From West Street to West End

Ailsha Pell with Phil Cantwell EMN-160530-092539001
Ailsha Pell with Phil Cantwell EMN-160530-092539001

Don’t be surprised if a teenager working at a local restaurant starts singing for her supper - she’s just landed a place at the world’s top theatre school.

Horncastle’s Aisha Pell (18) could be heading for a West End career and will start her studies at the famous Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London in September.

The former Banvallum School pupil has already defied the odds, just to secure a place.

However, she did that well in her auditions, Aisha has won a bursary covering her £16,000-a-year fees for three years.

On top of that, the Academy will also pay the talented teenager £5,000 towards her living expenses.

Aisha told the News: “It’s fantastic and I can’t wait to start.

“I knew it would be difficult just getting a place because there’s so much competition so to get a bursary is even better.”

Aisha is something of an all rounder when it comes to theatre and dance.

However, she has her eyes firmly set ona career in musicals in the West End.

She added: “That’s something I’ve wanted to do - ever since I was four or five.

“I’ve always loved singing and dancing and now I’ve got the chance to study at one of the world’s best academies.

“It will be hard work but its what I’ve always wanted.”

Aisha has progressed via the Dance 10 Dancing School - which is based at the Dance House in South Street - and the Nancy Byrne Theatre Arts.

She also joined the Red Lion Theatre’s ‘Upstagers’ group - set up for young performers - and has appeared in a host of their performances , including Pantomimes.

Aisha, who currently attends the Lincoln Christ Hospital School, said she will always be grateful for the support and encouragement of her various teachers in Horncastle.

She is also full of praise for the help she has received from her family.

She will be studying dance and drama (Da-Da) at the Conti Academy wbich has produced a host of top stars from the likes of Noel Coward to, more recently, Pixie Lott, Russell Brand, and Martine McCutcheon.

Aisha admitted that ideally,she would love to appear in a glittering West End production and musicals are proving to be as popular as ever.

While the bursary will help with the cost of living and studying in London, Aisha also works part-time at the Thai Dining and Riverside Grill in West Street. Owner Phil Cantwell is delighted with Aisha’s progress and believes she has the talent and determination to succeed.