Claire Moore (© www.clairemoore.info)

The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year competition and the Stiles and Drewe Best New Song Prize will be held Sunday May 27 at 3pm at the Queen's Theatre. Acclaimed English actress and soprano Claire Moore will host.

The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year Competition was created six years ago to give a platform to musical theatre students to showcase their work before graduation. Students from many of the UK's leading drama schools and other colleges compete for the Student Performer of the Year Prize of £1,000 and a runner up prize of £500.

The twelve finalists will be judged by actress Danielle Hope, producer Michael McCabe, conductor David Shrubsole and artistic director of the Derngate Theatre, Laurie Sansom. The chairman of the judges will be Edward Seckerson and the prize will be awarded by Julia McKenzie and a representative of Overtures: The Bunnett-Muir Musical Theatre Archive Trust (sponsors of the first prize).

The students sing one song by Sondheim and a new song by members of Mercury Musical Developments, an organization dedicated to the craft of writing book, music and lyrics for musical theatre. Stephen Sondheim, who is a patron of both The Stephen Sondheim Society and MMD, was keen to incorporate a Prize for new writing in musical theatre within the event. With support from UK writers George Stiles & Anthony Drewe, there will be a presentation of the fifth Stiles and Drewe Best Song Prize, which also has a prize value of £1,000 for the best new song of the evening.

For more information about the Stephen Sondheim Society click here.