Line of Duty actor Vicky McClure calls for affordable UK drama schools

Vicky McClure Image copyright PA
Image caption Ms McClure is set to appear in a new period drama, a three-part BBC adaptation of Joseph Conrad's literary classic The Secret Agent

Line of Duty and This Is England actor Vicky McClure has called for more affordable drama schools in the UK.

The 33-year-old attended free classes at the Nottingham Television Workshop twice a week from the age of 11.

The charity offers free training for people aged between seven and 21 in performance skills for television, film, radio and theatre.

The actress, from Wollaton in the city, made a plea that "there should be places like that in every city".

She told Radio Times: "It's striking how many successful actors came out of Nottingham.

"We don't need to send people to expensive drama schools.

"When I went to the Nottingham Television Workshop it was free. Even now it's affordable - £100 a term - and if people don't have that there are bursaries and sponsors."

Nottingham Television Workshop Alumni

Image copyright PA
  • Shane Meadows - Workshop Patron: An independent film director and screenwriter, who won a BAFTA for This is England
  • Aisling Loftus: Starred in Mr Selfridge and BBC historical period drama War & Peace
  • Joe Dempsie: Starred in Game of Thrones and Skins
  • Samantha Morton: Starred alongside Tom Cruise in Minority Report in 2002
  • Jack O'Connell: Co-starred with George Clooney and Julia Roberts in Money Monster in 2016

Ms McClure was discovered by Nottingham-based director Shane Meadows while training at the after-school drama workshop.

At the age of 16 she made her movie debut in his film A Room For Romeo Brass.

In 2011, the actress won a Bafta and a Royal Television Society Award for her part in the film This Is England 86 - also a Mr Meadows project.

Workshop director Nic Harvey said its ethos has been that "talent comes first, then we work out how their training can be paid for".

"Drama schools have a responsibility to go out there and attract hard-to-find talent with bursary and scholarship schemes," he said.

"If an aspiring young actor from a hard-up background can't see opportunities to develop their potential and make a road into the industry, then professional drama training will be the privilege of those who can afford to take financial risks.

"Great actors need great empathy, a chemistry with people from all walks of life."

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