Anna follows Oscar winner Eddie in Theatre school

Anna Cookson, 16, from Winmarleigh. Attending the National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT).
Anna Cookson, 16, from Winmarleigh. Attending the National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT).

A Scorton teenager is one step closer towards her West End dream after joining the prestigious National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT).

Dubbed “the finest youth music theatre in the world” by world famous composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, 16-year-old Anna Cookson is the next in a long line of stars to go through the school.

Earlier this year Eddie Redmayne became the first NYMT alumnus to win an Academy Award but it has also produced actors such as Jude Law, Idris Elba and Matt Lucas.

Anna will join up with NYMT for a week-long residential in Kent before spending three weeks of her summer rehearsing.

She has been offered the part of Titty in World War One show ‘Brass’ by Benjamin Till and three performances of the show will follow on the August 26 and 27 at the Hackney Empire, one of the countries largest and famous theatres.

But before that, the cast are travelling to France in June to immerse themselves in what would have been experienced by those young men who fought at the Somme, and felt by the girls they left behind.

And she will also be taking part in a fortieth anniversary concert in the West End in October, and a Christmas Concert at St John’s Smith Square in London.

Anna, who attends Lancaster Girls Grammar School, has recently passed her Grade six violin, is taking her Grade eight piano exam in summer as well as being a member of the Lancaster Priory Choir.

She is currently in lower sixth form studying A levels in English, French, music and drama and theatre studies and says her passion for theatre started after being chosen for the starring role in the musical Annie, with the Garstang Theatre Group.

Anna becomes one of the youngest within the programme, which takes performers up to the age of 23, some with university degrees.

And dad Ian Cookson, headteacher at Winmarleigh Church of England Primary School, says he, mum Nikki and sister Ella are immensely proud of Anna and have already booked tickets for all three performances in August, along with grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins.