St Albans actress lands spot with National Youth Theatre

Emily Horton-Harpin in 'Goodnight Mister Tom', where she played Mrs Beech

Emily Horton-Harpin in 'Goodnight Mister Tom', where she played Mrs Beech - Credit: Archant

A teen has beaten the odds and more than 3,500 rivals to win a place at an esteemed youth theatre.

Emily Horton-Harpin, 16, of Jersey Farm, St Albans, auditioned for the National Youth Theatre (NYT) in February and recently learned she had secured a spot.

The infamous NYT boasts an array of impressive alumni, including Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Day Lewis, Matt Smith and Sir Derek Jacobi, and Emily said the competition was strong.

“The day went really well, but I knew that the NYT was very difficult to get into, and a lot of people had said that they didn’t get in first time, so I tried not to get my hopes up too much.

“You can imagine how excited I was when I heard that I had made it through.”

A keen actress her whole life, and throughout her years at Sandringham School, Emily performed in numerous productions around Hertfordshire before being encouraged to audition by her teacher Ms Paul.

“I have always loved performing. Even when I was a toddler, I liked to dance or sing for my family,” she added.

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She has won two awards, one for the ‘Best Actress/Actor’ in the 2013 St Albans Film Festival and a ‘Judges Special Mention’ prize in the 2014 festival.

This comes alongside nominations for ‘Pupil of the Year’ at the Herts Ad School Awards, and ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Arts’ in the Creative Hertfordshire Flame Awards.

To secure her place at NYT, Emily had to participate in a three hour workshop before performing a two minute monologue from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible before a panel of judges.

She now has to attend a two week course on acting techniques and will then be able to audition for NYT productions until she is 25.

Emily has aspirations to be a successful actor or director but the flexibility of the NYT allows her to still take her A-levels.