Leeds Conservatoire Student Wins New UK Musicals Award

By Lauren Bickerdike


BA (Hons) Musical Theatre at Leeds Conservatoire

Lucy Madeleine Smith has recently been announced as the winner of the Student Category of the New UK Musicals Competition!

Lucy, a second-year BA (Hons) Musical Theatre student at Leeds Conservatoire, won the award in February 2022 with her performance of 'Imagine' from the new musical 'I Capture the Castle' by Steven Edis and Teresa Howard. She was joined in the finals by fellow Leeds Conservatoire Musical Theatre students Cara Roberts and Josie Tapp.

We spoke to Lucy about winning the award and her training at Leeds Conservatoire.

Can you give us a brief overview of the story and context behind 'Imagine' from 'I Capture the Castle'?

The musical is based on the novel of the same name by Dodie Smith, and this song is sung by seventeen-year-old Cassandra, who has fallen for her sister's fiancé. They shared a kiss, and she's on her way to a party where she knows he'll be. Cassandra wants to be a writer, and her idea of living a fantasy comes across in the beautiful lyrics as she fantasises about how good their love could be, despite her feelings of guilt.

How did you get the opportunity to work on and perform this song?

Our course encourages us to explore new writing in the UK – it's important to see where our industry is heading! If you haven't yet, check out the Aftershow Sessions on YouTube where some of my wonderful course-mates perform songs from new musicals, with introductions by the writers. Seeing them inspired me to give it a go myself, and I came across this beautiful song.

Something must have aligned in the universe because this competition popped up on my Facebook a few months later. After an afternoon of many attempts at self-tapes, I took the plunge and posted a video of me singing it. I immediately got some lovely feedback from the writers, which was a really special moment. I'm so grateful to Darren Clark for organising the competition; it's an amazing opportunity to celebrate UK musicals!

What is your favourite thing about studying at Leeds Conservatoire?

Being surrounded by like-minded and EXTREMELY talented people – I'm constantly inspired. It's so supportive, and I love going in each day, knowing no day will ever be the same!

What advice would you give to those hoping to study Musical Theatre at Leeds Conservatoire?

I think it's so important to remember that you don't have to be the best in the room – comparison is a waste of time. As long as you're pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and trying new things, you'll be exactly where you need to be. Also, friends are great – make sure you lift them up and celebrate all the little things each day!

Find out more about studying Musical Theatre at Leeds Conservatoire.

Discover our Aftershow Sessions on YouTube

Learn more about New UK Musicals

By Lauren Bickerdike

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