Lamont Casting Agency

Epstein Youth Theatre Success

Congratulations to Georgia Taft who successfully auditioned for the new Epstein Youth Theatre.

The programme, which starts in September, is aimed at young people from across Merseyside aged 14-19. Georgia was one of 25 talented teenagers chosen and will be taking part in weekly workshops to develop strong, confident and versatile young performers.

Led by experienced theatre technicians all the hard work will lead to two performances each year, where all the stars of tomorrow will step out on to the Epstein Theatre stage.

Theatre manager, Rebekah Pichilingi, said: “We all know that Liverpool is full to the brim of young talent, and our new Youth Theatre will welcome those individuals who wish to learn the craft of theatre. It will give them first-hand stage experience from leading theatre practitioners who will help develop crucial skills for young people interested in a career in the theatre, or just looking to have some fun and learn new skills. Everyone at The Epstein Theatre is looking forward to this exciting new venture and we cannot wait to get started!”

Georgia has been a pupil at Lamont Drama for several years and continues to excel. Said Mrs Lamont, “Georgia is a very natural and charismatic performer and takes direction extremely well. This is a new opportunity for her to hone her skills still further. Well done, Georgia.”

Epstein Theatre

Successful Television Workshops

Members of the Casting Agency and Drama School enjoyed a series of television workshops recently at its Hightown studio.

Michael Jackson from Beverley Keogh Casting Ltd. put the young people through their paces.

Beverley Keogh Casting Ltd is one of the UK’s most accomplished casting houses with a proven history of excellence within the TV & Film industry. The agency has been responsible for many BAFTA award winning / nominated dramas and British Arrows BTA commercials.

Lamont Principal Diane Lamont said: “They were filmed doing script work and then watched their performances later. It was such a useful and enjoyable day and a great way to learn and improve. As it proved so successful, we are hoping to hold some more workshops in the not-so-distant future. My special thanks go to Michael for giving us the benefit of his considerable experience.”

2017 NYT Success

Lamont Drama school is celebrating a hat-trick of success with this year’s National Youth Theatre’s annual intake.

Congratulations to 14-year-old Joe Conroy from Formby, 15-year-old Millie McLoughlin from Lydiate and 15-year-old Hannah Aspinall from St Helens who all successfully auditioned for the prestigious NYT this year and will be attending its two—week residential course in London this summer.

The three talented teenagers follow in the footsteps of other recent successes: – Kathryn McEvilly, Georgia Taft, Lucia Shakeshaft Rory Rushton, Tom Lyon, Dan Anderson, Christie Clark, Steven Daley, Andrew Fraser, Caitlin Ogden, Joe Roberts, Lauren Ogden, Tim Baker, Imogen Free, Simon Lennon and Nick Gill.

In recent years, the school has had over 40 pupils accepted by the NYT.
Diane Lamont, said: “It is very rewarding watching my senior pupils achieving so much success, especially in such a competitive arena as the National Youth Theatre. I have no doubt that the experience pupils gain through their festival, LAMDA exams and television work, puts them in a very strong position when auditioning for the NYT. You must be 13 to audition and I already have lots of that age group wanting to put themselves forward. I’m confident we will get further acceptances in the future because they are all a very talented bunch.”

Many previous NYT members have gone on to achieve great success in stage, TV and film including Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig, Matt Smith, Gina McKee, Andrew Lincoln, Daniel Day-Lewis, Idris Elba, Colin Firth Rosamund Pike and Kate Winslet

Success at Sefton!

Lamont pupils had a very successful and enjoyable day at this year’s Sefton Festival held at Southport College on March 12, 2017.

Junior Drama Challenge Winners Jasmine, Ellie & Evie

Junior Drama Challenge winners Jasmine, Ellie & Evie

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.

Intermediate Duologue winners Harry & Grace

Intermediate Duologue winners Harry & Grace

“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.

Junior Duologue runners-up Evie & Verity Clark

Junior Duologue runners-up Evie & Verity

“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.”

Junior Duologue winners Jasmine McElhinney & Hatty Hobbs

Junior Duologue winners Jasmine & Hatty

 

Lamont Drama’s 2017 Sefton Festival results

Verse Speaking

Yr 3 & 4

1st          Lori-Jo Quinney

2nd        Evie Clark

Yr 5

1st          Jessica Harrison

2nd        Orlando Campolucci-Bordi

3rd         Joseph Bigley

Yr 6 & 7

1st          Annabel Harrison

2nd        Hatty Hobbs

3rd         Ellie Edwards

Yr 10-12

1st          Natasha Cummins

2nd        Amelia Rosin

3rd         Josh Reais

Prose Reading

Yr 3-5

1st          Evie Clark

2nd        Verity Clark

Yr 6-8

1st          Oliver Bigley

2nd        Jasmine McElhinney

3rd         Ellie Edwards

Yr 9-11

1st          Francesca Medlicott

2nd        Kathryn McEvilly

Solo Act

Yr 3 & 4

1st          Lori-Jo Quinney

2nd        Verity Clark

3rd         Amelie Mowatt

Yr 5

1st          Jessica Harrison

3rd         Orlando Campolucci-Bordi

Yr 6

1st          Jasmine McElhinney

2nd        Hatty Hobbs

Yr 7

1st          Ellie Edwards

Yr 10

1st          Georgia Taft

2nd        Josh Reais and Amelia Rosin

3rd         Lucas Frost

Yr 11 & 12

1st          Kathryn McEvilly

2nd        Natasha Cummins

Duologue/group acting

Junior

1st          Hatty Hobbs/Jasmine McElhinney

2nd        Evie & Verity Clark

3rd         Joseph Bigley/Orlando Campolucci-Bordi

Intermediate

1st          Grace & Harry Wingate

2nd        Lydia Russell/Oliver Bigley

Senior

1st          Amelia Rosin/Francesca Medlicott/Charlotte Russell/Georgia Taft/Josh Reais

2nd        Kathryn & Elizabeth McEvilly

2017 Trophy Winners & adjudicators - well done to all!

2017 Trophy Winners & adjudicators – well done to all!

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

 

 

 

‘Triple Threat’ 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.

Praise for Kathryn McEvilly

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.”

Mathematics and dramatics prove a winner!

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.

Rory Rushton

Rory Rushton

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.”

 

 

 

Kathryn’s Monologue Magic

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.

 

Praise for Kathryn McEvilly

Success for Kathryn McEvilly

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.”

Lovely Erin Hits Another High Note!

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 Clarke v 3

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!

Multi-talented Chans

Congratulations to 11-year-old Isabel Chan who was awarded her school’s Performing Arts Award.

 

Isabel Chan 2

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. 

 

 

Success for Simon!

Things are going from strength to strength for former pupil Simon Lennon. 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!