Drama rules for actors

Talented Big Little Theatre Company drama students (back row from left) Caleb McNulty, Gus Casey Solly, Penny Nell, (front from left) Bella Casey Solly and Zoe Ritchie.

There’s been high and lows for local drama students over the past few months.

Big Little Theatre Company (BLTC) actors Bella Casey Solly and Penny Nell were all set to take part in the national finals of The National Young Performer of the Year, but were left disappointed when after months of hard work, covid forced the cancellation of the competition.

In contrast, fellow students Caleb McNulty and Gus Casey Solly are still on a stage high after nailing full marks in recent prestigious Trinity exams for acting.

The four young actors will come together later this month to show their impressive performance skills to invited guests.

They will be joined by BLTC students Zoe Ritchie and Maddie Webb, who are preparing for Grade 6 drama exams, in a full programme that will deliver a high standard and variety of work that includes Shakespeare, comedy, improvisation and poetry.

BLTC director Jackie Heffernan said the six performers were outstanding students, hard working and committed to improving their skills.

It had been such a shame for Bella and Penny to have missed taking part in the The National Young Performer of the Year competition after putting so much work into it.

“They were due to deliver 15 minute solo routines and had been working on portfolios for months.

“The opportunity has gone for them and also the chance to be crowned, but the process has been fabulous.”

Caleb and Gus gaining full marks in the Trinity pairs exams at Grade 8 had been very well deserved, she said.

They had been assessed independently, with Caleb choosing work from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, and Gus reading from King Lear.

Mrs Heffernan said the last 18 months had been an awful time for actors and young people.

It had truly tested their resolve and she was so proud of the way BLTC students had stepped up to take everything in their stride.

-By Mick Jensen