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‘It fills me with hope’ - Pupils at Olivia Colman’s former Norwich school inspired by Oscar success

PUBLISHED: 16:30 26 February 2019

Oscar winner Olivia Colman as a Norwich High School for Girls pupil. Photo: Submitted

Oscar winner Olivia Colman as a Norwich High School for Girls pupil. Photo: Submitted

Archant

Pupils at Oscar-winning Olivia Colman’s former school said the actress’ success had inspired them to pursue careers in the arts.

The Norfolk actress spent her formative years at Norwich High School for Girls, joining the fee-paying school in 1982 aged 11.

Ms Colman spent eight years at the Norwich faculty on Newmarket Road, graduating in 1990 and moving to Gresham’s School in Holt to complete her A-levels.

Current pupils at the Norwich school said they were inspired by the star’s win at the 91st Academy Awards, where she became the 11th British actress to win Best Actress.

MORE: Surprises, Olivia Colman & making amends: Oscars 2019

Sixth Former Martha Bealey said witnessing a former pupil receive recognition in performing arts made success in the field feel more attainable.

She said: “The celebrities who win awards seem almost unreal, but seeing someone who has been in the same position as me go on to win an Oscar is an incredible feeling, and fills me with hope and determination to succeed within my own life.”

Emily Pinching said the win had helped quash her own doubts about entering the competitive world of acting.

She said: “Olivia’s win at the Oscars is really inspiring, and it’s incredible to think that she went to our school. It makes a successful career in the arts seem much more tangible, as the media so often tells us that the industry is so competitive that we can’t possibly succeed in it.”

MORE: ‘I wonder if she is an Norwich City fan?’ - Region reacts to Olivia Colman’s Oscar win

The school said it would be celebrating the former pupil’s award season success at a special assembly.

It tweeted: “Wow! Congratulations to Norwich High alumna Olivia Colman for her best actress Oscars win! An exceptional achievement, ending a very successful awards season. We cannot wait to celebrate your success in assembly later this morning!”

The daughter of Norwich nurse Mary Leakey and Keith Colman, a chartered surveyor, the local actress made her first stage appearance aged 16 as the lead in a school production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

Oscar winner Olivia Colman (third from left, front row) as a Norwich High School for Girls pupil. Photo: SubmittedOscar winner Olivia Colman (third from left, front row) as a Norwich High School for Girls pupil. Photo: Submitted

She went on to study drama at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in London, graduating in 1999 and hitting the small screen with roles on UK TV shows Peep Show and Broadchurch.

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