College drama student off to prestigious RCS in Glasgow

AN ELIZABETH College student has won one of just 16 places at a prestigious performing arts school, ahead of more than 1,000 other applicants.

Elizabeth College student George Shuter is heading to Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in September. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 29617941)
Elizabeth College student George Shuter is heading to Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in September. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 29617941)

In September George Shuter, 18, starts a musical theatre course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

He said he got hooked on performing arts after his first Year 7 school production, Sweeney Todd.

‘I was blown away by how much goes into a musical theatre production,’ he said.

‘I started watching West End shows and was sold on how awesome and big and technical they are. I’ve done every school show since, and a few Ladies’ College ones.’

Some of his performances included a steampunk version of Henry V, playing a bouncy Artful Dodger in Oliver, and the challenge of role-splitting for Animal Farm at St James.

Centred in Glasgow, RCS offers dance, drama, music, production and film.

‘Initially I said I’d go to Juilliard [a leading performing arts school in New York City], which freaked my mum out a bit,’ he said.

‘Then I looked at conservatoires with the best musical offerings. The alumni from RCS are really good across the board, and they train you on an instrument too, so I thought it’s a brilliant place to go.’

He is torn between learning oboe or drums.

Auditioning involved three songs, two monologues from Oedipus Rex and Blink, playing House of the Rising Sun on guitar and singing, plus a 10-minute dance.

Because of the sheer volume of applicants, getting a first callback was surprising.

‘It was in two stages so when I heard I’d been through both cuts I almost fell down the stairs,’ Mr Shuter said.

‘I turned 18 in lockdown and jokingly said to my dad that I’d like to try whiskey, so as soon as we got the news he went out and bought some.

‘I wasn’t very keen on it.’

Mr Shuter thanked his teachers Mrs Campbell, Miss Flood and Mr Walters for encouraging him to indulge in the creative arts.

College head of drama Mat Walters said it was only a matter of time before one of the best drama schools in the world recognised George’s talent and potential.

‘He is a genuine talent, whether singing, dancing, or acting, shown not just in productions but also in his A-level drama studies,’ he said.

‘He deserves every success and we couldn’t be more happy for him.’

n Since 1847 the RCS has been one of the busiest performing art venues in Scotland, hosting more than 500 annual public performances. Notable alumni include actors David Tennant, Robert Carlyle, Tom Conti, Alan Cumming, Tom Ellis, John Hannah, Richard Madden and James McAvoy.

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