A Bantry student, and one of the stars of the Beauty Queen of Leenane – a Skibbereen play that is already wowing judges on the competition circuit – has secured a place at the Gaiety School of Acting.
Joshua Campbell (18) who is still a student at Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí and living at home with mum and dad, Liz and Toby Campbell, had to go through two demanding auditions to secure a place on the Gaiety training course.
Josh had his first audition for the intensive two-year programme on Valentine’s Day, February 14th last, and he admitted to The Southern Star that performing at the school in Temple Bar was nerve-wrecking.
‘I’d never done a proper audition before and, considering that my future may depend on it, there was a lot at stake – not getting in would have meant a serious change of plans,’ said Josh.
At both the first audition, and the call-back audition on March 4th last, two of the school’s teachers were there to adjudicate the young hopefuls.
Josh said they were very noncommittal and after doing a prepared monologue they’d ask to see the same piece again but in a different style.
For his monologues, Josh chose one from Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus and another from the Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh.
His role as Ray in another McDonagh production, The Beauty of Leenane, has already secured for Josh the Best Supporting Actor title at the Waterford Drama Festival in Ballyduff.
The Skibbereen Theatre Group play also took the top award in the confined section of the competition, while Ger Minihane was named Best Director.
When asked about the lure of acting, Josh said he would happily be involved in any aspect of the business from stage to film, or even being on mic, as a voice actor. With the Leaving Cert looming, Josh admits he’s never been too bothered about school, but when it comes to play-acting he said he could happily rehearse for hours, days and months, and never notice the physical or emotional cost, just the sheer delight of being part of a troupe treading the boards.
Enrolment in October can’t come soon enough.