Talented Norfolk teenager recognised for his acting ability

Michael Heslop accepts his award from the National Operatic and Dramatic Association for Most Promis

Michael Heslop accepts his award from the National Operatic and Dramatic Association for Most Promising Youth Performer (East) from at the Burnbury Players awards night. Picture: Bunbury Players - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk teenager has been recognised for his acting talents.

Michael Heslop as Macbeth during the Thetford Grammar School production which he organised, directed

Michael Heslop as Macbeth during the Thetford Grammar School production which he organised, directed and took the lead role in. Picture: Andy Abbot - Credit: Andy Abbott

Keen thespian Michael Heslop, from Thetford, has been awarded the National Operatic and Dramatic Association’s (NODA) Most Promising Youth Performer in the East district.

The 14-year-old was observed during his role as Pierre, the human version of the character Lumière, in the Bunbury Player’s pantomime production of Beauty and the Best.

He was so convincing as the character that some audience members actually believed him to be French.

On his achievement the year nine Thetford Grammar School pupil said: “A representative from NODA came to see the show and they picked up on my performance which is quite nice.

Michael Heslop as the Genie in the production of Aladdin with Stagecoach. Picture: Stagecoach

Michael Heslop as the Genie in the production of Aladdin with Stagecoach. Picture: Stagecoach - Credit: Archant


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“I’m quite proud of it. It was a shock because I had no clue I was nominated for it. It was really amazing.”

Michael is currently working towards a grade eight for a London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) qualification, which is the equivalent of an A-level.

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In addition to this and his studying, he is also taking on another national qualification - the Arts Award.

For this, he recently organised a production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, which he organised, directed, played the title character in and designed the set and programme for.

Michael Heslop as Macbeth during the Thetford Grammar School production which he organised, directed

Michael Heslop as Macbeth during the Thetford Grammar School production which he organised, directed and took the lead role in. Picture: Andy Abbot - Credit: Andy Abbott

“It is being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes,” he said. “And it is so rewarding to watch myself back and see myself as a different person. It is so much fun to have the ability to change.

“I like being able to challenge myself. Each role is completely different and is a different side of me.”

The youngster, who is involved with four dramatic societies, said his favourite characters to play so far have been Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and the Genie from Aladdin.

The teenager, who has been acting since the age of three or four, said his ambition is to attend LAMDA or the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and then take on the role of the Genie in Aladdin on the West End.

Michael Heslop accepts his award from the National Operatic and Dramatic Association for Most Promis

Michael Heslop accepts his award from the National Operatic and Dramatic Association for Most Promising Youth Performer (East) from at the Burnbury Players awards night. Picture: Bunbury Players - Credit: Archant

He said: “There are so many roles I want to play but my dream is to do it as a professional and to be in the West End.”

Juliet Boyce, the school’s head of drama, praised Michael saying: “He is the ideal drama student. He is a role model for other students. He is totally committed.”

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