Sunderland students land places at top London drama schools

Becky Lindsay and Cameron Mair have organised a fundraising variety show to help pay their course fees
Becky Lindsay and Cameron Mair have organised a fundraising variety show to help pay their course fees
0
Have your say

Two Sunderland students are putting on a show as they follow their dreams of stardom.

Becky Lindsay and Cameron Mair, both 18, have won places at prestigious acting schools in London.

Rhiannon Gillibrand, Lauren Hawkes, Cameron Mair, Jamie-Leigh Price and Becky Lindsay

Rhiannon Gillibrand, Lauren Hawkes, Cameron Mair, Jamie-Leigh Price and Becky Lindsay

Now the Sunderland College students have arranged a variety night to help raise funds to cover the cost of their courses.

Becky, from Tunstall, successfully auditioned to study at Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) on a three-year degree programme, while Cameron will spend the summer in the capital on a National Youth Theatre (NYT) course.

Becky, who hopes to work in TV and film, aims to follow in the footsteps of famous ALRA graduates including comedian Miranda Hart, Broadchurch star Sarah Parish, and Hollywood actor Emmanuel Imani.

She said: "There were three round of auditions and it was a very competitive process, so it came as a real shock when I found out I had a place on the course. I just sat and cried for a while as I was so overwhelmed.

"ALRA was my first choice as it specialises in television and film – when I started researching the different performing schools, I knew it was the place for me. There’s a lot of expectation to live up to it because it is very prestigious, but I’m excited for the challenge."

Becky, who teaches youngsters at the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts, has already appeared on the small screen as an extra in BBC’s Beowulf and CBBC’s Wolfblood.

She added: "The fee for the first year of the course is £8,321 and I’m hoping the variety show, as well as other fundraising activities I’m doing, will raise quite a bit of money towards this target. I wasn’t able to apply for a scholarship for my first year, but I’ll be applying for one for my second and third year."

Cameron, from South Hetton, is aiming to raise £1,430 to fund the costs of his course, an intensive acting programme for young people aged 14-22.

He said: "Due to its prestige, the acting courses offered by NYT are very competitive as each course accepts only 30 auditionees per year, so I feel very lucky to be one of them."

The pair, who are both studying BTEC level 3 extended diploma in acting, have organised the variety show ‘Be Our Guest’ with the aim of raising £700 to pay towards their courses.

They will be joined on stage by fellow Sunderland College music and dance students, local band Thieves of Liberty and young actors from The Drama Lab.

The show will be staged in the college’s Arts Academy theatre at Bede Campus on Wednesday, July 5, at 6pm.

Four first year drama students - Rhiannon Gillibrand, Jamie-Leigh Price, Lauren Hawkes and Kristen Wilson - have also been accepted onto a summer school at Sir Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA).

Gemma Whelam, drama lecturer at Sunderland College, said: “We are elated that so many of our students have been recognised for their outstanding talent. These students have been excellent role models and ambassadors for the college and have worked exceptionally hard throughout their studies at the college.

“We wish Becky and Cameron the best of luck in their professional endeavours and hope that they will return to pass their expertise onto future students. We are looking forward to seeing how those who have been selected to take part in the LIPA summer school have developed and share their experiences.”

Tickets for ‘Be Our Guest’ cost £5 and are available via the Eventbrite website.