Lamont pupils had a very successful and enjoyable day at this year’s Sefton Festival held at Southport College on March 12, 2017.
Principal Diane Lamont, said: “I was delighted and extremely proud of my pupils. They all showed great confidence and presented themselves well at all times.
“I have been teaching a long time but suffice to say that this set – from the youngest to the oldest – are an extremely talented bunch! Experienced adjudicators Anita Gilbert and Andrew Keir both spoke of the extremely high standard and it was lovely to see everyone with their “drama” friends enjoying the day and each other’s performances.
“I would also like to say a big thank you to all the parents for their efforts with the costumes – FANTASTIC! Well done to all.”
Lamont Drama’s 2017 Sefton Festival results
Yr 3 & 4
1st Lori-Jo Quinney
2nd Evie Clark
1st Jessica Harrison
2nd Orlando Campolucci-Bordi
3rd Joseph Bigley
Yr 6 & 7
1st Annabel Harrison
2nd Hatty Hobbs
3rd Ellie Edwards
1st Natasha Cummins
2nd Amelia Rosin
3rd Josh Reais
1st Evie Clark
2nd Verity Clark
1st Oliver Bigley
2nd Jasmine McElhinney
3rd Ellie Edwards
1st Francesca Medlicott
2nd Kathryn McEvilly
Yr 3 & 4
1st Lori-Jo Quinney
2nd Verity Clark
3rd Amelie Mowatt
1st Jessica Harrison
3rd Orlando Campolucci-Bordi
1st Jasmine McElhinney
2nd Hatty Hobbs
1st Ellie Edwards
1st Georgia Taft
2nd Josh Reais and Amelia Rosin
3rd Lucas Frost
Yr 11 & 12
1st Kathryn McEvilly
2nd Natasha Cummins
1st Hatty Hobbs/Jasmine McElhinney
2nd Evie & Verity Clark
3rd Joseph Bigley/Orlando Campolucci-Bordi
1st Grace & Harry Wingate
2nd Lydia Russell/Oliver Bigley
1st Amelia Rosin/Francesca Medlicott/Charlotte Russell/Georgia Taft/Josh Reais
2nd Kathryn & Elizabeth McEvilly
Special Trophy winners
Most Promising Junior: Beth Edwards/Jemima Brooks
Highest mark for Junior Verse: Lori-Jo Quinney/Jessica Harrison/Annabel Harrison
Highest mark for Senior Verse: Natasha Cummins
Best Actor: Georgia Taft
Junior Challenge Trophy: Evie Clark/Ellie Edwards/Jasmine McElhinney
Senior Challenge Trophy: Amelia Rosin/Kathryn McEvilly
Kathryn McEvilly has been a pupil at Lamont Drama School since she was very small. Everyone at Lamont Drama knows of Kathryn’s fantastic talents as an actress, but Kathryn is what is known in the business as a ‘triple threat’. She is not only a fabulous actress but she is also an extremely talented dancer and singer – a complete all-rounder.
Last summer, Kathryn successfully auditioned for the National Youth Theatre and attended the NYT’s residential London course in the summer. This year, she decided to challenge herself further by auditioning for the prestigious Youth Music Theatre.
Here’s how she got on…
“I auditioned for Youth Music Theatre at the Lowry in Manchester at the beginning of February. YMT is a national company that produce up to eight fantastic new pieces of musical theatre for young people during summer. Their two-three week long residential courses are intense insights into what the industry is all about; working long days in locations across the UK.
The audition took the form of a three-hour workshop, divided equally between singing, dancing and acting. There was nothing to prepare beforehand so it was all about giving everything 100% and having fun! It was such an encouraging and welcoming atmosphere and I really took a lot from it. For each of the three disciplines we had a short, yet energetic warm-up – before starting by learning a short-choreographed routine. This was followed by an improvised movement exercise, so those that may not be as technical could show off their movement ability. The singing workshop took a similar format, whereby the instructor taught us a song which we later performed in small groups; along with a short snippet of our favourite ‘shower song’ which we sung by ourselves. The acting section comprised of several short improvised and devised scenes which we worked on and performed to the group either in twos or fours.
At the end of the audition we gathered in a large circle and spoke briefly about how we felt the morning had gone and what would happen next. For anyone who isn’t chosen that year, either for a production or on the reserve list, YMT offer skills courses over the summer as an alternative. These are shorter, but still very intense courses in which you can also receive a qualification by the end. As we were only the second or third week of auditions, our directors told us to expect results by the middle of March at the earliest. Despite this, I was overwhelmed to receive an email within a couple of days offering me an early place on one of the productions!
Another amazing thing YMT do, is that they place every individual into a production that they think best suits them. If they realise that a certain individual is particularly creative, they may place them in a show where the script has not been written and the performers have to do that themselves. Likewise, if your strength is dancing they do their best to place you in a more movement-based production – whilst they endeavour to show off the stronger singers in more musical shows etc. I am now extremely excited for summer and I look forward to finding out which production I have been selected for in the coming weeks. I would most definitely recommend auditioning for the YMT; the workshop, more than anything, is a really enjoyable experience and you are immediately surrounded by a supportive team who want to and will get the best out of you.”
Being a National Youth Theatre member and ambassador and having gained Distinction in Grade 8 LAMDA exam had unexpected benefits for 17-year-old Rory Rushton.
He not only received an offer to study Accountancy & Finance at Durham University but was tempted with a £2000 a year Arts Scholarship if he chose to study at the prestigious university.
Said Rory, “Durham does not actually have a Performing Arts degree but they do have a thriving theatre scene. Their Theatre Development Co-coordinator Kate Barton personally wrote to me to inform me about their Arts Scholarships.”
She said: “At Durham we flag up high performance students who demonstrate talent in theatre performance and who would greatly enhance what is already a very strong and competitive theatrical scene in Durham.”
“Clearly it was very flattering to be singled out”, said Rory. “I feel that both my NYT experiences and my LAMDA qualifications were major reasons for this. However, after careful consideration I reluctantly wrote back to decline their offer as I was also offered an Unconditional Offer from Lancaster University which is linked to a fantastic Scholarship Scheme with EY. Ultimately, I felt this would enhance my finance career ambitions more. However, I did say to Kate that I would spread the word to other talented Lamont pupils who may be considering Durham University in the future.”
Rory, who is in his final year studying Mathematics, Economics and IT ‘A’ levels at Merchant Taylors’ School, added: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my drama over the years – especially the festivals – but I never saw myself becoming a professional actor. Studying for my LAMDA exams and successfully auditioning for the National Youth Theatre boosted my confidence and I believe it gave me a real edge in my university applications. My unconditional offer from Lancaster was based on my past academic performance, predicated grades and school references but they also said they were looking for ‘outstanding potential based on applicants’ personal statements’. I guess my unusual combination of mathematics PLUS dramatics caught their eye!”
“I now have my place at Lancaster guaranteed which takes the pressure off as I head for my final exams in June and I’m looking forward to starting my degree in October.”
Rory was part of NYT’s 2015 intake, along with fellow Lamont pupils Tom Lyon and Dan Anderson. The following year in 2016, Lamont had another hat-trick of successful NYT intakes. They were Kathryn McEvilly, Georgia Taft and Lucia Shakeshaft.
In recent years, the school has had over 35 pupils accepted by the NYT.
Diane Lamont, said: “It is always very rewarding watching my senior pupils achieving success, especially in such a competitive arena as the National Youth Theatre. Rory’s experience has confirmed what I already knew that LAMDA exams and NYT are great ways of enhancing pupils’ CVs and personal statements and helps them stand out from the crowd. I’m proud of them all.”
Congratulations to Kathryn McEvilly who was awarded runner-up in the Youth Section of the prestigious MonologueSlam regional final held at the Birmingham Rep Theatre.
As expected from an event giving the best of British talent the opportunity to compete in front of an audience of industry professionals, the standard was extremely high. The judging panel was a stellar line up including Lee Mason (Commissioning Executive for Channel 4), Grainee O’Boyle (Producer, BBC Doctors), Alison Solomon (Casting Director), Robert Wilkinson (Agent, Red Management), and Sarah Hughes (Casting Director).
In the Youth section, Billy Vale retained his title from the last Birmingham show and Kathryn, performing Ballerina Battles by Steven Daley (another former pupil of Lamont Drama), came in runner up and received a special mention from the judges.
Says Kathryn, “I successfully auditioned to compete in the youth category, which is an intense one minute round. The night of the Slam itself was very exciting. All of the staff and competitors were so encouraging and supportive of one another. I was extremely lucky to be awarded runner-up as the talent was unbelievable! It was a great experience to perform in front of such an impressive panel of judges and the evening overall was thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining. I can’t wait to audition for another Slam very soon!”
Despite her many successes, Kathryn is always working hard to improve. As a National Youth Theatre member, she recently took part in the NYT’s Acting for Screen Course, where the Directors praised her for her great natural ability and emotional responses.
Kathryn says the experience took her out of her comfort zone, “At first, I wasn’t that keen watching myself back on camera but I soon got over that and had an amazing experience. As part of the course, I spent a day out in York making my own short film. I enjoyed the whole creative process and quickly realised that I loved being behind the camera – as well as in front. I’ve definitely become more comfortable on camera and each day we all got better and better.”
Erin Clarke is one pupil who continually leapfrogs from one success to another. Her boundless energy, hard work and many talents are the key to all her achievements and now she has one more that she can be proud of.
Erin has been chosen to perform at this year’s prestigious Music for Youth Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in November.
Erin will join 3000 of the UK’s brightest young musicians for three nights of extraordinary talent, magnificent music and inspiring performances. The Independent describes the event as “unearthing future stars of the music world”
What an exciting venture to take part in – well done Erin!
Congratulations to 11-year-old Isabel Chan who was awarded her school’s Performing Arts Award.
Talented Isabel, who has just sat her Grade 4 LAMDA exam, is following in the footsteps of equally talented family members Alice, Lydia and Conrad. All of Isabel’s siblings excelled in their LAMDA examinations and have gone on to greater things since leaving Lamont Drama School.
Alice is in her 4th year of a European Law degree at Queen Mary University London. She has just come back from her Erasmus year in Copenhagen and is now undertaking a Summer Fast Track Internship with the Home Office. Lydia studied Maths, Chemistry and Biology at A level and is now studying dentistry. Sixteen-year-old Conrad has just finished GCSEs and is spending time in Hong Kong teaching English to children.
A truly talented family. Best wishes to you all.
Things are going from strength to strength for former pupil Simon Lennon.
Simon, who is a youth representative on the National Youth Theatre Council, has just finished filming the second series of ‘Our Girl’, a BBC ONE drama about a female medic within the British Army.
Simon said, “We shot the series in South Africa and Manchester for most of this year and I had a lot of fun.”
Now back in London, Simon also recently appeared in a show at the Almeida Theatre, called ‘Our Town’ by Thornton Wilder.
Said Simon, “It was a beautiful play that I was really proud to be a part of. I’m also still very involved with the NYT. I’m working for them constantly on their courses, auditions and masterclasses – and just love the organisation. I was a member of the NYT REP Company 2013 and that has helped push me into a career in acting. I’m an avid writer and am hoping to have some of my work produced in the next year or so.
“I’m also very excited about a company that I co-founded, and now co-run – a new writing company called Itch + Scratch. We work to develop short plays/scenes and hold nights of new writing that not only showcase incredible work, but gives the audience an amazing night out. We are a year old – but have already held four shows and are current preparing for our fifth.”
Said Mrs Lamont, “I’m really not surprised by Simon’s success. He was such a hard worker and one of the most natural actors I have had the privilege to teach. Always so much insight and understanding in every part he played.”
Keep in touch, Simon!
Oliver Bigley landed a peach of a role in Merchant Taylors School’s latest production.
Oliver, who has been a pupil at Lamont Drama since he was 5, was selected to play Aunt Sponge in ‘James and the Giant Peach’.
Renowned for producing very high calibre productions, Oliver had to beat off stiff opposition for the plum role!
He said: “I think my experience of entering drama festivals with Lamont really helped me at the auditions. I’m used to performing verse and prose pieces as well as solo acting and duologues so I felt confident about reading the script at the auditions. I was absolutely euphoric when I heard I’d been cast as Aunt Sponge. I’ve loved every bit of the production – from the numerous rehearsals, to the dress rehearsal and finally the show itself. I had a ball!”
Said Mrs. Lamont, “Oliver and his younger brother Joseph have both enjoyed a great deal of success at drama festivals around the North-west and in their LAMDA examinations. They work hard and are both talented performers. Oliver is able to tackle comedy, like Aunt Sponge, with great timing and intelligence, but he is equally good at performing more serious pieces and has produced some very touching work over the years. It is very rewarding to teach such a receptive pupil.”
Oliver added, “Working on new and different pieces is what I like best and I’ve been lucky to be given a big variety of roles at Lamont. Aunt Sponge was different again, not least because I had to wear a dress!”.
Well done, Oliver!
Citv fans will be seeing a lot of two Lamont girls on the channel over the summer. Eleven-year-old Isobel Tinsley and 10-year-old Catarina Cardeira are two of the featured children in Citv’s July Promotion.
To get the parts, the girls had to send a selfie video of themselves. Their self-promotion clearly worked because the girls were then chosen for their roles in the on-screen Summer Promotion.
After filming, Isobel, said: “Filming on location for CITV was brilliant. It was really interesting to see the different filming techniques used for fast action! I was roller skating and also zooming down a zip wire – we all had LOTS of fun! I’m so pleased Mrs. Lamont put me forward for the audition selfie video.”
BBC Radio Producer, Celia de Wolff, has cast three Lamont pupils in her latest production.
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante is being dramatised for Radio by Timberlake Wertenbaker. It is produced for the BBC by Pier Productions, based in Brighton.
Eleven-year-old Grace Wingate (centre) is playing the part of a young Lila and 12-year-old Elizabeth McEvilly (right) plays a young Lena. Nine-year-old Orlando Campolucci-Bordie (left) has also been cast to play a tough boy from a mafia family.
Recording of the BBC drama took place in Brighton.
Said Mrs Lamont: “This is a very exciting opportunity for Grace, Elizabeth and Orlando. They spent a week in Brighton rehearsing and then recording.
“Pier Productions is a major supplier of award-winning factual and drama productions for BBC Radio. It is known for distinctive programming like Radio 4’s ten hour dramatisation of War and Peace, starring John Hurt. The three of them thoroughly enjoyed the experience, learnt a lot and, of course, gave some brilliant performances.”