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Alex Cardall crowned SSSSPOTY 2018 winner

Arts Ed graduate Alex Cardall has taken home the first prize of £1,000 in this year's Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year competition.

For his Sondheim choice, Alex sang the Follies favourite "Buddy's Blues" – a tour de force of a song that won the title for Norwegian finalist Kris Olsen back in 2012.

In second place was Mountview's James Stirling, who sang "Hello, Little Girl" from Into The Woods, and third – an impromptu prize created on the spot at the insistence of Society Patron Julia McKenzie – was LAMDA's Shelby Flannery for her heartbreaking "I Wish I Could Forget You" from Passion.

Winner of the Best New Song prize was Adam Wachter for "You and Me" (which was also sung by Alex Cardall), while the MTI Stiles + Drewe Mentorship Prize went to Jim Barne and Kit Buchan for the new musical The Season.

The Gala Final was presented by Follies star Tracie Bennett and featured a guest performance from Follies co-star Di Botcher, who reprised her showstopping "Broadway Baby". Directing proceedings was Chris Hocking, and on the keyboard throughout was the tireless Mark Etherington.

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