Madeleine Morgan wins Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year

Jenna Russell (patron and judge), Oliver Halford (Emil Dale Academy, commended), Madeleine Morgan (Royal Academy of Music, winner), Gavin Rasmussen (LAMDA, runner-up), Bonnie Langford (host)
Jenna Russell (patron and judge), Oliver Halford (Emil Dale Academy, commended), Madeleine Morgan (Royal Academy of Music, winner), Gavin Rasmussen (LAMDA, runner-up), Bonnie Langford (host) Photo David Ovenden

Madeleine Morgan, a talented student at the Royal Academy of Music, has been crowned the Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year.

The thrilling competition took place at the Sondheim Theatre, showcasing some of the finest young talent in the country.

Morgan, who hails from the Gower in south-west Wales, is currently pursuing a Masters degree at RAM.

Last year, she wowed audiences as Mary Flynn in the National Youth Music Theatre’s production of Merrily We Roll Along at Southwark Playhouse. She is set to dazzle again as the Baker’s Wife in RAM’s upcoming production of Into the Woods.

Gavin Rasmussen from LAMDA secured the runner-up spot, while Oliver Halford from Emil Dale Academy received a commendation.

The winner of the prestigious award, affectionately known as SSSSPOTY, receives a £1,000 prize and the exciting opportunity to headline their own Sondheim-infused cabaret in London. The runner-up is awarded £500.

A member of the Stephen Sondheim Society noticed Maddie’s talent last year during her performance in Merrily We Roll Along and encouraged her to enter the competition this year.

Reflecting on her journey, Maddie shared: “On my very first day at RAM, my wonderful singing teacher asked me about my goals for the year, and before the question had even left his lips, I blurted out: ‘To get to the final of SSSSPOTY!’ The girl who played Orphan #3 in Annie is screaming right now!”

“Winning the competition after that initial conversation has been quite the journey. To perform on the Sondheim Theatre stage, singing the work of Sondheim, who I love so much and who writes so well for women, is beyond my wildest dreams. It’s a rare joy to play the complex and emotionally rich female characters created by Sondheim, and I am so grateful to the Society for providing me with the opportunity.”

Maddie also expressed gratitude towards the NYMT team, adding: “After NYMT gave me such a wonderful opportunity to play Mary, an iconic female Sondheim role, it was another full-circle moment for the team to see me win Student Performer of the Year. Maybe there was another potential SSSSPOTY winner on stage during their showcase from their upcoming Into the Woods this summer at Southwark Playhouse!”

Craig Glenday and Tina Foote of the Stephen Sondheim Society commented: “This year, as with every year, the competition was fierce. We say that all our finalists are winners – and we see this every year as we watch the careers of those that have taken part in the prestigious competition before. Cynthia Erivo did not win the year she took part – and she has not done too badly…! Our judges came to a unanimous decision – but it was also very close indeed. It is a testament to the talent that we saw on stage. Maddie is such a worthy winner, but Gavin and Oliver were also so impressive. In fact, all our finalists produced noteworthy performances. It was a fabulous afternoon’s entertainment! We thank them all for their contribution to making SSSSPOTY such a success!”

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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