Youth theatre joy for teenage actress

A BUDDING young Worle actress was thrilled when she was accepted into a prestigious group this summer.

Maria Cottrill beat off competition from thousands to become a member of the National Youth Theatre.

This year the group limited the amount of auditions to 5,000, with only 240 places available for 18 to 21-year-olds.

The 19-year-old former Worle Community School pupil became the only lucky one to be accepted from Somerset and Bristol and had to attend an intense 10-day acting course held in Manchester.

She met and got advice from Julie Hesmondhalgh, who plays Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street, Maggie Service, who appeared in the comedy show Miranda, Felix Scott, who appeared in the hit movie Inception, and comedian and actor Ste Johnston, who was their course manager.

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All members finished their course in spectacular fashion last week with brilliant performances at Watch This Space, outside of the National Youth Theatre and in Media City, Salford Quays.

Maria was then presented with her National Youth Theatre Stadium Arts Acting Course certificate, which will enable her to tour and perform with the group all over the world.

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Maria, who starts her degree in theatre media performance at The Tobacco Factory in Bristol this month, said: “It has been an amazing and life-changing experience, working with such talented actors. It is one I will never forget.”

So far this year Maria has achieved two distinction stars and a distinction for her acting course at Bristol College, the highest grade ever achieved on the course.

She has performed on stage in Jerusalem, The Real Inspector Hound and produced and directed a short version of The Woman in Black.

Films she has appeared in include The One Sided Argument, for Virgin Media Shorts, which won a best picture award at Bristol’s Watershed.

She has also appeared in An Unfortunate Hero, Little Magic Touch Productions for the Encounters Film Festival, and is currently starring in Trust In a Stranger, which is based on a true story, for the Encounters Film Festival and UK Film Festival.

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