Former University of Birmingham students nominated for Olivier Awards

Two former University of Birmingham students have been nominated for Olivier Awards this year.

Patsy Ferran, has been nominated for Best Actress, for her performance as Blanche DuBois in the Tennessee Williams’s classic A Streetcar Named Desire, opposite Paul Mescal.

Joe White has been nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre, for his play Blackout Songs, about two alcoholics who meet and fall in love at an AA meeting.

Patsy studied BA Drama and Theatre Arts, which Joe also studied before he went on to achieve a Masters in Play Writing Studies. They both graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2011. Reflecting on his nomination and time at Birmingham Joe said:

“Though it feels like lightyears since first trying to write plays at Birmingham, in my mind there is a clear, straight line from George Cadbury Hall to the Olivier Awards.

“I wrote my first play at University, on my hero Steve Waters' undergraduate course, the criminally overlooked 'Kebabland'; I fudged and cringed my way through plays in the Guild and above pubs; and found great joy taking two plays up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival - one of which with my fellow nominee Patsy Ferran, who nearly killed me for consistently getting up late.

“My four years at the University of Birmingham were probably the most formative of my career, and I'm so proud to be a product of the degree and of Article 19 Drama Society.”

Dr Gianna Bouchard, Head of Department for Drama and Theatre Arts added: “It is wonderful to be able to celebrate the success of Patsy and Joe, and have their talent recognised by the Olivier Awards.

“We are immensely proud of our Drama and Theatre Arts department at the University of Birmingham, and it is always a pleasure to see our students go on to succeed in their careers.

“On behalf of the department, and the entire University, we wish Joe and Patsy the best of the luck for the big night, and every success for the future.”

The Olivier Awards take place on Sunday 2nd April.


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