Last weekend marked the inaugural Black British Theatre Awards, recognising black talent in the performing arts from right across the UK. Full of talented nominees and fabulous performances, the ceremony closed Black History Month with a flourish. And to top it off, Amara Okereke, brilliant alumna of our BA Musical Theatre degree, won the Recent Graduate Award!
Amara shot to fame in 2018 as the first black actress to be cast as Cosette in iconic musical, Les Miserables on the West End. A role for which she won the The Stage Debut Award for Best Actress in a Musical. From Les Mis she went straight on to star as Laurie in Oklahoma at Chichester Festival Theatre and she is currently in rehearsal for The Boyfriend at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
The Recent Graduate Award was collected by Amara’s proud mother, Dr Ebere Okereke, who is delighted with her daughter’s achievement:
“It was a privilege and an honour to represent my daughter at the inaugural Black British Theatre Awards ceremony on Sunday, and a double pleasure to receive the award for outstanding recent graduate on her behalf. She thanked ArtsEd and NYMT for her training and for the opportunities that training has given her. It is thanks to her training that she has had such a phenomenal start to her career.
Awards such as this bring visibility to the black people in the industry. One of the award recipients on the night said ‘I feel seen’ and that captured for me exactly why this award ceremony is so badly needed. With this event and the database of excellence that it proposes to create, black performers will be ‘seen’. As the parent of a performer it gives me great comfort to know that my daughter has such esteemed company who understand her experience that she can call on. It’s a wonderful thing Solange and Omar have created and they are to be congratulated.”
ArtsEd Principal, Chris Hocking also attended the awards ceremony, and couldn’t be more proud:
“Amara has taken the industry by storm. She is such a kind, generous and talented actor and a brilliant Ambassador for ArtsEd.”