Dramatic results for Oakham’s actors
16 June 2015
Oakham’s Drama department is celebrating the news that more students than ever before have been offered places at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
“This really does round off one of the most exciting years for Drama at Oakham School,” says Director of Drama Gilly Norell. “To have three students offered places at RADA, as well as other students winning places at top drama schools, is simply outstanding; especially given how fiercely competitive it is to win a place to study acting.”
Seventh Formers Will Kennard-Kettle and James Jip will both be embarking upon their Foundation Course in Acting in September, a course that gains thousands of applications every year, all competing for a maximum of just 34 spaces. “I actually can’t get my head round it right now,” said James. “I think it’s going to be really hard work, but so rewarding.”
Meanwhile, Old Oakhamian pupil Lucy Beardmore-Gray (12) has been accepted onto the BA (Hons) Acting course at RADA, securing one of up to just 28 much-coveted places. Lucy wins a place at RADA having just finished her studies at the renowned L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris.
Will, James and Lucy are now following in the footsteps of RADA’s numerous illustrious alumni, including fellow Old Oakhamian Matthew Macfadyen. Both James and Will met and performed in front of Matthew earlier this year, when they took part in celebrations for the 30th anniversary of Oakham’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre. They both starred in Tom Stoppard’s On The Razzle in front of a star-studded audience of Old Oakhamians including Matthew Macfadyen, Miles Jupp, Greg Hicks, Richard Hope, Katie Hall, and many more.
“At the QET event, I got in touch with Tom Hescott, an OO who is a theatre director, and I was able to speak to him about working in the industry, so that was a definite advantage,” said Will. “It was also such a high-pressure situation, having to act in front of such big names, and that actually prepared me really well for the pressure of auditioning for RADA.”
Other students have also been receiving offers from distinguished drama schools. Seventh Former Sebastian Quinn has a place at The Lir, Ireland’s National Academy of Dramatic Art, while ex-pupil Max Young (13) recently achieved a place on the three-year Acting course at East 15 Acting School.
“The Drama department is amazing,” said Will. “They put so much care and heart into what they do, and really lift your character. The fact that three of us have got into RADA this year, and Seb getting a place at The Lir too, is an incredible testament to what they have achieved, especially in the past year.”