A WIGAN teenager whose rugby dream was ended by injury is hoping for a career in theatre after swapping the scrum for the stage.
Evan Sutton, from Abram, has secured a place at the prestigious Guildford School of Acting to study musical theatre after picking up three distinction star grades in his BTEC studies.
Evan first discovered his love for the stage at Golborne High School after missing out on a trial with Super League outfit Warrington Wolves due to a shoulder injury, and was almost immediately bitten by the performing bug.
His most high-profile role to date saw him appear in The Heights, a musical put on as the end-of-year show organised by Priestley College in Warrington, and he hopes there will be many more top billings to come after securing his place at one of the UK’s top theatre schools.
Evan, 18, said: “I was feeling down after missing the rugby trials and a mate asked me to audition for the school show. We both ended up getting lead parts.
“From that moment I fell in love with the stage and the feeling I get from an audience and performing.”
Evan’s time at the Warrington college has seen him hone his skills in acting, singing and dancing, and hopes his talent will take him on to a dream role in Cats, the first musical he saw.
For his role in The Heights he was so keen to fully inhabit his character that he took to speaking in an American accent at home in the run-up to the performances.
He says the show’s success came about through the atmosphere back stage and the way the cast all came together to help each other through any difficulties, with more than 20 cast and crew members being given offers by drama schools after the run.
He said: “We all helped one another with our auditions and offered each other support throughout our time at Priestley.
“I improved in all disciplines thanks to the support of my tutors and help from my friends on the course.”
Evan is now dreaming of the West End, but says he still hopes to remain in theatre and pass on his passion for the stage to the next generation of upcoming performances with a teaching role at a college or university if his own ambitions to tread the boards professionally do not work out.
He said: “I’ve put my heart and soul into performing and I am just glad that I discovered the thing I love.”