Saturday, 13 August 2022

’Best newcomer’ win as Gabrielle’s acting dream takes flight

A GRADUATE of The Henley College has won an acting award.

A GRADUATE of The Henley College has won an acting award.

Gabrielle Killick was named best newcomer at the Birmingham Festival.

She picked up the award for her performance in comedy The Morning After — a new play by Darren Heywood.

The role of Niamh was Gabrielle’s first since leaving the Birmingham School of Acting in June.

In her opening scene she wakes up in a flat with a guy she doesn’t know and neither can remember the night before.

Then they discover there’s a hooker sleeping in the bath and she’s the only one who has any idea of how they all got there.

Gabrielle, 21, said: "It was my first professional role and I was really fortunate to get it.

"The award is so amazing — it is quite a big title and I’m really pleased to have been named." She added: "There were some fantastic plays and performers on show, so it means a lot."

Gabrielle, who was born and raised in Datchet, Slough, paid tribute to her tutors at The Henley College.

She used to get the train from Slough to Henley so she could study for a BTec in performing arts.

Gabrielle said: "I absolutely loved it there. We did singing, acting and dancing — it was wicked.

"The preparation they did to get you audition-ready to get into the big drama schools was fantastic. A lot of people don’t get in [to acting school] at 18 and I was one of the ones who did.

"My success is really down to tutors Nic [Saunders] and Tara [Bloomfield] as they gave me audition material to get into drama schools."

She added: "What we did as part of the BTec was very similar, so when I moved on I didn’t feel out of my depth."

Gabrielle first came to prominence last year when her one-woman show May I Take Your Order? successfully debuted at the Edinburgh Festival.

In it she lifts the lid on the life of an impoverished student actress struggling to live the dream and features three comic creations — Welsh Mum, Liverpudlian best friend Jodie, and Gabby the wannabe actress.

She took the show on tour before graduating from Birmingham and has recently performed in a series of commercials aimed at promoting plain speaking in business.

Gabrielle says that she has always wanted to perform and was in all of the drama clubs and choirs at school.

Now she hopes to carve out an acting career, hopefully with more theatre performances, adding: "I have some things in the pipeline that I am really excited about. I love theatre and I hope to do more, including touring with my one-woman show."

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