Many congratulations to King Edward’s School Year 12 pupils, Xander Spencer Jones, on winning the Bath Young Actor of the Year award (senior category).

The highly prestigious competition, organised by the Mid-Somerset Festival, saw Xander explore a theme of ‘The Self Unseeing’ through a range of extracts from Tom Stoppard’s classic play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead in which he gave a poignancy to Rosencrantz’s confusions about the nature of death, to the existential despair of Hamlet in his ‘O that this too solid flesh would melt’ soliloquy.

Janine Diamond, one of the Award adjudicators, commended him on his “really brave interpretation of such a canonical text.” His performances throughout were expressive and character-driven, while the extract from My Family and Other Animals was a thoughtful shift in tone in which he created an excellent contrast between the eccentric characters.

Xander as Mowgli in The Jungle Book

Xander started acting when he was 11. A regular on the KES stage, he was one of the eponymous leads in last year’s Romeo and Juliet, and before that played Mowgli in The Jungle Book. He is currently in rehearsal for the Year 12 production of The Red Shoes a fun, lively and at times brutal reimagining of the classic Hans Christian Anderson story offering a captivating tale about obsession and dance!

“We are all super proud of the brilliantly talented Xander Spencer-Jones on being awarded Bath Actor of the Year,” said Mrs Dani Tamblyn, Acting Head of Drama. “Xander’s confidence and technique has developed over the past few years and we are sure he will continue to achieve great things in the world of Theatre.  From Mowgli to Romeo… what next?”