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Charlotte's coveted place at RADA

PUBLISHED: 10:03 01 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:17 06 July 2010

ACTING AMBITION: Charlotte Barker, who has won a prestigious place at RADA.

ACTING AMBITION: Charlotte Barker, who has won a prestigious place at RADA.

THE Journal's Carnival Queen has secured a coveted place at one of the best drama schools in the world.

Charlotte Barker, who is celebrating her 18th birthday today, beat off competition from the likes of an Olympic swimmer and catwalk model to become the youngest person accepted on the course at RADA in London.

THE Journal's Carnival Queen has secured a coveted place at one of the best drama schools in the world.

Charlotte Barker, who is celebrating her 18th birthday today, beat off competition from the likes of an Olympic swimmer and catwalk model to become the youngest person accepted on the course at RADA in London.

But unless she can raise the hefty tuition fees, her dream of joining an institute that boosted the careers of Sir Anthony Hopkins and Kenneth Branagh, could be over, before it has even begun.

Charlotte, who lives in Carlton Colville, needs to find £11,000 to fund the course, which starts in September and her father has already sold his motorbike and caravan to support her.

“There isn't any government help for it and we haven't got that kind of money so we're trying to raise it,” she said. “I've cashed in my single bonds and shares to try and raise some money and I'm going to write to some local companies to ask for their help. If I can't get the money, I can't go,” she said.

Charlotte is still studying for her a-levels at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, in Gorleston, but was encouraged at the end of last year to think about her future after her current education ends.

She said: “I was going to apply for some of the drama schools but I didn't think I would get into any of them because they generally like you to be older with more experience. I wasn't even going to apply for RADA.”

After submitting her application, she was called for an audition and was asked to perform both a Shakespearian monologue and a contemporary piece, which resulted in a second call back.

“My call back was the day when it was snowing really hard in London. I went to London on my own, but the whole underground system wasn't working, so I had to walk halfway across it to get there.

“There were about 20 of us there, some were from Oxford and Cambridge, one was an Olympic swimmer, another, a catwalk model and there was also someone on an internship at Vogue. I sat there as a 17-year-old A Level student and thought I'd never get in,” she said.

Charlotte was told to await some news. It came just as she was about to go on stage to perform Hamlet at college.

“My dad called and said they had left a message on our answer phone at home, I thought he was mucking around. The man from RADA said there had been a problem with the paperwork so he was phoning me in advance and he offered me a place without the third audition.

“I couldn't believe it. It was just amazing as I didn't think I stood a chance at all. It's such a fantastic opportunity though as it's the best drama school in the world.”

If you would like to support Charlotte, call The Journal on 01502 525838.

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