Lamont Casting Agency

Our Simon back on TV!

 

 

Former Lamont Drama pupil and Lamont Drama Assistant Teacher Simon Lennon returns to our screens this week in the hit BBC TV series ‘Our Girl’.

 

Simon has played the part of Private Harry ‘Brains’ Wiggerty since it first hit our screens as a pilot in 2013. In 2014, it returned as a series with Michelle Keegan in the lead role. Written by award-winning writer Tony Grounds, ‘Our Girl’ returns for its fourth series with six new episodes in March 2020.

Outside of his own work on programmes like Grantchester and The Dark Room, Simon is a leading light in the National Youth Theatre and now produces and directs for the prestigious organisation.

 

Simon Lennon stars as ‘Brains’

 

100% Distinctions for Lamont LAMDA pupils!

 

LAMDA RESULTS FEBRUARY 2020

The latest results are in and all pupils who took their exam in February at our own centre achieved Distinction!

 

 

 

 

Speaking of Verse and Prose

Entry

Gadowl Oyedeji

Grade 1

Aakash Muraleetharan

Grade 3

Josh Sikdar, Akshaara Muraleetharan

Grade 5

Vaishali Ilanko, Jemima Brooks, Verity Clark

Grade 6

Evie Clark

Grade 7

Varshaa Premakantha, Catarina Cardeira

Congratulations to you all!

Sefton Festival Goes Ahead!

Sefton Festival went ahead and proved a great success! LAMDA adjudicator Louise Blackwell praised the high standards of the festival before presenting the festival’s Challenge Trophies to Martha Last (Junior) and Jasmine McElhinney. They achieved the highest winners’ marks across verse speaking, prose reading and solo acting.

Compertitors with Martha Last – Junior Challenge Trophy winner!

 

 

Competitors with Jasmine McElhinney – Senior Challenge Trophy winner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Said Mrs Lamont:” All pupils performed brilliantly at Sefton festival. It’s a great venue offering fantastic stage facilities to show off their many talents. A special mention for Martha and Jasmine who each excelled across the three disciplines of verse speaking, prose reading and solo acting”.

Solo acting – Year 3 & 4

The festival was made even more special for performers as the 2020 Wirral Festival (which should have been held the following weekend) had to be cancelled due to the Coronavirus.

Solo acting – Years 5 & 6

The results are as follows:-

Verse Speaking

Year 1-3

1st Martha Last  2nd  Joseph Edwards

Year 4

1st Grace Hayes  2nd  Lois Cringle  3rd  Esme Goatcher and Freddie Thomason

Year 5/6

1st  Verity Clark  2nd  Olivia Hall 3rd Pip Charnley and Serafina Campolucci-Bordi

Year 7-9

1st Jasmine McElhinney  2nd Orlando Campolucci-Bordi  3rd  Jemima Brooks and Evie Clark

Prose Reading

Year 6 and Under

1st  Martha Last  2nd Verity Clark  3rd  Grace Hayes

Year 7-9

1st  Evie Clark  2nd  Orlando Campolucci-Bordi  3rd Jasmine McElhinney

Solo Acting

Year 3/4

1st Martha Last  2nd  Freddie Thomason  3rd  Lois Cringle

Year 5/6

1st  Verity Clark  2nd  Serafina Campolucci-Bordi  3rd  Olivia Hall

Year 7-9

1st  Jasmine McElhinney  2nd  Orlando Campolucci-Bordi  3rd  Jemima Brooks and Evie Clark

 Duologues

Year 6 and Under

1st  Freddie Thomason and Martha Last

Year 7-9

1st  Evie and Verity Clark  2nd  Serafina and Orlando Campolucci-Bordi

Junior duologues winners Freddie and Martha!

Wow! Rave Reviews for Isla Gie as first-ever UK Cindy Lou Who

Eight-year-old Isla’s success story continues as she tours the country as the first-ever UK Cindy Lou Who in Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical.

Isla has completed her run in London and Edinburgh and is now in Birmingham performing to standing ovations.

The incredible cast led by the amazing Edward Baker-Duly as The Grinch, the show and Isla’s role in it have been a huge hit with audiences and the theatre critics who are saying :-

“Equally impressive – some might say more so because of her age – is one of four rotating Cindy Lous (Isla Gie) whose pint-sized demeanour and powerhouse of a performance is straight out of the Shirley Temple school of acting. A pivotal role which she nails with aplomb” (Review Sphere).

“Now let it be said, quite often child-performers are something to dread. Then one comes along with exceptional ability. Young rising start Isla Gie captures the pathos of the narrative and holds her vocals splendidly” (The Reviews Hub).

“The challenging role of Cindy Lou pulled off by Isla Gie with aplomb” (Edinburgh Guide).

“Isla Gie, the 8-year-old who played little Cindy Lou was absolutely amazing! (Edinburgh Tourist).

“Performance wise the star of the show must go to young Isla Gie in the role of Cindy Lou Who for a girl so young to have such a big voice, stage presence and performance ability is stunning and she is joy to watch on stage” (Scots Arts).

Special mention should be made of Isla Gie. The Grinch in me hates to use the word ‘adorable,’ but after some consideration, I really can’t think of a more appropriate one, and Gie comes dangerously close to walking off with the entire show” (Bouquets and Brickbats).

However, for me, star performer of the night was Isla Gie as Cindy Lou Who. Having taken roles in Les Miserables and this production, and carrying them off with the maturity and talent she did this evening – bearing in mind she isn’t even ten years old yet – is simply mind blowing. Mark my words; Gie will be a huge star in years to come because her performance this evening was simply world class” (Black Country Radio).

“Gie lit up the auditorium with her natural stage presence and beautiful charm. She didn’t just melt the Grinch’s heart but she melted the hearts of the Birmingham audience with one of the biggest cheers of the night for her performance of Santa for a Day” (Theatretastic).

The scene stealing star performer is the amazing Isla Gie as Cyndy Lou, a little whirlwind who steals the heart of the audience in her interactions with The Grinch. She is as cutesy and sugar sweet as the role requires and just nails it”(Fashion Mommy’s Blog).

There are four young girls playing Cindy Lou Who – on press night we witnessed the amazing talents of Isla Gie – not just a star in the making but one that has arrived. At just nine years old she has already toured the UK in Les Miserables and now this, where the entire audience took her heartstring tugging performance into their hearts” (Bromsgrove Standard).

The runaway star of the night, however, was little Isla Gie in the role of adorable Cindy Lou Who. Without missing a beat, her level of exceptional performance skill and maturity far exceeded her years and she absolutely owned the stage throughout, deservedly receiving the biggest reception of the night from the audience” (Suzie Speaks.com)

My favourite Who character was the adorable Cindy Lou Who, played by the extremely talented young Isla Gie, I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t hear her name a lot in the future. She is an incredible talent for someone so young and she really stole the show when she sang, especially the song she sang with the Grinch in her house. For a young child to remember all those lines, choreography and perform in such a way that the audience believes that she is Cindy Lou Who, then you know what an incredible talent she is” (Whatsgoodtodo.com).

The Grinch has some great lines and asides, my favourite comes as Cincy Lou Who, the tiny tot who finds him pretending to be Santa, melts his icy heart just a fraction, holds his hand and starts to sing Santa For A Day leaving the Grinch desperately fighting off sentimentality and despairing “Oh no, it’s a ballad”. A real musical theatre joke.  Cindy Lou, incidentally, is played by one of four youngsters with eight-year-old Isla Gie in the role on Press night, and quite brilliant she was too. A voice clear as a bell, hitting every note with ease and showing all the pathos and emotion the role demands. A young lady and a name to look out for” (Behind the Arras.com).

The amazing cast really managed to bring children’s book characters to life for this show but for as wonderful as the Grinch was, it was last night’s Cindy Lou (Isla Gie) who was the absolute star of the evening. What an unforgettable performance from one so young! I’m pretty sure that one day I will point to her and say “I saw her acting as a child, she was magnificent”. The character of Cindy Lou is played by a different child each night, last night Isla reduced me to tears when she was singing to the Grinch, and I wasn’t alone, the man in front of me was crying too” (Brumhour).

WELL DONE ISLA and GOOD LUCK for your 4-week run at the LOWRY, SALFORD QUAYS, MANCHESTER!

Isla will appear at the Lowry’s PRESS GALA NIGHT on December 12th. Exciting!!!!!! Keep enjoying your Cindy Lou Who adventure, Isla! Booyah!

Isla Gie is Cindy Lou at the London opening of the UK Tour!

Congratulations to 8-year-old Isla Gie who successfully opened and closed the London run of the first-ever UK Tour of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Isla and the cast opening in London – Isla is centre stage next to the The Grinch played by the brilliantly funny Edward Baker-Duly

At a special reception at the New Wimbledon Theatre in London, Isla had the honour of meeting esteemed American playwright Timothy Mason who wrote the book and lyrics for the original Broadway musical, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! In 2006.

Isla, sharing the stage with the brilliant Edward Baker-Duly as The Grinch, was delighted to receive standing ovations from the sold-out final night in London.

The Whos and the Grinch become friends and Isla receives an extra special hug from the Grinch himself inside the Christmas wreath!

Featuring the hit songs “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas”, Max the Dog narrates the show, as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is ‘two sizes too small’, decides to steal Christmas away from the holiday loving Whos.

Isla is excited to perform with TV and film star Gregor Fisher in Edinburgh

Magnificent sets designed by John Lee Beatty and costumes designed by Robert Morgan are inspired by Dr. Seuss’ original illustrations and help to transport audiences to the whimsical world of Whoville, and to conjure the true meaning of Christmas. The production is based on the show originally created by Tony Award winning director, Jack O’Brien and choreographer John DeLuca. The show broke box office records for two consecutive years on Broadway. Since then, more than 2 million people across America have been thrilled by this heart-warming musical.

Says Mrs Lamont: “I was lucky enough to attend the grand opening of the UK Tour at the New Wimbledon Theatre. It was simply sensational. The cast is superb, and Isla sparkled as the first-ever UK Cindy Lou”.

Isla said: “It was really good fun getting to know the choreography and the cast in the three weeks of rehearsals in London and now that the shows have started it’s even better. I feel very lucky to be playing Cindy Lou. It’s such a colourful, happy show with lots of big dance numbers. My favourite moment is singing ‘Santa for a Day’ to the Grinch because that helps him grow a bigger heart.”

Griff Rhys Jones joins the show for Cardiff and for the main Christmas run in Salford.

The show visits Cardiff, Edinburgh and Birmingham in November and December, ahead of a its 4-week Christmas season at The Lowry in Salford starting on Tuesday 10th  December 2019. Isla is performing in Edinburgh, Birmingham and Salford. She has been given the honour of  performing on Press Night at the Lowry. She is also very excited to be performing in shows on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

Go Isla and all the cast for an enjoyable and successful UK Tour!

 

Tori Receives Sensational Reviews!

Former assistant teacher at Lamont Drama Tori Hargreaves is lighting up the professional stage once more in Soho Cinders, a deliciously naughty musical update of the Cinderella story.

The gorgeous Tori Hargreaves

The musical is based around impoverished student Robbie who becomes romantically involved with engaged London Mayoral candidate James Prince. James and Robbie’s worlds collide, forcing them to fight for their own fairy-tale ending. Celebrating London’s most colourful district and mixing politics, sex-scandals and true love, Soho Cinders has an infectious score that you’ll be humming long past the stroke of midnight! The music is by George Stiles and lyrics by Anthony Drewe.

Tori, who was a pupil at Lamont Drama before being made an assistant teacher, plays Marilyn Platt, James Prince’s fiancée. She has received rave reviews for her performances:-

“The most emotionally affecting scenes are between well-meaning but closeted politician James Prince, played by Lewis Asquith and his fiancée played by Tori Hargreaves. Hargreaves is totally credible as the ‘university girlfriend become political asset’ and her duet ‘Remember Us’ was beautifully done. Hargreaves duet with Millie O’Connell was a wonderfully poignant moment and both women were simply terrific.”

“The serene and patient fiancée (Tori Hargreaves) displays the stoic resolve, dignity and good grace of a woman wronged by her lover’s infidelity and their songs together possess real pathos”.

“Sterling support from Lewis Asquith as James and Tori Hargreaves as his long-suffering fiancée”.

“Tori Hargreaves constantly impresses”.

“Also of note is the acting chops of Tori Hargreaves….she is heartbreaking and powerful”.

“Tori Hargreaves was the stand-out performance for me”.

Stiles and Drewe’s Soho Cinders began its run in October at Charing Cross Theatre in London and continues until 21st December.

Says Mrs Lamont:  I recently caught up with Tori and her mum Debbie in London. It’s always a delight to see her doing so well. She is, and always was, a natural comedienne with brilliant timing. She is the same bubbly and fun Tori as she was when she joined the school as a seven-year-old and it’s a joy to see her living her dream.”

 

Tori with the cast of Soho Cinders

Super Southport Festival!

We had a super couple of days at Southport Festival of Music and Drama.  So proud of you all for your outstanding performances.

Eight-year-old Grace Hayes took 1st place with her Prose Reading

Super work from 12-year-old Jemima Brooks.

Jasmine McElhinney (13) took 1st place for her Verse Speaking and 3rd third place for Prose Reading. She was also awarded 3rd place for her duologue with partner 14-year-old Ellie Edwards. Go girls!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awesome acting from Zara (8) and Esme (8).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freddie scored top marks in Solo acting and Verse Speaking.

Freddie and Emily head for Neverland!

Super talented Freddie Thomason (8) and Emily Rimmer (13) are riding on a crest of a wave after the pair were cast as ‘Lost Boys’ in the Liverpool Empire’s Peter Pan.

The spectacular panto, starring Tony Maudsley, John Evans and Asa Elliott, promises a swashbuckling family adventure that you’ll never forget! Its packed full of evil pirates, lost boys, a very hungry crocodile and the meanest man in Neverland, Captain Hook. With jaw-dropping flying and special effects, barrel-loads of laughter and a ship-full of magic and fairy dust there’s plenty of festive fun for everyone. It runs from Saturday, December 7 until Sunday, December 29.

13-year-old Emily

 

8-year-old Freddie

Says Mrs Lamont: ” I’m very excited for Emily and Freddie as I know they will have a great time in panto. Emily and Freddie are both hard workers with loads of talent.”

Freddie’s success follows on from some other drama highs. Firstly, he got Distinction for his latest LAMDA exam in the Speaking of Verse & Prose with a mark of 91 (he also got Distinction for his previous exam with a mark of 95). Then he performed a solo acting piece, for the first time, at Southport Festival of Music and Drama, and took 1st place. He was also awarded a 3rd place certificate for his verse speaking.

Mrs Lamont, adds: “I was not surprised when Freddie was selected to be part of the Empire’s professional pantomime. He oozes confidence and always has a twinkle in his eye. Teaching Freddie is extra special for me because I also taught drama to his lovely Mum Danielle. Just like his mum, he has bags of talent and works very hard to perfect his performances. I think he will gain such a lot appearing in pantomime and I know he is looking forward to it immensely.”

Freddie will be appearing in Peter Pan at Liverpool Empire on December 7 (2.00 pm and 7.00 pm), December 12 (1.00 pm and 7.00 pm), December 14 (1.00 pm and 7.00 pm), December 17 (11.am and 7.00 pm), December 20 (2.00 pm and 7.00 pm), December 22 (1.00 pm and 5.00 pm), December 24 (1.00 pm and 5.00 pm), December 27 (2.00 pm and 7.00 pm, December 29 (1.00 pm and 5.00 pm).

The gorgeous Freddie and his equally gorgeous Mum Danni

 

Oliver meets Stephen Fry!

Having had great success at festivals performing an hilarious Stephen Fry sketch, Oliver Bigley was delighted to meet the man himself.

Oliver, who is studying Latin and Ancient Greek at Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School, met Stephen at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall when he performed Mythos; A Trilogy by Stephen Fry – Gods.

Oliver meets Stephen!

In the plays, Stephen Fry takes to the stage in the company of the Greek gods, heroes and men whose gripping tales still echo today. The trilogy charts the creation of the Cosmos and the primordial deities; the splendidly bloody interbreeding and family feuding that led to the rise of the Olympians – Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Athena, Hermes and the rest; and the creation of Humankind.

Says Oliver: “I went to all three nights at the Phil. His shows were really enjoyable and it was great to meet Stephen in person”.

Martha Gets the Filming Bug!

Eight-year-old Martha Last had a brilliant time filming Halford’s new TV advert.

Martha and her dad Greg (who also features in the advert) travelled to Worthing on the South coast for the shoot.

Martha’s Mum, Catherine Last, says: “They had the BEST day!! Greg said Martha was so very professional and was so proud of her. She totally has the filming bug now!”

Says Mrs Lamont, “Martha auditioned in Manchester for the role. Usually filming schedules include a wardrobe fitting but I think this is the first time an agency member has had a scooter and bike fitting! As you can see from their smiling faces, Dad and daughter had a great time together enjoying two nights in a London hotel and first-class travel!  Well done to you both!”