Madeleine Morgan is named Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year

Madeleine Morgan is named Stephen 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)
Photo David Ovenden

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

She was crowned following a tightly fought contest at the Sondheim Theatre.

Morgan, from the Gower in south west Wales, is on a Masters degree course at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM). Last year she played Mary Flynn in the National Youth Music Theatre production of Merrily We Roll Along at Southwark Playhouse and will next play the Baker’s Wife in RAM’s production of Into the Woods.

Gavin Rasmussen (from LAMDA) was runner-up, with Oliver Halford (Emil Dale Academy), commended.

The winner of the award – known affectionately as SSSSPOTY – received a £1,000 first prize, and the chance to headline their own Sondheim-infused cabaret in London. The runner-up was awarded £500.
A member of the Stephen Sondheim Society approached Maddie last year after seeing her in Merrily We Roll Along and told her that she must enter the SSSSPOTY competition in 2024.

Maddie said: ‘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, performing the work of Sondheim who I love so much and who writes so well for women, it is beyond my wildest dreams…

it’s a rare joy to play the complex and emotionally rich female characters created by Sondheim, and that I am so grateful to the Society for providing me with the opportunity to do just that.

“After NYMT gave me such a wonderful opportunity to play Mary, an iconic female Sondheim role, it was another full circle moment for the NYMT team 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 said: “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!”