Acting up at Ebbsfleet Academy

Young performers at Ebbsfleet Academy participated in a workshop and audition day, as part of a scheme backed by actor Hugh Bonneville to promote drama.

Hugh Bonneville (middle) with Ebbsfleet Academy students

The secondary school in Swanscombe is one of 10 in the country to have benefitted from the Auditions Access Fund, which was created to support the subject.

Pupils had the audition day last month and workshop in January, which was funded through a grant provided by the National Youth Theatre.

Students who were acting in a production of Romeo and Juliet were visited by Bonneville in November last year, who shared his tips on acting to encourage the aspiring artists.

The fund of £37,500 will support free participation in workshops and auditions over three years at 30 schools and youth groups across the country.

Paddington and Downton Abbey actor Bonneville said: “The chance for young people to explore their creative talents is essential for their development. 

“For some, taking part in drama can inspire a career in the creative industries; for all, it provides invaluable skills, building confidence in communication and self-expression.

“This initiative will give young talent in specially selected areas of the country where access to drama is under threat the chance to audition for and experience the National Youth Theatre for free.

“Becoming a member of the NYT changed my life and I’m delighted to be playing my part in giving the next generation a similar opportunity."