Do put your daughter on the stage Mrs Bowman...Exning teenager wins coveted place at theatre arts academy

Emily Bowman
Emily Bowman

An Exning teenager will be a step nearer to making her childhood dream come true when she takes up a place at one of the UK’s top drama schools next week.

Emily Bowman, 18, of Iceni Way, was among more than 7,000 applicants competing for just 20 places at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in north London and could hardly believe it when she was the youngest of the 10 females chosen.

“They prefer older students who have had more life experience, so it was quite unheard of to get in at 18,” said Emily, who underwent a very competitive audition including two dramatic monologues, classical and contemporary songs and ballet, jazz and tap dancing to impress the selectors.

“The course is fairly brutal,” she said. “We have to clock in every day 10 minutes before starting at 9am and don’t finish until 7pm. It’s very challenging with something new to learn every day so at the weekends all you want to do is rest.”

When the course is completed, graduates perform in front of theatrical agents hoping to be signed up by an agency who will represent them and get them auditions for work in upcoming productions.

Emily’s talent was first spotted by her teacher at Exning Primary School, Mrs Heathcote, who told her mother Debbie to ‘get that girl to Nomads’. Debbie did as instructed and from the age of nine to 16 when she finished her GCSEs at Newmarket Academy, Emily took part in nearly every musical production staged by the town’s popular amateur dramatic group. At 16, she took what she called her ‘leap of faith’ and applied for the performing arts course at Impington Village College. The decision Debbie and Emily’s father Tony took to support their daughter in her ambition proved the right one.

There, Emily became so focused and dedicated to what she was doing, that her teachers Jane Milne and Orris Gordon gave up holiday time to help her plan and train for her auditions.

Her singing coach, Alison Dobie, from Freckenham, also played a major part with lessons which improved her technique and confidence.

Now, with top grades in A-level, B-Tech and International Baccalaureate exams added to her CV, Emily is looking forward to the future she has dreamed of for so long.

“I know in musical theatre I’m not going to get rich and famous,” she said, “but I will be doing what I love and what I am passionate about.”