London drama school for Jason

Jason Simonet-Shaw, who has been accepted at Arts Ed London for a performing arts course.
Jason Simonet-Shaw, who has been accepted at Arts Ed London for a performing arts course.

A BRIGHOUSE High School student’s dream has come true after landing a scholarship at a London drama college.

Jason Simonet-Shaw, who has just finished his GCSEs, has scooped a sought-after place at the capital’s Arts Ed College.

“I was really shocked to get in,” said the 16-year-old. “Despite having worked so hard to get there, I just never imagined I would, because it was just so big.”

It has always been his dream to study musical theatre since the age of five when he went with his parents to see Phantom of the Opera which first sparked his interest.

But it hasn’t been easy for Jason who has been practising for hours after school three times a week at Footsteps Theatre School in Bradford.

He’s been travelling there for seven years - but never told his friends the extent of his passion.

“They’ve only just cottoned on, when I first started to apply to colleges,” he said. “I never really thought they would be interested but they have been, so it’s been a really lovely surprise.

“I thought they wouldn’t ‘get it’ unless they saw me and they probably wouldn’t get an opportunity, so I basically just kept it to myself.

“For years, they would know I couldn’t come out after school on a Tuesday and Thursday.

“And when they wanted a reason why I couldn’t do something I had to tell them I went to a theatre school.

“But they just never knew how seriously I took it.”

In the past six years, he has performed with Halifax Thespians, Huddersfield’s Proper Job Theatre Company, Opera North and Halifax Amateur Operatic Society.

Jason, of Springhead, Pellon, said he hopes one day to perform in the West End. “In musical theatre, you have to act and dance as well as sing, which are my greatest passions,” he said.