Festivals and Competitions

The BBC Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award Radio Competition

Every year, four graduating year students are chosen by the Audio Department through an internal audition process. These students, along with students from all the accredited schools subsequently perform monologues, duologues, an ensemble scene and sight-reading for a panel of Producers and Directors at the BBC in the Radio Studios of Broadcasting House. (Over the last three years, owing to the Pandemic, the competition has been run remotely, requiring us to send in pieces that we have recorded here, and this is followed, for those selected by the BBC, by a session on Zoom to record duologues with them).  The winners are each given a five-month contract with the Radio Drama Company and the four runners-up are each offered a freelance engagement in a Radio Drama production later in the year. Find Out More.

Drama Studio London winners of this prestigious award:

2017 winners Isabella Inchbald and Adam Fitzgerald, runner-up Lauren Cornelius

2015 winner Evie Killipu

2014 winner Monty d’Inverno

“My whole Carleton Hobbs experience – from the late nights preparing for the audition, to the months I spent on the rep – remains a very special time in my life. I had the opportunity to work with, and learn from, some incredible people on both sides of the mic. I couldn’t have wished for a better introduction to the industry and hugely grateful for the support I received from DSL and our superb team mentors.” Adam Fitzgerald

“Since graduating from DSL and partaking in the Carlton Hobbs Award competition during my time there, I can honestly say it was the absolute highlight of my training and set me up for success in my professional radio career.  The whole process equipped me with the skills and fundamentals I needed to tackle technique in the studio, but it also gave me that invaluable one on one time with my coaches to elevate my performance.  I now primarily work within the realm of audio and it was through the Carlton Hobbs process that I completely fell in love with this particular medium of theatre, and so I would recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat!” Lauren Cornelius

The Spotlight Prize

DSL, alongside over 70 drama schools, nominates one actor from their graduating year to audition for entry into the Spotlight Prize. In the second round, around 20 students are selected by a panel of industry experts to work with an esteemed director to present a monologue. The winner of the prize receives a £2000 award.

Recent DSL finalists include:

2021 – Raj Khera

“Being a finalist helped reaffirm the work I’d done during my time at DSL. Taking what I’d learnt outside the walls felt thrilling, and I was thoroughly supported by staff who provided guidance along the way. It was a step into the professional world and I’m grateful for the experience.” Raj Khera