An Egremont school had a national youth theatre member put them through their paces in the quest to be accepted into the national youth theatre’s summer school.

19 West Lakes Academy performing arts students from years 10 to 12 auditioned for NYT associate Alex Thorpe - who is originally from Cumbria.

Performing arts teacher Debs Jackson said: “This is the first year we have had the National Youth Theatre in school holding auditions for our young people.

“If successful they will get a place on the summer school, which will be held in London in July/August 2020.

“Students will also become a member of the NYT and have access to auditions and castings advertised on their website.”

Students did a three hour devising workshop with Alex, then performed a two minute monologue in a one-to-one session. They had a chance to chat with the associate about themselves and the reasons for selecting their audition speech.

Student Evie McKeating said: “I enjoyed the workshop the most, especially when we had to create a scene without communication. It put me at ease before the audition and my nerves weren’t really there before hand due to the workshop as I felt comfortable to just go for it in the audition - to get through would be amazing but if not, I’m still happy and proud of myself for even auditioning in the first place.”

Chloe Fawcett said: “The whole day was awesome! I felt that the audition process allowed us to have a grasp at what it is like to audition professionally. Additionally, I thought that this also helped with my confidence and was a huge learning curve for me as it was interesting to find out more about the performing industry first-hand from a professional also.”

“The workshop before the audition involved many group activities and helped improve my acting technique and gave me experience in working as an ensemble to achieve a goal together as a team. Not only did I enrich my knowledge and experience in performing arts, I also took away valuable communication and teamwork skills. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the day with NYT and hope to participate in another workshop and audition like this in the future.”

Mrs Jackson said that students enjoyed the workshop and although initially nervous for their one-to-one auditions, came out vibrant, energised and very happy.

She said: “This is something we will definitely repeat. The academy was also advised to enter the National Theatre Connections performance program next year.”

Students will find out in May whether they have been successful.