Hundreds applied for just 18 places to train at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle – and local actor Alexander Arran Cowan was awarded one of them.
The full-time actor training programme offers places to only the very best candidates. After a demanding audition process, those who show the greatest commitment, passion and skill are mentored by top industry professionals over a year-long intensive course. Some of the acting world’s most famous names have trodden the boards at the Theatre Royal, including Dame Judy Dench and Sirs Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart.
“I’m elated at being selected to train in such an iconic setting,” said Alexander. “As a young actor, to be recognised in this way has given my confidence a massive boost. This incredible opportunity stands to equip me with the skills, experiences and required work ethic to succeed in this highly-competitive industry.”
It was Borders Youth Theatre which kick-started Alexander’s acting passion, complemented by promenade theatre company Shakespeare-at-Traquair. By the age of 12 he had appeared in a CBBC TV show and a BAFTA-nominated short film which toured the UK and Europe. Just like Hollywood actor and fellow Borderer Jack Lowden, Earlston High School gave Alexander the chance to perform in musicals, shows and concerts. He then joined local youth film project VOMO where he gained experience on screen. Alexander has started to gain professional work on projects, including ITV’s The Loch and an advert for Tesco Corporate.
Project A’s funders heavily subsidise the tuition fee, but it is the living costs of relocating to Newcastle which are proving a challenge. Currently working full-time and part-time jobs, and applying to specialist educational trusts, Alexander has also set-up a crowd-funding appeal to help raise money.
“Once I’m more established as a professional actor, it’s my aim to return to Borders Youth Theatre and Shakespeare-at-Traquair to share my performance skills and experiences with the next generation of young talent, because that’s where it all started for me,” he added.
You can support Alexander’s appeal by visiting www.gofundme.com/help-alexander-act-up