Royal Exchange. Her performance was described as ‘brilliantly frenzied and strident’ and ‘bubbling with energy and imagination’.
Early in 2016 Katie played a key part in a revival of ‘German Skerries’, an award-winning play by Robert Holman, which opened at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond for four weeks from from March and then toured to Reading, Scarborough, Lancaster and Hull. In the last three years she has been acting at a number of theatrical venues, including Manchester, Coventry, Bristol, Oxford and Stoke-on-Trent. Recently she has been making a film ‘Icarus;time and the edge of destiny’, based on a novel by Brian Greene and scored by Philip Glass The film will soon be showing in opera houses around the world . Katie was last seen in London in 2016 in ‘Sheppey’  at Richmond’s Orange Tree Theatre



January ‘November, December proved particularly busy months for a number of our Award winners. I know because my wife and I wentto see five of them on stage, and what a rewarding experience it  was. In ‘The Shakespeare Review’ at Richmond Theatre Alex Morgan (2009) was  one of the leading members of a very versatile and funny  group of performers in this enjoyable send-up of Shakespeare and his plays. It was very good to catch up with him again. The following week we were again in Richmond, this time at my favourite local theatre, The Orange Tree’, to see Katie Moore (2008) playing two key roles in ‘Sheppey’, an untypical, cleverly written  play by Somerset Maugham about the consequences for a hairdresser called Sheppey’, when he wins a big prize in a lottery. Katie played a neat and tidy manicurist  in the first act but shone in the second as Sheppey’s ambitious and difficult daughter. Katie was  a key player at the Orange Tree last year in ‘German Skerries’ and two years before that she won plaudits in London  in the lead part of Jane in ‘Salad Days’ at the Riverside Studios, Hammersmith.

Next stop for us was Bristol where we saw our latest Award winner Verity Blyth (2016) transform herself into ‘Silver’ (or as he is known more fully ‘Long John Silver’) in the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School’s production of Treasure Island’. Despite the incumbrance of a wooden leg and the heavy disguise of a pirate Verity managed to act, sing  and move with considerable agility and skill and there is no doubt that, when given the chance, she has a wonderful singing voice. Her performance made sure that the show was loved by grown ups and many young children in the Redgrave Theatre audience.
Another wonderful singing voice revealed itself to us for the first time when we then saw Bethan Nash (2012) playing Grace Kelly’s original) part  in a thrilling production of ‘High Society’ at that  delightfully sited Berkshire theatre The Mill at Sonning. Although the whole cast was excellent there was absolutely no doubt that Bethan was the star of the show. She dances well, she has great acting style, and winds the audience around her little finger. She deserves to go very far.
Initially Barrie traditionalists may have had a few difficulties with the Bristol Old Vic production of ‘Peter Pan’ at the National, our final port of call. Everyone, including the dog Nana,was an adult; Captain Hook was an evil woman;, Tinkerbellwas a curious gobbledygook-speaking flying gnome and therewasalso a good deal of modern singing and dancing which does not always add to comprehension. But you soon got used to the free and easy interpretation of the familiar story and the cast, which included Jessica Temple (2014) playing and understudying various roles, was excellent, aswan the production with its very ingenious use of flying.
The whole audience ended the evening on a high note.


Having  been  to  Newbury to see Ed MacArthur (and the one other member of the cast, Jeremy Legat)  in ‘Murder For Two’  at the Watermill, my wife and  I were rocked not just by the dotty zaniness and musicality of this highly enjoyable two man comedy whodunnit from the States but particularly by the virtuoso versatility of the two performers. We saw the last matinee in Newbury but luckily the show lived on because it transferred to the St James Theatre in London in March, where it ran for another three weeks.
Set at the scene of a murder in New York, the show translates the whole police investigation by an aspiring young police detective into a helterskelter melange of music, plot and questioning of a dozen male and female suspects or witnesses.   Ed MacArthur played the detective. Jeremy Legat played all the suspects, witnesses and hangers-on.. Separately and together they both played the piano, accompanying  each other and singing songs with astonishing vigour and skill.  Some of the songs were very witty and catchy.
With the aid of some quick fire dialogue delivered by Ed and by all Jeremy’s impersonations you eventually arrived at the conclusion of the case. You may never have quite taken in everything that has gone on  or perhaps even who was  actually the murderer but Jeremy Legat’s astonishing ability to play the piano and men and women of all ages and types  all at one time  and  Ed Macarthur’s equal talent with script, song and dance made ‘Murder For Two’ an irresistible entertainment for all lovers of musical eccentricity.


Joining the 2017 Award Winner Pedro Leandro, on October 22 @017 Verity Blyth, Katie Moore, Alex Morgan, Bethan Nash, Jessica Temple and Eleanor Jackson returned to Bristol to take the part in the very well received, one night only, “Celebration of the Music of Julian Slade.’ at the Redgrave Theatre in Bristol. The show, in aid of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, was celebrating 10 years of the Julian Slade Award for Musical Talent.


Bethan Nash in ‘My Fair Lady’ at the Mill at Sonning. See LATEST NEWS


MAY-AUGUST  Katie Moore in Sting’s ‘The Lost Ship’