Three Dean Close pupils have been awarded national youth theatre membership: Sixth Formers, Orlando Giannini and Gweneth Stabler, to the National Youth Theatre and Year 9 pupil, Thomas Bradford, to the National Youth Music Theatre.

Orlando has been a member since 2015, gaining a place at the age of 15. Since then, he has been called to annual casting auditions for the NYT and has even starred in a production of ‘Stars and Stripes’, performing in front of patrons and donors of the NYT. Orlando comments: “I am very excited to be continuing my membership with the NYT. Many acting opportunities have arisen since being a member such as filming for the ‘TheNutcracker and the Four Realms’, by Walt Disney Pictures, auditions for TV shows and agent opportunities”.

Orlando’s classmate, Gwen Stabler auditioned for the first time in February atHamilton House, Bristol. After extensive group workshops and an individual audition where she performed a monologue from ‘Orphans’by Dennis Kelly, she was interviewed by a panel of NYT representatives. Upon receiving the news of her selection she said: “Coming from a small Island in the Caribbean, Inever believed that I would make itintoNYT, let alone first time. I see this as a great opportunity to develop as an actor and asan individual.”

Thomas Bradford, who has been performing since the age of five, gained membership with the National Youth Music Theatre at the age of 13. At auditions judges were looking for excellence in singing, dancing and acting in order to merit a place. Out of thousands across the country who auditioned, Thomas was ecstatic to be one of only 300 to be accepted. He said: “Gaining a place with the NYMT means a lot to me as it will help me in the future with my acting career. Over the summer I will be performing in ‘The Children of the New Forest’, at the Barbican Theatre, Plymouth and I am very excited to start rehearsals”.

Director of Drama, Lloyd Allington, said: “These achievements are a major feat for the young actors as auditions are notoriously tough, highly competitive and places much sought after. I am extremely proud of Orlando, Gwen and Thomas and look forward to watching their future successes”.