An aspiring north-east actress will be given the chance to make her debut on the West End stage this summer, after being accepted into a leading theatre summer school.
Serena Masson, 17, will travel to London, where she will join other up and coming talents taking part in a new performance of the much-loved musical, Phantom of the Opera.
The Portlethen Academy pupil has been involved in acting, singing and drama with the Phoenix Youth Theatre for two years and said she was itching to tread the boards on a bigger scale.
She said: “The people I am taught by recommended the West End Stage programme to me and said it was the perfect opportunity, and I thought I’d be absolutely crazy not to apply for it.
“I was over the moon when I found out I had been accepted.”
Serena will be in stellar company for the scheme. Also attending will be students from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where top stars such as Ewan McGregor, Daniel Craig and Orlando Bloom learned the tricks of the acting trade.
The teenager hopes to follow in their footsteps by becoming a film actress one day.
She has already picked up valuable experience through roles in numerous performances in Aberdeen, including as a member of the chorus for a recent production of Hello Dolly at the city’s His Majesty’s Theatre.
She said it had been a great opportunity to hone her skills.
“It felt so professional and I always dreamed of performing on that stage,” she said.
Phoenix Youth Theatre was also asked to perform when the Strictly Come Dancing Tour came to Aberdeen and Serena took to the stage of the Music Hall for two routines in the style of the hit BBC talent show.
She described it as an “amazing experience.”
And recently she travelled to Caird Hall in Dundee to perform as an extra in Ellen Kent’s professional tour of Madame Butterfly.
She said: “It’s great to be involved in any way possible.”
She hopes to go on to study performance acting at Aberdeen College and then on to a drama school in London, so is looking on the West End Stage programme as an opportunity to shine.
During her stay in London, she will be taken to see the West End hit musical Memphis and afterwards will be given an opportunity to talk to the cast during a private question and answer session after the show.
She said it was likely to be one of the highlights of her trip – and another step on her journey to the centre stage.
“I will ask them all loads of questions – such as how they got to the top, what they had to do, which drama school they went to how to develop at drama school and what they get up to when they are not acting,” she said.