IT is an award which has launched some of Britain’s acting greats.
Drama student Aaron Mwale, from Holmfirth, is among a select few to have been presented with a prestigious Laurence Olivier bursary.
The award, established in 1987 to commemorate Olivier’s 80th birthday, helped kick-start the careers of actors Ewan McGregor and Michael Sheen.
Aaron, 23, was given the bursary by the Society of London Theatre to fund his third year dance and drama course at Guildford School of Acting.
Aaron impressed a panel of judges to beat off stiff competition from hundreds of other budding actors.
The former Huddersfield Technical College student said: “It’s a great confidence boost knowing that the judges wanted to invest in helping me to become a professional actor.
“This bursary really means the world not only to me, but also to the people around me.
“I’d been working part-time as a children’s entertainer, and my mum Gertrude has been working hard to help cover my college costs. This bursary will make a big difference by taking the pressure off us both and enabling me to concentrate on my final year studies.”
Aaron has dedicated the award to his late father John Mwale, a former director for Kirklees Council, who died in 1991.
He said: “When I was younger he taught me the value of hard work and I’ve tried to put that into practice at drama school.”
Aaron said he admires local actor turned Hollywood star Sir Patrick Stewart, who recently turned 70.
Aaron’s bursary is awarded in conjunction with the Laurence Olivier bursary scheme from the E M Behrens Charitable Trust.