BA Acting student, Chris Coleman (CJ Coleman) wins Sir John Gielgud Award


Congratulations to Chris Coleman (stage name: CJ Coleman) who is in the final year of his BA Acting degree at ArtsEd, and is the recent recipient of a Sir John Gielgud Bursary Award!  

Just twenty-two bursaries are awarded annually by the Sir John Gielgud Charitable Trust, to talented students at leading drama schools around the UK.  The funds provided help students in their final year, easing the challenging transition from drama training to life as a working actor. 

Chris developed his passion for acting at Durham School, where he was awarded a Drama Scholarship. He expanded his skills at Northern Star Theatre Arts in Sunderland. Chris began his time at ArtsEd on their Foundation Acting course, successfully moving onto the three-year degree course in 2018.  

Throughout his time at ArtsEd, Chris has proved his dedication and strong work ethic, which has been recognised by his colleagues and teachers. The Director of the School of Acting, Julie Spencer said:  

“Chris is so deserving of the Sir John Gielgud Award and is an exemplary student. Congratulations from The School of Acting team for his achievement!”  

Over the last couple of years, drama training has been accused of being elitist and financially inaccessible.  Julie Spencer is committed to ensuring that talent, not money, is the key criteria to accessing ArtsEd’s industry leading training.  She said: 

“If you’re good enough to be here, if you have the potential we’re looking for, I’ll move mountains to make it happen. We offer places based on ability, not bank balance. Our regional auditions demonstrate my commitment to removing as many barriers as possible for those who want to pursue an acting career. 

Thrilled with the awardChris said:  

“To win this award is such a privilege, I cannot express my gratitude enough not only to the Trust for awarding it to me, but also to ArtsEd for nominating me for it. It is a real honour and one that fills me with pride!  

It’s truly mind-boggling to think that I’m now in my third and final year of the course, and my fourth year of being at ArtsEd including the Foundation Acting course. I have deeply cherished my time at the school, where I have made friendships for life. The school has not only developed my skills as a performerbut as a person as well – and for that I am so grateful. It has been an incredible journeyand I am so excited to see what this next year has in store for all of us!” 

Geri Feeney, Principal of Northern Star Theatre Arts, is thrilled that Chris has received such a significant award, and recalls fondly his time at the Sunderland school: 

Chris trained at Northern Star when he was younger, and it was clear from our first meeting that he possessed a real flair and natural talent for acting. We are all incredibly proud of his achievements and look forward to following his career.”