Teenager wins place at top acting school

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A TALENTED teenager is aiming for the stars after clinching a place at a top acting school.

At just 16, Lauren Waine, has been offered a place at the prestigious Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London.

Instead of joining friends at college to study for A-levels in September, the Monkwearmouth School pupil is hoping she will be heading to the capital.

However, Lauren’s dreams could be shattered if she can’t raise the funds for the £14,000-a-year academy.

Lauren, who has been involved in acting since she was eight, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I was offered a place. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. So many big names have come out of Conti and it has so many links to the industry.”

The young starlet from South Bents, who is a singer, dancer and actress, even clinched the Pride of South Tyneside’s Young Performer Awards last year.

She said: “I knew I wanted to go to drama school when I was 18 anyway, but I found this course and decided to apply for it.

“I have a couple of friends in acting who are there and they love it.

“I went down to London for an audition in February and they got back to me really quickly saying they would like me to go.”

Lauren, who won Sunderland’s Got Talent in 2009 and has played high-profile roles including Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz at the Customs House in South Shields and been a support act for pop singer Joe McElderry, said the only thing holding her back is funding.

The teenager, who lives with her parents, Muriel and Brian, said: “My mum and dad are really supportive of me doing this and trying hard to get sponsorship, but it is such a lot of money.

“If I was 18 I would probably be able to getting some funding, but there isn’t anything for a 16-year-old.”

Anyone who would be willing to sponsor Lauren to help her realise her dream, should contact the teenager on 07854862543.

Twitter: @Sunechoschools