Izuka Hoyle Wins Sondheim Competition


Izuka Hoyle (above, with Julia McKenzie), who graduates from ArtsEd this summer, has won the prestigious Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year. The SSSSPOTY prize – a silver salver and a cheque for £1,000 – is awarded to the student who, in the opinion of the judges, gives the best performance of their two songs.

Izuka performed ‘Last Midnight’ from Sondheim’s Into the Woods and ‘The Matchmaker', a new song by Claire McKenzie and Scott Gilmour, at the Noel Coward Theatre on Sunday 11 June. Izuka has been rehearsing for the competition alongside appearing in Working at Southwark Playhouse.

The winners were selected by a panel of judges including Rachel Kavanaugh, Simon Lee, Alex Young and Janie Dee chaired by Edward Seckerson, with Julia McKenzie presenting the prizes.

Fellow third-year student Shaq Taylor was named runner-up for his performances of 'Epiphany' from Sondheim's Sweeny Todd and new song ‘Apology to a Child’ by Tom Slade. Shaq took part in the competition just the day before he makes his West End debut in Les Miserables.

“We say every year that the standard gets better and better but this year we saw a real change in the talent on offer. How the judges could choose from such a talented group is beyond me. All three students recognised in the top three were outstanding and are undoubtedly destined for stardom.”
Craig Glenday, Chairman, Stephen Sondheim Society

This year’s competition was directed by ArtsEd’s Deputy Principal Chris Hocking. He was delighted with the result: “The dedication and commitment from all the students is inspiring and the pride that they have in representing their drama school is so great to be a part of.”

The 12 student competitors represented drama schools from across the country including RADA, LAMDA, Royal Welsh College of Music, GSA, Mountview, Italia Conti, Oxford School of Drama and the London College of Music.

We look forward to seeing where all our other talented 2017 students fly off to once they graduate.

Good luck everyone!

Photo credit: David Ovenden