A RISING star whose dream is to perform on London’s West End heads to esteemed performing arts school Italia Conti this week – after two years of balancing intense dance studies with auditions and A-levels.

Lily Fisher, from Newcastle, will begin a BA Hons in musical theatre at the prestigious Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts having started dancing at the age of three, and more recently trained for up to ten hours a week around her schoolwork.

The 18-year-old last month left Dame Allan’s Schools with an A* in A-level theatre studies, as well as an A* in psychology and C in biology, having secured her place at the world’s oldest theatre arts school, where notable alumni include Naomi Campbell, Bonnie Langford, Patsy Kensit and Noel Coward.

“I was auditioning throughout my A-Level studies for different theatre schools, taking part in online workshops, doing interviews, learning choreography and performing,” said Lily, from Gosforth.

“It has been an intense year of training around my academic work, and the covid restrictions made everything more challenging, but the hard work has paid off and I’m thrilled to be going to Italia Conti.”

The three-year course teaches students to become so-called “triple threats” who excel in acting, singing and dance, in preparation for work on the stage and screen. Lily will also learn skills in stage combat, improvisation and audition technique.

The talented teenager discovered her love of performing arts at an early age, inspired by her grandmother’s love of musical theatre. She joined the Gillian Quinn School of Theatre Dance at three-years-old and trained locally for ten years before successfully auditioning for the Northern School of Contemporary Dance’s Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) programme.

In Year 12, while studying for her first year of A-Levels, Lily successfully auditioned for West End Prep, an elite musical theatre training programme in the North East, run by a team of successful and seasoned London stage performers.

“I definitely see myself as working in the West End, the ultimate dream is to be the lead role in a musical. I don’t want to limit myself, because musical theatre has many paths, but performing is where my heart is,” said Lily.

Throughout her time at Dame Allan’s Schools, in Fenham, Lily performed in many stage productions, including Grease and Little Shop of Horrors, and was the lead role in Sister Act, the final play at the independent school before the pandemic hit.

Principal Will Scott said: “Lily was one of our stage stars. Her talents and passion for performing arts have the potential to take her all the way to the West End, and we wish her all the best as she fulfils her dream.”

Looking ahead to the new term now restrictions have eased, Mr Scott added: “School stages are meant for productions, music, singing and drama. We are excited to see our students making full use of the facilities and enjoying the performing arts we have all sorely missed.”