And Elly Jay (26), a former pupil of Fraserburgh Academy now has set her sights on securing a future role as Elphaba in stage favourite Wicked.
Elly was handed her West End debut in March before assuming the lead role of Vivian on the night her family attended the show after travelling south from the Broch.
That prolonged period of fronting a major West End production has given Elly a burning desire to play more leading roles.
“What a month it has been!” said Elly. “Playing a leading role is something I’ve always wanted to go, and I also got to perform as Vivian at West End Live in Trafalgar Square, which is another big ‘bucket list’ achievement for me.
“The first time I played Vivian was just a few days into the run, and it landed on the weekend my family came down and was a dream come true. I just received the call from the company manager earlier in the day that my family were due to attend and it came as a real surprise.”
Meanwhile, Elly has been delighted to see fellow Fraserburgh Academy former pupil Dillon Third follow in her footsteps. Dillon has just been signed by a top London agency as he graduates from The MGA Academy.
“It’s been such a delight to see Dillon progress,” said Elly. “I think, having watched him, he has developed into a great performer and I’m so excited to see where he goes.”
Dillon signed for Network Artist Management and landed the role of a lifetime as a singer and dancer on Fred Olsen Cruise Lines just weeks after graduating with a BA (Hons) Musical Theatre. The 19-year-old will start rehearsals next week ahead of travelling around Europe as an all-singing all-dancing performer.
Dillon is looking forward to travelling around Europe and hopes to work as a cruise line performer for a long time, but would love to set his sights even further afield in the future.
“I'd love to go and see the world doing what I love but I would also love to branch out into stuff like Universal way over in like Japan and China, or Disney Parks. I would also love to be in a UK tour, or the West End one day.”
The MGA Academy of Performing Arts was established in 2005 to provide a platform for aspiring performers to remain in Scotland while studying at a level equivalent to prestigious London colleges. The school, which attracts aspiring performers from around the UK and across Europe, is now recruiting for its 2022-23 intake for BA (Hons) Dance, Musical Theatre, and Acting, with auditions for coveted places set to take place in the coming weeks.
School principal Marcella Macdonald said: “Here at The MGA Academy of Performing Arts, we are so proud of Caitlin for all she has achieved since graduating in 2018. We take great pride in nurturing raw talent, and it’s always a joy to see our students develop the skills needed to pursue such successful careers in the industry. Caitlin is an inspiration to all of our current and future students, and we can’t wait to welcome her back this summer.”
The MGA Academy has full accreditation from the London-based Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre (CDMT) and its full-time degree courses are accredited by Bath Spa University. Graduates include film and TV star Thomas Doherty (Gossip Girl, Descendents 2 and 3 and Catherine the Great), and West End stars Fergal McGoff (Matilda, Mamma Mia and The Bodyguard) and Rhiannon Chesterman (Mrs Henderson Presents and Grease).
To apply for a place at The MGA Academy of Performing Arts in August, visit www.themgaacademy.com/apply