Lamont Casting Agency

Clever Charlotte clinches place to Cambridge

The absolutely gorgeous Charlotte Russell – a very long-term Lamont pupil – has smashed her ‘A’ levels and secured a place to study law at Cambridge University.

Charlotte, who along with her younger sister Lydia took all her LAMDA exams at Lamont and successfully entered festivals for many years, achieved A* A* A in her exams.

Well done Charlotte!

Said proud mum Julie: “We wanted to share some exciting news with you. Charlotte got amazing results and will be starting at Sidney Sussex College at Cambridge University this October. It was an anxious wait, but she did really well at her interviews and was then offered a place. I still believe she is getting so much from her drama training and I’m sure it will help her in Law”.

A delighted Mrs. Lamont said: “I am so pleased for Charlotte as this is her whole dream come true!  Cambridge WOW!  Yes –  I think the LAMDA exam training will definitely have helped in the interviews.  Such a lovely unassuming girl and hard worker!  Also, so cool under pressure and such a great sense of humour.  We were always having a laugh about something!  She is really a one-off!  I will so miss teaching her but her fantastic achievement has made my day!”

 

Talented Josh Heads For New York!

Former pupil Josh Reais has been accepted to study at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York!

The accolade means he can follow in the footsteps of such acting greats as Robert Redford, Lauren Bacall, Grace Kelly, Danny Devito, Anne Hathaway and Paul Rudd who all trained at the Academy.

Josh Reais

Josh has been offered a full-time place on the Academy’s Conservatoire Programme starting this Autumn. The course is movement-focused with a strong emphasis on physical theatre-based study.

New York Campus

Set in Madison Avenue’s landmark Colony Club building in Midtown Manhattan, the campus encompasses six full floors of classrooms, rehearsal halls, dance studios, dressing rooms, costume and prop departments, a production workshop, a student lounge, and an expansive library designed to serve the specific needs of acting students. Plus, its media studios are equipped with the latest video, lighting and editing systems—everything needed for exceptional on-camera training.

Another notable feature is its collection of impressive theatres that offer a variety of training and performance opportunities. Its 152-seat proscenium theatre, 164-seat thrust theatre and 103-seat arena-style theatre are all used for classes, rehearsals and full-scale productions.

Says Josh says: “I’m over the moon and I would really like to thank you for all your help over the years. The cost of the school is really expensive but they gave me a merited $7000 based on my skills from the remote video audition I did! It’s still not certain if I’ll be able to travel to America by September but I am doing my best to secure a bursary or scholarship now.”

Says Mrs Lamont; “What fantastic news! I am thrilled that your dream could happen if you can get funding! The pupils you helped teach as an Assistant Lamont Teacher will be so excited to hear of your success!

Always adorable – those curls won over the strictest of adjudicators and examiners!

“You came to me at a young age and developed so much over the years into a splendid actor. If things work out for you as well as they did for Robert Redford and Danny Devito I will be beyond proud – although not that suprised! Always a star in the making in my eyes!”

 

Lucas clinches top training opportunity in London!

Congratulations to Lucas Frost for securing a place at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Drama in London to study for a BA Hons Degree in Musical Theatre.

The very talented Lucas Frost

Lucas has produced some incredible work whilst at Lamont Drama. Said Mrs. Lamont: “Lucas is a truly instinctive actor who is absolutely brimming with great ideas.

“He won lots of awards for his roles in local musical theatre productions and was always a force to be reckoned with when performing improvisations in the Saturday Speech and Drama classes with Lamont. I am still getting people mentioning to me how amazing he was as Miss Trunchball from Matilda. It was certainly one of my favourite acting pieces from the last few years. So, Lucas bring all the energy you displayed as Miss Trunchball to your new adventure! You will knock ‘em dead with your talent – but above all, enjoy!”

 

California, Here I Come!

Skype teaching at Lamont Drama is going from Strength to Strength!

Up until a few weeks ago, Lamont Drama was reaching various pupils around the UK having first taught by skype several years ago to the Gie family in Cyprus. They have since moved to London, so their lessons are continuing remotely in the Capital alongside pupils in Manchester, Liverpool and the Wirral!

However, this week, Mrs Lamont carried out her first lesson in California!

10-year-old Amélie Henderson joined the school this week. Amélie is the daughter of Brit Nick Henderson, who is a former Lamont Drama pupil from the 80s!

He said: “Despite this very challenging situation we find ourselves in, I would like Amélie to start lessons with you. I realize the time difference may be tricky (minus 8 hours) but I thought I would ask all the same. Personally, your lessons gave me amazing opportunities in life and I’d love for Amélie to benefit from your incredible guidance and expertise”.

Proud Dad Nick with 10-year-old Amélie.

Mrs Lamont was both touched and excited from hearing from Nick after all these years and Amélie’s first lesson was a big hit! She is studying with Mrs Lamont for her first LAMDA exam. Amélie’s eight-year-old cousin Martha has been enjoying great success as a Lamont pupil in both her LAMDA exams, in festivals and as a member of the Lamont Casting Agency, so will be able to give her a few tips. Martha’s mum, Catherine Last is a fabulous singing teacher in Formby and she is also teaching Amélie.

Nick adds, “Amélie adores singing and performing. She can also flip backwards and forwards seamlessly between British and American accents!”

Said Mrs Lamont: “ Catherine and Nick both have a special place in my heart and I was very sad when their lessons came to an end so it is really great to be able to teach Martha and Amelie – the next generation of extremely talented Hendersons. So, a perfect addition to the Lamont Drama School! Well done Amélie and welcome!”

Ray of Sunshine at Lamont Drama amidst Coronavirus Gloom!

Lamont Drama is celebrating a hat trick of successes with the news that three senior pupils have been selected as members of the prestigious National Youth Theatre. They will be doing their two-week course for NYT members on-line over the Summer.

Joe Houghton, who attends St. Mary’s School in Crosby, started his Lamont journey at the age of 6 – following in the footsteps of big sisters Lucy and Jessica, who attended the school for many years. He achieved Distinction for his Grade 8 acting and is currently assistant teacher at Lamont Drama on a Saturday.

The very talented and much-loved Joe Houghton!

Lucas Jackson started at Lamont at age of 6. His big sister Amy already attended.  He excelled in all his exams culminating in attaining Distinction for his Grade 8 acting.

Couldn’t be prouder of the one and only Lucas Jackson!

Ellis Coulter, who attends LIPA sixth form, achieved Distinction for his Grade 7 Acting. He also featured in an episode of Hollyoaks at the beginning of this year. He joined as a teenager and has won many prizes in festivals for his acting.

Super talented Ellis Coulter is a star in the making!

Said Mrs Lamont, “I am so proud of all three boys. They are not only a very talented bunch but are also all a delight to be around. Joe, who assists me on a Saturday, is extremely popular with all the pupils and we are looking forward to re-commencing our classes in September and hearing about their NYT experiences. I’m sure Joe will bring back lots of great NYT ideas that will benefit our younger pupils.

“It’s such a tough audition process to get into the National Youth Theatre that I would have been delighted to receive news that one pupil had got in! Hearing that three had made the grade was just unbelievably good news! My own nephew Rory, who was lucky enough to become a NYT member just a few years ago attributes securing his top job in finance in Canary Wharf to his NYT credit and experience. So whether you become the next James Bond like Daniel Craig or follow a path outside of performance, the NYT can help you realise your dreams. I wish Joe, Lucas and Ellis all the very best for this next great adventure in their drama journey. So proud of you all, boys!”

 

Ever the comedian – Lucas Jackson celebrates becoming an NYT member!

 

Go Grace!

Many congratulations to Grace Wingate. The 15-year-old Lamont student has been accepted on the Musical Theatre Course at LIPA.

Talent runs in the family! She will join her brother Harry who is on the Music course. Grace is just about to embark on her Grade 8 Gold Medal LAMDA examination. Good luck Grace for both!

 

 

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!