Performing Arts success as every student on the course wins place at top drama school

Performing Arts success as every student on the course wins place at top drama school

Every student wins place at top drama school

Performing Arts students at New City College Epping Forest have achieved amazing success this year with every single student being accepted at top drama schools in the country.

Following in the footsteps of former student and now famous actor, Micheal Ward, who played Jamie in Netflix drama Top Boy, the Performing Arts students are looking forward to their new challenges.

Just three of the high achieving group are: Afi Okiadja, who has been accepted for RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art), Saqib Bashir, who is off to LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) and Harry Reed, who will be studying at Italia Conti, whose alumni include Patsy Kensit, Daniel Mays and Pixie Lott.

Many of these top institutions take just 20 or so students out of the many thousands that apply, so to be accepted is an incredible achievement.

Sue Clark, Deputy Principal of Epping Forest campus in Borders Lane, Loughton, said: “We are extremely proud of all the Performing Arts students who have secured fantastic progression to prestigious drama schools, but special congratulations must go to the three hard-working students who have won places at such highly sought-after academies.”

Micheal Ward was a New City College student seven years ago and says he took the Performing Arts course at Epping Forest because, along with PE, drama was the only subject he enjoyed at school.

Micheal Ward was a former Performing Arts student at New City College Epping Forest

After leaving college, the 25-year-old made his film debut with a role in the 2016 British crime drama Brotherhood and has since gone on to star in the rap musical Blue Story, TV series The A List and Netflix hit Top Boy among many others. He has 1.1 million followers on Instagram.

He won the EE Rising Star Award at the BAFTAs in 2020 which is where he first met director Sam Mendes. A year later, the actor won a lead role alongside Olivia Coleman in Mendes’ next movie, Empire of Light, which was released in January this year. He revealed that the famous actress has a playful sense of humour and was “really naughty” on set!

His character is Stephen, a new employee at the Empire, a seaside movie palace in 1980s England. Olivia Colman plays Hilary, a lonely middle-aged co-worker who finds herself beguiled by Stephen, and brought back to life as the two embark on a romance.

Micheal said in an interview with Elle magazine that he was encouraged to believe in himself at college. He said: “I’d be in Performing Arts lessons and my friends would watch through the window, laughing. But one of them kind of saw this light in me. And because he saw it, I started to believe in it too. I remember that conversation so vividly.”

Want to join our successful Performing Arts course? Apply today!