I again shot The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year Competition at the Sondheim Theatre
Swansea-born Milly Willows, a third-year BA Hons Musical Theatre student at Italia Conti, was crowned the winner of SSSSPOTY 2023.
The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year (aka SSSSPOTY) sees 12 finalists – whittled down this year from 250 applicants – compete for a £1,000 first prize by singing a classic Sondheim number, and also a song from a new or recent musical theatre show. But more important than the prize money is the opportunity to sing on a West End stage.
The runnner’s-up prize of £500 was awarded to Emily Botnen, a student on the one-year Musical Theatre MA course at the Royal Academy of Music.
The judging panel – chaired by critic and broadcaster Edward Seckerson – comprised Nicola Hughes (Into the Woods), Michael Jibson (Road Show) and Sondeim Society Patrons Jenna Russell (Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods) and Julia McKenzie (Follies, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd).
The competition was hosted by former SSSSPOTY winner Alex Young, who took home the first prize back in 2010 – marking the first time that a former winner has returned to host the event.