Updates from a Drama Student

Ryan Coates
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Ryan Coates is a pupil at Castle Rushen High School and is currently studying for his Drama and Music GCSE. He is a member of the Youth Arts Centre (YAC) and has been studying Acting for Television, Film and Theatre with Parker and Snell for the past four years.

He received Arts Council funding to go to the National Youth Theatre Summer School in 2017. Since then, Ryan has been involved with projects with MADF, YAC, the Gaiety Theatre, King's Court Theatre and the Isle of Man Film Festival amongst many others. We were delighted to hear what Ryan has been up to since the then as well as what he has been working on now.

Ryan Coates
Ryan pictured outside the National Theatre in London.

In summer 2017, the Isle of Man Arts Council kindly supported me to attend the National Youth Theatre's (NYT) Junior Summer Course, after I passed an audition in the February. This means that I'm now a member of the NYT of Great Britain until I'm 25.

After returning from the summer school, I played one of the Ancestors (as well as a member of the Chinese army) in Mulan Junior, which was performed at the Gaiety Theatre in October last year.

A Midsummer Night's Dream. Ryan is pictured far left.

In February, I performed the role of Poppy in The Free9, which was directed by David Dawson at the Youth Arts Centre as part of National Theatre Connections. It's based on the true story of nine North Korean children who fled to the south, and I played the role of Poppy, a teenager addicted to opium, which was probably the most challenging role I've ever had to do. We performed it at the YAC, and at King's Court Theatre as part of the MADF One-Act Play Festival, and then in Bath as part of National Theatre Connections.

For the role I won Best Male Performance for the Under 21s in the One-Act Festival.

Ryan won best Male Performance for The Free9 during the MADF One-Act Play in the Under 21s category.

In July I took my LAMDA Grade 5 exams, receiving distinctions in both Acting (solo) and Speaking Verse and Prose. I'm being taught by Carrie Hunt at Broadway Theatre Company for my LAMDA exams. 

Ryan Coates
Ryan preparing to go into his LAMDA exams earlier this year.

In August 2018 I was invited to join London-based Russell Actors for a promenade performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I played the roles of Lysander and Flute/Thisbe, and we performed two shows in Vicarage Gardens. This was my first Shakespeare role and I really enjoyed it, and hope to do more Shakespeare soon.

A Midsummer Night's Dream. 

In September I was invited to the Isle of Man Film Festival for a screening of The Invader's Song, which I filmed in April last year. It was amazing to finally see it on the big screen.

Ryan in the film, The Invader's Song.

I was then invited to join Centre Stage Players for their production of The Accrington Pals, which was performed for three nights earlier this month at the Erin Arts Centre, the final night on Remembrance Day. I played the role of Reggie.

Invaders Song
The film poster for the film, The Invader's Song that Ryan featured in last year.

At the moment I'm busy rehearsing for the lead role of Seymour in our school production of Little Shop of Horrors (performed in February) and with Manx Operatics Society for Les Mis at the Gaiety in March, for which I was lucky enough to land a role in the ensemble (it's my favourite musical).

Also in February, I'll be attending National Youth Theatre in London to audition for NYT productions during 2019.

Pictured far right: Taken whilst in London at the National Youth Theatre summer course in August 2017.

I'll be taking my GCSEs in May next year and I'm currently applying to drama schools in the UK, in the hope that I can get a place starting in September/October 2019.

Thank you so much to the Arts Council for helping me get to London for the NYT course in summer last year. It was such a great experience and I learned so much from it which I’ve used in my performances since then.

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Isle of man Government