Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. We caught up with Sarah to reflect on her time at RCS.
What was the path that led you to study at RCS?
I was involved a lot with drama in school, I did various youth classes in my hometown of Edinburgh and then eventually got involved with the youth classes at RCS (through the Centre for Lifelong Learning). After I left school, I also did a number of short courses at RCS and when applying for drama schools I knew I wanted to apply there. Although, it did actually take me five auditions to get in!
What skills did you develop during your studies at RCS?
At RCS, our training in voice was really invaluable to me. RCS is the only drama school that teaches the Nadine George technique and I found it an incredibly useful part of my actor training. My voice was the area I thought was weakest when I began my training, and I felt a lot more confident and capable by the end. During our studies, we also got a great chance develop our skills working with different texts, from classical to modern and I especially enjoyed the opportunity to get to explore Shakespeare. My time at RCS also taught me how to make mistakes and fail and the importance of learning from those experiences, too!
How did the BA Acting programme prepare you for industry?
The BA Acting degree prepares you for the industry in a number of ways. It has great links with the industry, which was invaluable for building up contacts early on in our career and giving us a taste of the industry and what was expected of us. The course also puts quite an emphasis on collaboration and gives you lots of opportunities to make your own work, collaborate across courses and put on work at festivals. This was a really invaluable lesson, as I can’t stress enough how important it is to make your own opportunities in this industry and to really use all the skills you have.
What were your highlights of your time as a student?
We did a production in my final year called Kidnapped with Graham McLaren (Director of The Abbey Theatre, Dublin), which involved a lot of aerial work and flying. I was fortunate enough to already have a background in aerial work, so getting to use that in a show was absolutely brilliant. It was such a physical, fun, mad show to be involved with. Other highlights of my time probably include being lucky enough to get to perform twice at the Spoleto International Student Festival in Italy and performing some Robert Burns for HRH Prince Charles in the beautiful Dumfries House.
You won the Scottish BAFTA New Talent Award when you were in third year what did this recognition mean to you?
It was just amazing and completely unexpected. I felt really, really lucky, especially to have that recognition before graduating. I think it’s also made me work even harder after graduating and to hold myself to a high standard. And hopefully it will help to open a few doors, too…
You’ve been working in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for almost a year now what is it like being part of such a successful and acclaimed theatre production?
It’s been incredible to be part of such a huge show – you mention ”˜Harry Potter’ to anyone and you always get such a big reaction! Sometime I can’t believe I’m a part of something so big, it’s a story and a franchise that resonates with so many people worldwide. It’s definitely been challenging and hard work and I’ve learnt a lot about stamina being in such a physical and long-running show, but the audiences are always amazing and when you hear their reactions to the show you remember how lucky you are to be doing what you’re doing. You get to run around in a cloak with a wand – it really is like being at Hogwarts!