Na­tional Youth theatre awaits

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By WIL­LIAM SMITH news@pe­ter­bor­oughto­ @peter­bor­oughet

AS­PIR­ING ac­tress Siob­han Kelly is pre­par­ing to fol­low in the foot­steps of some of the big screen’s most cel­e­brated stars such as Dame He­len Mir­ren and Daniel Craig.

For the 17-year-old stu­dent, who at­tends St John Fisher Catholic High School in Peter­bor­ough, has been ac­cepted by the pres­ti­gious Na­tional Youth Theatre, which has nur­tured tal­ents rang­ing from the cur­rent Dr Who, Matt Smith, to the Academy Award win­ning Colin Firth.

Siob­han scooped one of just 500 places out of a record 4,600 ap­pli­ca­tions af­ter im­press­ing tu­tors with her au­di­tion at The Junc­tion Theatre in Cam­bridge in Fe­bru­ary.

Her au­di­tion in­cluded a group work­shop be­fore she per­formed Char­lotte’s mono­logue, from a Brief His­tory of He­len of Troy, in front of judges.

She said: “When I found out I had got in, I couldn’t be­lieve it. I was so ex­cited as it’s an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity. It was the first time I’d ever ap­plied as I’ve been too ner­vous about it be­fore.”

Siob­han de­cided to ap­ply af­ter tak­ing part in the theatre’s Shake­speare School Fes­ti­val last sum­mer, and was en­cour­aged by her drama teacher Clare Gwenin.

She said: “I’ve had a pas­sion for drama and theatre ever since Mrs Gwenin started teach­ing me in Year Seven and she’s been my in­spi­ra­tion.”

Mrs Gwenin, head of ex­pres­sive arts at St John Fisher, be­lieves Siob­han has all the mak­ings of a fu­ture star.

She said: “I’ve taught Siob­han ever since Year Seven and in that time she’s de­vel­oped into such a tal­ented per­former. It’s just so shock­ing as she’s so quiet, mod­est and hum­ble, but when she gets on stage she just per­forms like you wouldn’t be­lieve.

“She’s one of the most tal­ented young ac­tresses I’ve ever met and I just know she’s go­ing to do so well. She’s so com­mit­ted and pas­sion­ate about drama, she lives and breathes it.”

Siob­han, who lives in East­field, Peter­bor­ough, en­joyed an­other once-in-alifetime op­por­tu­nity on Sun­day when she and nine other stu­dents from St John Fisher per­formed Shake­speare’s Twelfth Night at London’s Royal Court Theatre, as part of the Shake­speare School Fes­ti­val’s one-off char­ity gala.

Siob­han will now at­tend a two-week res­i­den­tial train­ing course at the Na­tional Youth Theatre’s main London stu­dio in Au­gust, and will get the chance to per­form in the com­pany’s fu­ture pro­duc­tions.

fu­ture star: Siob­han Kelly (17), from St John Fisher Catholic High School, has gained a place at the Na­tional Youth Theatre.

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