Student wins a place at top youth theatre

A Ripon Grammar School sixth former is set to follow in the footsteps of Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig and Orlando Bloom after winning a coveted National Youth Theatre place.

Carys Peedell beat thousands of aspiring young actors to be accepted onto the world-leading theatre’s highly sought-after summer course following a two-stage virtual audition.

This also entitles her to become a member of the NYT company, which means she will be offered casting auditions and opportunities to perform in productions up and down the country.

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The 17-year-old from Kirklingon, near Bedale, has dreamt of being a star of stage and screen from an early age.

“I’ve loved acting for as long as I can remember – when I was little,” she said.

“I would constantly dress up and make films with my sister.”

As a quiet child, she was offered minor parts in primary school productions but confesses she wrote her own version of a play at nine years old, to guarantee a leading role.

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“We put it on in front of the whole school and parents even came to watch.

“I found I could be loud and confident when playing someone else. People saw me in a different light and that’s when I decided I wanted to be an actor.”

She is now looking forward to starting her intensive training with NYT: “It’s an amazing opportunity and has been the launch pad for many successful acting careers.”

Carys, who studied acting, dance, singing and musical theatre with Upstage Academy of Performance in Ripon, achieved distinctions in all her London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art exams, including grade 8s in solo acting, duo devising drama and group acting.

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One of the highlights of her acting career so far has been - along with acting partner Alfie Davies - winning the Harrogate Competitive Festival Speech and Drama Championship final last year.

A regular in Upstage’s Harrogate Theatre summer musicals, Carys most recently played the part of Elle Woods in Legally Blonde and is now preparing to film High School Musical, in which she is to play Sharpay Evans.

She is also working on a production of Two by Jim Cartwright with a cast of keen RGS actors, to be performed at Ripon Grammar School on July 19.

Having taken A-levels in chemistry, psychology and art, ambitious Carys also completed an extended project qualification on the acting practitioner Konstantin Stanislavski.

Once she has completed the summer course, Carys will become an NYT company member up until the age of 25.

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