Peter O'Toole Prize-winners make their professional debuts

The Peter O'Toole Prize winners for 2016-2017 make their professional debut at Bristol Old Vic this autumn, beginning with graduating actress Lily Donovan who is appearing in Dominic Hill's boisterous revival of The Rivals. Her fellow prize-winner Dylan Wood will be appearing in Bristol Old Vic's Christmas production The Snow Queen, which will be directed by Lee Lyford.

The Peter O'Toole prize is an annual award given to two graduating actors from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School which includes a professional contract at Bristol Old Vic Theatre where Peter O'Toole launched his career. Originally called The Patron's Prize, it was renamed in 2014 as the Peter O'Toole Prize in honour of one of Bristol Old Vic's most recognised and respected alumni. The prize was launched at Peter O'Toole's memorial service held at the Old Vic, London in May of that year.

Lily Donovan plays Lucy in The Rivals which runs at Bristol Old Vic until 1 Oct, before touring to co-producers Liverpool Playhouse and The Citizens Theatre, Glasgow. Speaking about her time with the company, she said: "I'm so thrilled and excited to be part of this brilliant production. It's a huge honour to be awarded the Peter O'Toole prize and to be performing on the beautiful Bristol Old Vic stage. Working with Dominic and the rest of the cast these past 6 weeks has been amazing and so much fun, I've loved every minute! "

Dylan Wood's graduating production from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School this summer saw him take the role of Edgar in King Lear, during which he played alongside veteran actor Timothy West in the title role, in a unique collaboration between Bristol Old Vic and the Theatre School.

He returns for his first professional production with the theatre in our magical Christmas show The Snow Queen (2 Dec-15 Jan) which will be directed by Lee Lyford.

Dylan said: "I absolutely cannot wait to stand up on that stage again- to have worked as a student alongside such amazing actors as Timothy West, Stephanie Cole and David Hargreaves was something else and now to be starting my professional life on that stage - I'll take that! To have got to this point through winning the Peter O'Toole prize is overwhelming - it's amazing to think we're standing on the very stage that he loved so much!"

    

Lily Donovan in The Rivals (Photo by Mark Douet) and Dylan Wood in King Lear (Photo by Jack Offord)