Double Award Success for ArtsEd Acting & Musical Theatre Students


This week has seen a double award success for ArtsEd’s BA (Hons) Musical Theatre graduate Alex Cardall and third year BA (Hons) Acting student Laura Meredith. Each student has been awarded £5,000 to help towards their living costs as they both embark on the next leg of their performing arts journey.

21 year-old Alex Cardall from Solihull was the first winner of the brand new Rising Star Award, given to a graduate of the Musical Theatre BA programme for outstanding talent and effort demonstrated throughout all three years of their training.

The prize money will help Alex to support himself as he continues onwards with his professional career and as he makes his stage debut in Sweet Charity at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury later this year.

Intended to provide much needed financial support to a Musical Theatre graduate in the first year of their professional career, the Rising Star Award will ensure that Alex and others in the coming years can continue into the industry with a degree of financial security, whilst also strengthening ArtsEd’s mission to provide students and graduates with support in as many ways as possible.

The Rising Star initiative has been created and donated by an anonymous donor with a long-standing passion for musical theatre who approached ArtsEd after seeing numerous outstanding graduates in West End shows. Alongside the Rising Star award, their generous philanthropy also supports two annual bursaries for exceptional third year students of Musical Theatre.

After watching Alex develop over the years, the Principal of ArtsEd and Head of Musical Theatre, Chris Hocking said:

“Alex is not only an extremely talented triple-threat Musical Theatre performer but he also embodies the ArtsEd ethos of professionalism, dedication, generosity and humility.”

Rising Star Award recipient Alex Cardall said:

“I am delighted to receive this Rising Star Award. I can start my career at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury feeling more financially supported and I am really grateful for that.

“Being at ArtsEd has been a life-changing experience for me. I’ve received world-class training and have made friends and contacts for life – I can now go out into the world as a professional with the richness and diversity of this learning and make my dreams come true.”

Laura Meredith from Hull continues into her third year at ArtsEd’s School of Acting, as the recipient of one of the Sir John Gielgud Charitable Trust Awards that are received by well-deserved students across many of the UK’s drama schools every year.

This award commemorates the life and work of Sir John Gielgud who dedicated his entire life to the arts, both on stage and screen. Twenty-two John Gielgud bursaries are awarded amongst drama schools annually to help drama students in their final year propel into their future careers and ease the pressure of financial hardship.

Throughout her time at ArtsEd, Laura has proved her dedication and strong work ethic amongst colleagues and teachers.

Laura’s second year director said:

“Laura is a committed and much valued member of the ensemble… she has the toolkit and skills to bring authenticity and presence to each performance – a pleasure to work with.”

Laura’s dedication to the arts stretches beyond her course as she inspires young children and adults in her home City of Hull, helping out with Youth Theatre classes at Hull Truck Theatre and offering arts-related career advice.

Excited about the year to come, Laura says:

“Receiving the John Gieldgud Award enables me to enter my final year of training feeling  much more financially supported – I can now focus on this integral year with confidence and more security.

“ArtEd has provided me with quality training and opportunities beyond my wildest dreams. Working with world-class professionals every day amongst the school’s safe, personal, challenging and creative performing arts environment means I am having the time of my life and growing to become the professional I want to be.”

For talented young people in this country, financial pressures mean that many students of great promise face the prospect of turning down their place or even leaving their course before finishing. ArtsEd provides support where it can, but not to everyone that needs it. The generous support of individuals plays a vital role in the creation of the next generation of exceptional talent – enabling extraordinary young students to fulfil their true potential as artists and performers. 

Find out more about how you can help our gifted young students by making a donation or becoming an ArtsEd Friend today.