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Swanage teenager secures place at UK's most prestigious performing arts school
Swanage teenager secures place at UK's most prestigious performing arts school 

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A 16-year-old student from Swanage has a lot to celebrate at the moment after recently securing a place at the UK's most prestigious performing arts school. 

Lois Fletcher, who is currently a pupil at Parkstone Grammar School for Girls, will be heading up to Hertfordshire this autumn to study acting at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, whose glittering alumni include Lily James (Disney's Cinderella and star of Mamma Mia 2! Here We Go Again) and Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Last Jedi and Murder on the Orient Express).

Lois discovered her passion for performing at the tender age of five when she sang in the school choir. She then went on to join a local theatre company Swanage Musical Theatre, performing in shows including Annie, Annie Get Your Gun, Oliver and Sister Act at before joining the Dorset Drama Academy.

She now attends the Dorset School of Acting and is also a member of Purbeck Arts Choir in the junior section.

Talking about securing her place at Tring Park School, Lois said: "I never imagined that I would be lucky enough to get in. There are 20 places on my course, 70 in the whole year and more than 1,000 people applying. At Tring Park School, the atmosphere is buzzing; I felt the positive energy from all the other students. I can't wait to start in September."

Lois's mum Rachel is equally excited for the opportunity that Lois has. "'No-one in our family has come from an arts background so when Lois was offered a place at Tring it was a total shock. Words can't describe how proud I am of her."

As well as Daisy Ridley and Lily James, Tring Park School's alumni include Jessica Brown-Findlay (Downton Abbey); director and choreographer Drew McOnie, who won the 2016 Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for his work on In the Heights. Drew has also directed Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom in the West End, and King Kong on Broadway; former X Factor star Ella Henderson; and Thandie Newton (Crash, Mission: Impossible II; Westworld; and the Line of Duty).

Tring Park School is both a day and boarding school for students aged 8 to 19. Alongside a broad academic curriculum, the school offers courses in dance, acting and musical theatre to learners up to the age of 16. Sixth Form students are able to study Acting, Musical Theatre and Commercial Music up to age 18 alongside A levels, while dancers can take a three-year course, graduating at age 19.

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About Tring Park School for the Performing Arts

  • Tring Park is one of the UK's top performing arts schools - the majority of pupils forge successful careers in the performing arts. 
  • Tring Park provides a unique community for talented young people, regardless of means or background, who have both passion and talent for dance, drama, musical theatre or commercial music.  
  • Tring Park also provides a balanced education and has an outstanding academic record: pupils regularly get into the top universities.
  • Tring Park is housed in a former Rothschild mansion in beautiful grounds in Tring, Hertfordshire, and was used as a location (a Russian ballet school) in the 2015 Avengers movie, Age of Ultron and, most recently Judy, the biopic of Judy Garland.