Andrew follows in the footsteps of stars

A FORMER student at Ipswich School is set to follow in the footsteps of acting greats after being selected to join the youth group at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

A FORMER student at Ipswich School is set to follow in the footsteps of acting greats after being selected to join the youth group at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Andrew Lavelle, 18, of Melton, is one of only 20 students to be selected this year's group.

Famous actors who trained at RADA include Sir John Gielgud, Lord Attenborough, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Alan Rickman, Kenneth Brannagh and Steve McFadden who plays Phil Mitchell in BBC soap EastEnders.

Andrew, who is currently studying an art foundation course at UCS, will be travelling to London every Saturday from now until next summer.

“It's a wonderful opportunity to learn a variety of techniques and approaches to acting,” he said.

Ian Galbraith, headmaster at Ipswich School said: “This is a very considerable achievement, given that 500 students audition for places”

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It is the second year running that someone from Ipswich School has had this wonderful opportunity with Joel Redgrave being picked for the course last year.

The members of the youth group works towards a public performance, which will be staged next summer in one of RADA's three in-house theatres.

They also have the chance to attend RADA student productions, and there is a possibility of being involved in National Theatre education projects.

Andrew gained A levels this summer in Chemistry, English, Maths and Religious Studies, with A grades in English and Maths.

He also studied for an AS level in Photography, and his marks placed him in the top ten nationally.

He gained considerable acting experience while at Ipswich School, playing the role of Harry Brewer in the School's production of Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Country's Good which was staged at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2007.

He was also a member of the National Youth Theatre in 2007.

Earlier this year, Andrew was one of three Ipswich School students to win the prestigious diploma in Speech and drama awarded by Trinity College, London.

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