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Edinburgh International Festival announces winners of the Sir Ian McKellen Bursary


The Edinburgh International Festival is delighted to announce the winners of the Sir Ian McKellen Bursary, created in partnership with the Scottish Drama Training Network.

Five bursaries are awarded to support students studying in any discipline of the Performing Arts. These bursaries have been made possible by Sir Ian McKellen’s wish that proceeds generated by his performances be used to support local drama provision.

Recipients include Rachel Pryde, who will study Technical Production Cert at the Edinburgh Lighting and Sound School; Jordan McKinlay, who will undertake a Masters Degree in Contemporary Art Practice at the Edinburgh College of Art – University of Edinburgh; Isla Campbell, who will study Bachelor of Arts in Acting & English at Edinburgh Napier University; Mark Hannah, who will study Bachelor of Arts in Professional Acting at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art; and Caroline Baird who will undertake a Higher National Diploma in Dance at Edinburgh College.

Four of the recipients met with Sir Ian after his final performance of Ian McKellen on Stage at the International Festival, in which he recalled seminal moments from his life and career. Sunday 25 August’s performance marked 50 years to the day since Sir Ian first performed at the Edinburgh International Festival, with his ground-breaking dual performances of Marlowe’s Edward II and Shakespeare’s Richard II at the Assembly Hall in 1969.

Proceeds from Sir Ian’s Edinburgh performances have been used to support this bursary. They will also contribute to supporting drama and arts opportunities at Leith Academy, as part of the Edinburgh International Festival’s three-year residency partnership with the school and City of Edinburgh Council.

Caroline Donald, Head of Learning & Engagement at the Edinburgh International Festival said: ‘We received a large number of applications for these bursaries, from a really wide range of candidates working in different disciplines across the performing arts. All of the recipients presented a real need for support and we are thrilled that these awards will help them to develop their professional practice. Our thanks go to Sir Ian McKellen, whose incredible performances have made this possible.’

Karen Townsend Programme Producer at Scottish Drama Training Network said: ‘We are delighted to work in partnership with Edinburgh International Festival offering these iconic bursaries to help support our next generation of Scottish talent in such a memorable way.’

Ian McKellen on Stage was performed at the Assembly Hall, as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, from 22 until 25 August. His 80-date tour across the UK, in celebration of his 80th birthday, concludes its Scottish leg at the Orkney Arts Theatre tonight, 28 August, before travelling to the National Theatre in London for a gala performance on 15 September. Sir Ian then performs a limited run at the Harold Pinter Theatre, London, from 20 September until 5 January 2020.

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