A talented young actress has received an award from Norwich Theatre Royal to help fund her studies at a top London drama school.

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Bethany Springall, 19, first discovered her love of the stage at the Theatre Royal and she said she was delighted to receive the Cleminson Award of £3,000 as she embarks on a BA in acting at the Italia Conti Academy of Performing Arts.

The award is named after the late Sir James Cleminson, a past Theatre Royal chairman credited with saving the venue in the 1990s.

Miss Springall, a former Notre Dame High School pupil who originally joined the theatre’s arts courses just to keep a friend company, said: “It is fantastic to receive this award because I have been part of the Theatre Royal Arts courses since I was seven. I have learnt so much from the arts courses and to have the Theatre Royal recognise your achievements is really nice. I would like to say a big thank you.”

Among her favourite roles she has played at the Theatre Royal are Glinda in Dorothy and the Princess of Oz, and Wendla in Spring Awakening.

She hopes to pursue a career in London’s West End and perform with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.

Theatre Royal chief executive Peter Wilson said he thought Miss Springall had a tremendous future ahead of her, and spoke of the need for arts organisations in the east to work together to set up an accredited theatre school so talented performers do not always need to move to London to follow their ambitions.

Are you involved in a new arts project in Norwich? Call Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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