In the next few weeks Liam Lau Fernandez graduates from Drama Centre, London as an actor; the course is renowned for producing some of this country's most respected actors and Liam can be seen in his final production, 'The Changeling' at the Platform Theatre in Central St Martins in the last week of June.
In addition though, he is a winner in the Carlton Hobbs Award 2018 and as such joins the BBC Radio company for 5 months from July. The Carlton Hobbs Award is a really prestigious award for young drama school graduates and is testament to both his talent and the hard work he has put in over the last three years.
Liam came late to acting at Freemen's, but excelled in his final A Level years taking leading roles in 'For The Love of Willie' in Edinburgh 2012, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and For The Record - which has since been performed and studied in Australia. He also starred in 'The Horses' in Edinburgh 2014.
The future looks very bright for this exciting new young actor!
I went to see the show on Saturday 30th. Brilliant. It simply reinforced for me how good a school Drama Centre is - the cast were uniformly very strong - and Liam was wonderful as de Flores, the twisted and deviant servant; a wonderful performance. Below are some pictures of Liam in the show.
I fully expect Liam's career to take off following his 5 months with the BBC Radio Repertory Company and I'm sure you'll all get to see what an accomplished actor he has become.
Steph Hyam has already graced our small screens in Doctor Who, Peaky Blinders and Jekyll and Hyde, but now gets her opportunity in the forthcoming heavyweight drama series, The Bodyguard, written by Jed Mecurio, the writer and creator of Line of Duty.
Steph first came to professional prominence in 'The James Plays' at the National Theatre in 2014 and has gone on to build a very successful career for herself. She can also be seen with Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy in the Lone Sherfig film, 'Their Finest' and in the forthcoming films, 'Undercliffe' and 'Stan and Ollie', the latter with Steve Coogan and John C Reilly.
If you want to see the trailer for Bodyguard, click on the link below.
Many of you will remember Dan Sareen at Freemen's and his fine performances in many productions, including the major role of Boris in 'For The Love of Willie' at Edinburgh in 2012. But he also was beginning his journey back then as a burgeoning theatre writer.
Now, graduated from Leeds University he has formed his own theatre company, 'Want the Moon Theatre Company', and this year is taking his new play, 'Other People's Teeth' to the Edinburgh Fringe in August - the shows previewing in London in July. If you would like to see one of these previews the dates are as follows:
Etcetera Theatre ~ Monday 2nd July at 7pm, Saturday 14th July at 9pm.
Old Red Lion Theatre ~ Wednesday 4th - Thursday 5th July at 7pm.
White Bear Theatre ~ Sunday 8th - Monday 9th July at 7:30pm.
Hen and Chickens Theatre ~ Tuesday 10th - Wednesday 11th July at 7:30pm.
King's Head Theatre ~ Sunday 15th July at 8pm.
A Tony Award for Andy G
Congratulations to Andrew Garfield on gaining the Tony Award for his performance as Prior Walter in the National Theatre's production of Angels in America on Broadway this year. I saw the show in London and it was a quite extraordinary performance and should have got the award in the recent Olivier Awards too, I believe.
People often ask me if I could see how good people like Andrew and Kelly would be when they were in the classroom. The answer is 'yes.' They both had the ability to 'drop themselves down the hole' so far as students, that you could see that being an actor was the most natural thing in the world to them. But more importantly, to my mind, is the fact that for both of them, the key thing was the role - they didn't make it all about them. They were both outstanding individual talents but they could play in the ensemble too. In some ways perhaps the best role I ever saw Andrew do as a student was playing a relatively minor role as 'Father' in 'Making Echoes' in Edinburgh 2001. The play is about the experiences of young girls growing up in the 1950s and he supported the leads in that show terrifically well.
But the reason they are both actors today is because they had the opportunity to study Drama at school; there's every likelihood that neither of them would be doing the work they are today without it. For students today to be denied the same opportunities because of short-sighted political thinking is criminal; the seeds of Prior Walter could be seen back in 2001 with Andrew's portrayal of Narcissus in 'The Tales of Ovid' - no-one who saw that show will ever mistake the truth of that.
Kelly Reilly is an actress who is rarely out of work and she has followed up her performance in the TV series 'True Detective 2' with a starring role in Jez Butterworth's 'Britannia'.
Presently she is working on a really exciting new project, 'Yellowstone' for Paramount, to be aired on Sky Atlantic in which she plays Kevin Costner's daughter. This show looks fantastic and has already been commissioned for a second series before the first has even been aired - some are describing it as one of the best pieces of television ever made. In the end the audiences will be the judge of that, but below is the official trailer for the series which should air in Britain in the autumn. Personally, I can't wait.