Director turns actor for big starring role

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An aspiring teenage director enjoyed her star turn in front of an audience at the Scottish Youth Theatre in Glasgow.

Leanne Dickson (18), from Denny, performed for hundreds of people in a college production of the Jim Cartwright play Road, which deals with life in a deprived area of Lancashire during Margaret Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister.

The action takes place over the course of one evening as the residents of the road prepare to go out and Leanne, currently studying an HNC in Acting and Performance at City of Glasgow College, quickly identified with her character.

The former Denny High School pupil said: “I played a 16-year-old girl called Claire who is quite naïve and easily influenced by her boyfriend, who has a strong interest in politics. Portraying her was really interesting because, as the rehearsals progressed, I came to understand her more.

“While she isn’t clever in the traditional sense, she is emotionally driven and really cared about her family and her boyfriend. I had a brilliant time performing in Road – we all worked really well together and got a great reaction from the audience.”

Stephen Cafferty, who directed the show, said: “From an artistic and creative point of view, Road is a fantastic piece for the students to work on because the writing is great and the characters are all very rich.

“Their situations are both tragic and comedic, making working on this play a great learning experience for the students. Leanne and her fellow students worked really hard in rehearsals and were dedicated to making their production a real success.”

Once she completes her studies, Leanne hopes to pursue a career as a theatre director.

She said: “When I joined an afterschool drama club I was quite shy and wanted to become more confident. It really worked and my interest in becoming a director grew from there. So I decided to apply for a place at City of Glasgow College because I liked how varied the course was.”