The inaugural National School Theatre Awards® (NSTA) has taken place in front of a sold out audience at the Shaw Theatre in London with backing from British actor Callum Turner and guest appearances from film and TV legend, David Bradley, and TV star, Kara Tointon.

The prestigious ceremony held on 24 June and dubbed the ‘Oscars for schools,’ honours outstanding school theatre productions in the UK and celebrates the talent behind them. VIP guests and nominees were greeted on the red carpet by West End leading lady and actress, Abbie Budden, before making their way into the ceremony with the likes of distinguished music supervisor, James Taylor from Wonka, and Hollywood vocal coach and producer, Eoin Mallon who recently worked with Olivia Coleman.

National School Theatre Awards® 2024 red carpet

Photo: L-R: Francesca Bradley, Zoe Boyle, Eoin Mallon, Laurence Kavanagh, Monica Dolan, David Bradley, Kara Tointon, James Taylor, Tracy Dorrington, Chis Ma
Photo credit: Solace Productions

British actor and patron, Callum Turner, championed the awards saying: “As a patron of the National School Theatre Awards, I am honoured to celebrate the dedication and passion of young actors. Witnessing the hard work they put into school productions and the immediate rewards it brings is truly inspiring.”

A host of schools from around the country took part in the awards with big wins for King’s College Wimbledon, Wellington College, Ashfield School, Jo Richardson School, and Chiswick School.

BAFTA and Olivier award winning actor, guest presenter, and friend of the NSTAs, David Bradley, affirmed: “I was honoured to be a guest at the inaugural National School Theatre Awards and had the pleasure of presenting the Best Actor award. It was a fantastic way to showcase the students' achievements, and I was inspired by the outstanding performances from schools across the country. As I said on the night, if this is the future of theatre, 'wow!'. It truly was like a mini-Oscars for schools, making it a very special evening.”

British actress and awards patron, Kara Tointon, further added: “I am delighted to be supporting the NSTAs. School productions are often the stepping stone for many actors, singers and dancers and it is fantastic to be recognising the hard-work commitment and talent that goes into these shows.”

The annual awards offer a platform for young people to showcase their skills and gain recognition from industry professionals as well as inspire and encourage the next generation of young theatre professionals, regardless of their educational setting. Nominations for the 2025 awards are open now.

2024 National School Theatre Awards Winners

Best Supporting Actress

Name: Lily Moss
Show: Les Misérables School Edition
School: Westholme School

Name: Mila Stavrik
Show: Fagin Oliver!
School: Sibford School

Best Supporting Actor

Name: Sal Swinburne
Show: Billy Elliot the Musical
School: King’s College Wimbledon

Name: Samuel Eartholl
Show: The Little Mermaid
School: Farlingaye High School

Best Choreography by a Student

Name: Emily Reed - Tap Nation
Show: Velocity
School: Sandringham School

Best Set, Lighting or Sound Design by a Pupil

Name: Daniel Bevan
Show: Matilda Jr.
School: Meole Brace

Best Male Musical Solo

Name: Brandon McGuiness
Show: Addams Family
School: Epsom College

Name: Gabriel Williams
School: Les Misérables School Edition
Show: Westcliff High School for Boys

Best Female Musical Solo

Name: Vanessa Gillions
Show: Beauty and the Beast
School: Emanuel School

Name: Maya Cornelius
Show: Shrek the Musical
School: Jo Richardson

Best Ensemble

Beechwood School

Ashfield School

Best Actor in a Play

Name: Harry Swash
Show: Adult Child/Dead Child
School: Gosfield School

Name: Silas Hopkins
Show: Incident at Vichy
School: Fulham Boys

Best Actress in a Play

Name: Francesca Ramshall
Show: Lord of Flies
School: Trent College

Name: Lottie Jones
Show: The Red Shoes
School: Beaumont School

Best Actor in a Musical

Name: Matthew Lowrey
Show: Les Misérables School Edition
School: Wellington College

Name: Jacob Guyler
Show: Les Misérables School Edition
School: Westcliff High School for Boys

Best Actress in a Musical

Name: Ella Firth
Show: Legally Blonde
School: Stafford Grammar

Name: Sara Traynor-Herenda
Show: Addams Family
School: Watford Grammar School Academy

Best Play

Name: Edgeborough School
Show: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Name: Chiswick School
Show: Animal Farm

Kavanagh Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Pupil

Name: Oli Spooner
School: Beaumont School

Best Musical Production

Name: Billy Elliot the Musical
School: King’s College, Wimbledon

Name: Mary Poppins
School: Avon Valley School