West End here I come! 16-year-old Ellie Nevard all set for musical theatre career thanks to scholarship to Laine’s
- Credit: Ian Burt
It has been her dream for years to study at one of the top musical theatre colleges in the country.
Now 16-year-old Ellie Nevard is getting ready to pack her bags and make her dream a reality.
The teenager from Dereham has been awarded a full scholarship to Laine's Theatre Arts training college in Epsom, Surrey.
The college specialises in musical theatre and dance training and many of its graduates go on to perform in the West End.
Mum Gail said the scholarship meant Ellie would be able to benefit from the £17,000 a year training for free.
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'She's been wanting to go to Laine's for years but there was no way we could afford it,' she said.
'We are really thrilled for her and can't believe it. It is her dream and that college is her dream because it is the top one in the country and the one where the most graduates go on to work in the West End.
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'It has such a great reputation.'
She said they were worried that if she passed her auditions and got in it would break her and her husband's hearts for Ellie to leave home.
But as their daughter has been dancing and acting since she joined Busybodies Stage School in Dereham at the age of three, they have supported her ambition from day one.
Every weekend they have taken her to the Central School of Ballet in London and to dance competitions up and down the country with Busybodies.
They realised just how good Ellie was when Laine's told them her audition was of such a high standard that she did not need to go back for a funding audition.
'She loves her dance the most but for her audition she also had to do a solo song, an acting piece and do some dance classes,' said Mrs Nevard.
'We have to thank everyone at Busybodies for getting her to this standard. She would not have been able to do the audition or go to the school in London without their teaching. They have been great.'
Ellie, a pupil at Northgate High School in Dereham, just has one last hurdle before she can focus on her theatre career - the small matter of her GCSEs.
'It has been almost impossible to focus on them as she is not dependent on them to get into Laine's,' said Mrs Nevard. 'But she is getting on with them and they have been going OK so far.'