This year I have been going round the country auditioning for the top drama schools in England at the comparatively young age of 17. I got through into the final auditions for Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, Manchester Met and Bristol Old Vic but, sadly, no further. I feel driven to go back next year and audition again, being a year older and with a year more experience. So I’ve taken a year out as a Gap tutor at Brandeston Hall, and aim to get stuck into as much of the Music and Drama as possible. It’ll be weird calling, by their first names, teachers who once taught me - as of course I went to Brandeston from year 4 onwards.
One of the most enjoyable parts of Framlingham College has been the camaraderie and the team mentality gained from competing in your boarding houses. The highlight of my final year happened in the very first month, when Rendlesham won the House Singing with the One Direction song, “What makes you Beautiful”.
Looking back, I was fortunate to have a role in the sixth form to promote enthusiasm, and involvement in the co-curricular side of life. In particular, I loved helping to produce the school singing competitions. I became a Sergeant in the Combined Cadet Force, where I helped run the recruitment section, and completed my Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award. I always enjoyed the challenge of working with people and being part of positive dynamics within a group. I sang in the Chamber Choir, played drums, enjoyed playing competitive hockey, and really loved the personal challenge of keeping fit in the gym.
But the dramatic arts have really been my life. I was privileged enough to play exciting roles in school productions from Puck through to Pseudolus. Throughout my A-level in Drama and Theatre Studies I explored different styles and genres, performing as Ralph in 'Our Country's Good', Katurian in 'The Pillowman', and many others. The course also gave me the opportunity to experiment with directing, and I enjoyed working on 'Lord of the Flies'. I’m not entirely drama-obsessed, though, and I also enjoyed studying Maths and Chemistry, which stimulated my curiosity in different ways about how the world works.
Last summer, it was a huge thrill to be part of Framlingham College’s first Edinburgh Fringe production. I was a member of an ensemble group of seven actors, rehearsing two plays back to back over a three week period of intensive rehearsals. Our interpretation of 'Romeo and Juliet', where I played Mercutio, had all the action set around and beneath a huge double bed. This was a real physical challenge, demanding precision with movement and choreography. Playing the part of Lady Bracknell, in our all cross-dressed interpretation of the 'The Importance of Being Earnest', was completely mad and a great experience, experimenting with physical comedy and enjoying terrific audience interaction.
Outside the College, I spent an enjoyable three weeks working with professional directors at the HighTide Academy, at The New Cut in Halesworth. Working with new people challenged my understanding of myself as a young actor. On the strength of this experience, I was asked to read through the new play, 'Clockwork' by Laura Poliakoff, working with Helen Atkinson-Wood and Bernard Hill. It was exciting to see how professional actors brought the script to life.
I’ve made so many friends, and have many fond memories of this school. It’s hard to think how such a big part of my life, the College where I was raised, could just vanish after my final year, so I’m determined not to let it do so. This was why I wanted to become a Moreau Scholar. I’m delighted to be working with my two great friends, Charlotte Gower and Jasper Maberly, and we will do everything we can to maintain the bonds between the leavers of this school. I believe that no matter where everyone goes off to now, whatever life choices they make in the future, everyone has one thing in common, one thing that we’ve all been through together, Framlingham College.