Schol­ar­ship helps bud­ding per­former on way to star­dom

18-year-old wins place at per­form­ing arts school

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - by Alex Ballinger alexander.ballinger@trin­i­tymir­

AN 18-year-old per­form­ing arts prodigy from Ruis­lip is be­ing helped to achieve his dreams thanks to a £37,000 schol­ar­ship to at­tend a worl­drenowned school.

Do­minic Pot­ter started singing when he was around eight and how he first per­formed in front of a huge crowd at his grand­fa­ther’s fu­neral.

After a rig­or­ous au­di­tion process Do­minic has been ac­cepted into the pres­ti­gious Ur­dang Academy in Is­ling­ton and is due to start in Septem­ber thanks to gen­er­ous fund­ing from the An­drew Lloyd Web­ber Foun­da­tion.

Do­minic, who lives in Cedar Av­enue, had to au­di­tion for the school on Sun­day May 29 and then au­di­tioned again on Wed­nes­day June 8 for the foun­da­tion.

The for­mer Bish­op­shalt School stu­dent, said: “I’m re­ally ex­cited.

“My gran is 79 and she still had a part-time job to pay for ev­ery­thing. My mum has been a sin­gle mum for a long time. She finds it a real strug­gle.

“She had to work two jobs to pay for ev­ery­thing.

“I want to be able to get three years of amaz­ing train­ing and make them proud and pay them back.”

Do­minic first started singing in year four at Bourne Pri­mary School and said he was in­spired by his mu­sic teacher.

He said: “That’s how my mum fig­ured out I had a good voice. I didn’t no­tice be­cause it was just my voice.”

After play­ing a role in Oliver at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, around aged 10, Do­minic signed with a tal­ent agency and played a part in the 2006 hor­ror film Dark Cor­ners – de­spite be­ing too young to ac­tu­ally see it on its re­lease.

He then went on to shoot a tele­vi­sion ad­vert which saw him stay in a five-star ho­tel in Prague for a week.

Do­minic, who is cur­rently work­ing in Lush cos­met­ics shop in cen­tral Lon­don, added: “It’s an­noy­ing be­cause I was too young to en­joy it.

“It was a great ex­pe­ri­ence though.”

After study­ing for a year at Mil­len­nium Per­form­ing Arts in Green­wich, he de­cided to ap­ply to Ur­dang after his cur­rent school re­ceived a bad Of­sted re­port.

At the au­di­tion at Ur­dang in the Old Fins­bury Town Hall, Do­minic im­pressed so much he was given the op­por­tu­nity to per­form in front of the school’s prin­ci­pal, Stephanie Pope.

More than 2,000 peo­ple ap­plied to start in Ur­dang and the schol­ar­ship is only open to the top five stu­dents or ap­pli­cants.

Ur­dang has a rich his­tory of train­ing per­form­ers who go on to star in West End shows, in­clud­ing Matt Henry who grad­u­ated in 2003 and played Simba in The Lion King.

Do­minic’s mum, Pauline Hutcheson, said: “I’m com­pleted shocked. I’m re­ally sur­prised ac­tu­ally.

“He’s wanted to au­di­tion for quite a while and he never thought he was good enough.”

The 52-year-old added: “To get this schol­ar­ship means a lot.

“He wanted to get into the school and he worked re­ally hard for it.”

Do­minic first per­formed in front of a large crowd around three years ago at his grand­fa­ther’s fu­neral.

He said: “My gran talks of how proud of me he would have been.

“That’s why it’s such a big thing for her.

“The fu­neral was the first time I got up to sing in front of a big au­di­ence.”

He is cur­rently look­ing for a place to live be­fore he starts the three year course at Ur­dang in Septem­ber.

“He’s wanted to au­di­tion for quite a while and he never thought he was good enough”

n STEP­PING ONTO THE STAGE: Do­minic Pot­ter with mum Pauline, right, and his gran – he first per­formed in front of a large au­di­ence at his grandad’s fu­neral

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