Talented teen performers shine on national stage


Drama Stars Freya and Ella Dame Allan's Schools

Above: Dame Allan's pupils Freya (L) and Ella (R) are passionate about drama 

Two rising stage stars from Dame Allan's Schools have landed coveted places with the British Youth Music Theatre (BYMT). 

Teenagers Ella McFetrich, from Morpeth, and Freya Topping, from Jesmond, in Newcastle, were selected to join national performing arts education charity BYMT after a gruelling audition process.

The girls, who have been heavily involved in dance, drama and musical theatre from a very young age, juggle their commitments on stage with their studies and co-curricular pursuits at Dame Allan’s.

Ella, 16, has secured a role in BYMT’s summer production of ‘Wonderland in Alice’ – a movement-led reimagining of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale, exploring Alice as a non-binary character. 

Having danced since the age of three, Ella now trains at CAST academy, in Morpeth, and is signed to Peanuts talent agency, in Gateshead. She recently took a London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) Grade 6 exam while studying to sit her GCSEs this summer. 

“On stage, I enjoy being able to be someone different,” said Ella, who intends to study A Level Drama at Dame Allan’s Sixth Form. “Bringing joy to audiences through performance is incredibly fulfilling; it's a chance to unite people and offer them a brief escape from reality.” 

The Year 11 student, who has performed in Oliver! at the Tyne Theatre and Little Shop of Horrors and Grease, both at Alnwick Playhouse, has been heavily involved in dance and drama at Dame Allan’s, playing the part of Ripper in the school’s recent production of Disney's High School Musical.

Ella added: “I hope to go to a performing arts school after A-Levels and forge a career in musical theatre of some kind; I’d love to perform in the West End.”

Freya, 15, aspires to be an actor and first joined musical theatre school at the age of four. She attended Stagecoach and the Chimney Sweep Theatre Company, in Newcastle, before joining The Actors Forge, a regional training centre for budding actors. 

The Year 10 pupil at Dame Allan’s, who passed her Grade 5 LAMDA and Grade 8 Musical Theatre exams with distinction, was chosen to take part in BYMT’s recent production of Animal Farm, in Birmingham.  

“I just like being in front of an audience and making people laugh,” said Freya, who played the role of Miss Tenny in Disney's High School Musical at Dame Allan’s. “I hope to continue doing musicals but focus more on getting into tv and film. I also like the idea of directing as I have a strong imagination.” 

Freya has performed in Wind in the Willows at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House, in Newcastle, and sang at the Glasshouse International Centre for Music during professional dancer Brendan Cole’s Show Man tour. She has also performed in the West End Stage showcase at His Majesty’s Theatre and The Shaftesbury Theatre, in London. 

Dame Allan’s Principal, Will Scott, praised Ella and Freya on their accomplishments. He said: “Their dedication to their studies and their passion for the performing arts exemplifies the spirit of excellence we strive for in our students. They are shining examples of the extraordinary potential nurtured within our schools, inspiring their peers to pursue their dreams with enthusiasm and determination.”