Drama student Donal Finn wins Sir Alec Guinness Award


Richard O'Callaghan,  Janie Dee and Grace Archibald,  Photo: Patrick Lee

Richard O'Callaghan, Janie Dee and Grace Archibald, Photo: Patrick Lee

Donal Finn, a graduating student at LAMDA, has won the Sir Alec Guinness Award this year.

The presentation took place on Tuesday 20 February at the Club for Acts and Actors in Covent Garden at the end of the Annual Students' evening hosted by the Catholic Association of Performing Arts (CaAPA)

Actress Janie Dee presented the Award to Grace Archibald from LAMDA, who accepted it on behalf of Donal.

The actor was unable to attend in person because he was rehearsing as Clifford Bradshaw in CABARET that night. He sent the following message:

"Thank you to CaAPA for organising an award that helps students get a head start into an already difficult industry, recognising hard working students who are lucky enough to get to the position where they can begin calling acting their career and not their hobby, and for giving the award in the name of man who encouraged all the qualities needed to be successful - generosity, warmth, and danger."

Richard O'Callaghan Chairman of CaAPA with actress Janie Dee who presented the Sir Alec Guinness Award to Grace Archibald from LAMDA who accepted it on behalf of the winner (graduating student) Donal Finn who was busy in rehearsal. The presentation took place on Tuesday 20 February at the CAA (Club for Acts and Actors) in Covent Garden at the end of the Annual Students' evening hosted by CaAPA. (Photo credit: Patrick Lee)

Donal Finn is a graduating student on the BA Hons degree in Professional Acting at LAMDA - the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He was rehearsing as Clifford Bradshaw in CABARET on the night of the award and was therefore unable to be there in person (Grace Archibald from LAMDA accepted it on his behalf). On hearing that he had won he released the following statement:

"Thank you to CaAPA for organising an award that helps students get a head start into an already difficult industry, recognising hard working students who are lucky enough to get to the position where they can begin calling acting their career and not their hobby, and for giving the award in the name of man who encouraged all the qualities needed to be successful - generosity, warmth, and danger."

The Catholic Association of Performing Arts (formerly the Catholic Stage Guild) is involved with Catholics and people of other faiths or none, in all branches of the performing and allied arts. It was founded in the early part of the twentieth century. Past and present members include Lord Julian Fellowes, Eamon Andrews, Frank Finlay CBE, Sir Alec Guinness, Valerie Masterson CBE, Gemma Craven, Danny La Rue, Frank Carson, Michael Williams KSG and Toby Stephens.

The Sir Alec Guinness Memorial Award is given to a final year drama student from an accredited drama school. Three administrators choose the award and a shortlist of three nominees is made. The candidates write in to apply for the award and they are judged on their dedication to acting and their previous success within the industry. It takes effect for one year after the completion of their studies and consists of membership of the Actors' Centre with credit to enable the winner to take classes there, membership of Equity (the actors' union), a subscription to The Stage trade paper, an entry in Spotlight (the casting directory), and a free headshot take by photographer Michael Wharley.

Janie Dee is an award-winning actress and musical performer of the West End and has appeared in much well-known film and television. Among her awards are an Olivier.

Richard O'Callaghan is chairman of CaAPA. He is the son of distinguished actress Patricia Hayes and has worked extensively in film, TV and theatre - most notably in the latter with the late Frank Finlay in Amadeus and David Suchet in The Last Confession.

The Catholic Association of Performing Arts (formerly the Catholic Stage Guild) is the main organisation for Catholics in the drama and entertainment world. For more information see: http://caapa.org.uk/


Tags: Theatre, CaAPA , Richard O'Callaghan, Catholic Association of Performing Arts , CaAPA , Janie Dee, Grace Archibald,

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