Fran discovered her passion for theatre at a young age. From the moment she arrived at Lincoln Minster School (LMS), Fran’s love for theatre continued to flourish. From being involved in productions such as The Odyssey to being a stage manager for Macbeth, LMS has allowed Fran to explore every aspect of technical theatre from lights and sound to costume and set.
“This is what drew me to Royal Academy of Dramatic Art’s (RADA) course which allows you to explore every aspect of technical theatre in the first year, then focusing your skills to one or a couple of areas; for me I am most interested in stage management, which oversees and organises each department, making sure actors stay safe and that everyone knows what they’re doing,” says Fran.
Getting into the prestigious institution isn’t easy — but with LMS’s help, Fran and her schoolmate Will received offers to study Production Arts and will now be working with industry experts as part of their training at the academy. To get there, both had to work through several highly competitive stages as part of the selection process.
After the first stage of interviews, applicants are invited to the RADA studios for a workshop. “You will have a half day of exercises to see how you work in a group and to get to know you, as well as giving you a chance to work and look around the space,” says Fran. “One of the activities we had to do involved protecting sugar glass (glass made to break safely) from a high fall using a box full of items such as packing peanuts and bubble wrap.”
Jenny Wafer, Head of Drama at Lincoln Minster School, called this an “incredible achievement.” “The Academy is one of the most competitive schools in the world. RADA’s intake is around 30 people annually with around 60 getting to the final stage from hundreds of applicants each year”.
RADA is the alma mater of many of the world’s most renowned figures in film, TV and theatre, including Ralph Fiennes, Diana Rigg, Anthony Hopkins, Roger Moore and Alan Rickman, as well as countless professionals in the field of technical production.
Getting into RADA is just one of the many amazing things LMS graduates are now doing. They are leading successful careers in design, theatre and music, including Eliza Butterworth, a RADA graduate who now acts in a number of major television series. Other notable alumni include Regency Award winner Oliver Butterworth, Opera Scotland member Beth Jerem, The Cherry Stone Duo member William Crawford, among many others.
Based in the heart of Lincolnshire, LMS provides students with an inspirational environment to build a generation of high achievers with purpose, ambition and character. At its core, creativity and individuality are celebrated throughout the school — achievements are as well.
In 2021, 100% of LMS’s Art A Level pupils managed to achieved an A* to C grade. Similarly, 100% of students who pursued their studies in Photography and Textile Design also managed to achieve A* to C in the same year. Meanwhile, 50% of students who pursued Music achieved an A* in 2021 and 100% of students who took Drama and Theatre Studies achieved an A* to B grade.
For actress Butterworth, the best thing about her time at LMS is its focus on nurturing passions. “I am extremely proud to say that I attended Lincoln Minster School from the tender age of four all the way to 18! The Minster School gave me some of the most exciting, challenging, and impactful years of my life that I will always treasure,” she says.
Facilities that are built to inspire
LMS’s purpose-built facilities are built to highly benefit the teaching and learning experience.
Its well-equipped art studio has views overlooking the city of Lincoln — a perfect place to find inspiration. Along with the school’s studios for photography, graphic design and drama theatre, LMS is also home to the Harper Building, an entirely purpose-built space for the arts which includes an exhibition space and Recital Hall (a large performance space used by pupils and members of the community).
Pair these state-of-the-art spaces with specialist tutors, and LMS students get an all-through education in a nurturing and stimulating environment. Tutors here come with a wealth of business and industry contacts and connections, whether it’s music, sports, arts, the sciences or humanities. Unique industry links ensure what students learn in classes align with the latest industry information and knowledge of future trends.
For more support, LMS students can access supplementary business and industry-specific support via a bespoke masterclass delivered through the school. Alumni provide a network of support and expert guidance via its ambassador programmes as well.