Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre awards £9k in bursaries to aspiring performers

Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre awards £9k in bursaries to aspiring performers

Three aspiring performers from Hampshire were chosen to receive £9,000 in bursary money to venture into education to fulfil their career aspirations.

Olivia Davies, Petra Joan-Athene and Thomas Kingman were each given £3,000 by Mayflower Theatre, Southampton as part of its Higher Education Bursary Scheme – an initiative to inspire those with an interest in the arts to undertake accredited training courses to build a career in the industry.

The scheme provides up to £50,000 per year to individuals with an interest in acting, dance, music, writing and other arts-related professions. With a maximum amount of £3,000 per awardee, there are also additional ‘special’ awards of up to £9,000 for those who have exceptional potential or unique talent and ideas.

Olivia Davies (22) from Southampton has a passion for musical theatre and is self-aware of the difficulties in breaking into a performing career. After undertaking a foundation course in Drama and Dance at Royal Holloway and a Master’s degree at Mountview, the money awarded will allow Olivia to transition onto the next stage of living and working in London as a performer.

Dance-lover Petra Joan-Athene (20), from Winchester, has participated in theatre from a young age. She began dancing at the Lewis Allsop Dance Academy in Winchester and joined the Theatre Royal Drama Group. A keen visitor to Mayflower Theatre, Petra will use the awarded money to enable her to move onto the next stage of her career 

Having studied Musical Theatre, Thomas Kingman (23) from Southampton realised he had a passion for stage acting and writing as well as having an interest in teaching Drama. He is determined and focused on using the £3,000 bursary to hone his skills in the arts to become a successful actor and writer.

Petra said: “I am incredibly grateful to Mayflower Theatre for awarding me £3,000 from its Higher Education Bursary Scheme. The Performing Arts industry is notoriously difficult to break into and this money will enable to seek the further training and support I need to kickstart my career and provide me with the “armbands” I need to keep me afloat.”

Michael Ockwell, Chief Executive of Mayflower Theatre, said: “It is a privilege to be able to offer initiatives such as our Higher Education Bursary Scheme to aspiring performers and arts lovers in Hampshire. Many previous awardees of our bursary scheme are now enjoying fruitful careers in the performing arts including  stage management, actors and musicians. Some of which we are fortunate to see back in our own theatre as they tour the country and come back to Southampton with some of the UK’s most prestigious productions.”

Mayflower Theatre is an independent charity and does not receive any direct external funding. The money it earns from presenting and producing world-class stage productions enables it to provide a variety of schemes intended to engage and inspire young people and the local Southampton and Hampshire. communities.

Mayflower Theatre’s Higher Education Bursary Scheme is open for applications to obtain a contribution until Friday 29th April with interviews taking place on 16th, 17th and 18th May. Interested applicants can find out more information about the scheme at the Mayflower Theatre website:


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