A former Shrewsbury Colleges Group (SCG) student is hitting all the right notes in the multiple award-winning musical ‘Hamilton’. Stephenson Ardern-Sodje, who completed A Levels including Film Studies at SCG in 2009, has been appearing on the West End stage since 2017 as a member of the Hamilton cast.
‘Hamilton’ follows the life of American founding father Alexander Hamilton, confronting thorny issues of race and prejudice with a cast of non-white actors and a story told through hip hop, R&B, pop, soul and traditional show tunes. It has achieved critical acclaim and box office success, winning a plethora of awards in the process.
After gaining a degree and trying a few different jobs, Stephenson saw an ad for an open audition and gave it a go. The casting directors liked him but were concerned at his lack of experience, so he went to the Royal Academy of Music to study an MA in Musical Theatre. He re-auditioned a year later and was given the part of Swing, where the performer covers multiple roles – he even had the chance to play Alexander Hamilton in December.
Stephenson says, “My contract has been reissued until November and I’ve honestly never felt so professionally and personally fulfilled. There’s something so invigorating about finding a job that challenges you and plays to all your strengths. I’m beyond ecstatic to be staying on.”