There was cause for celebration when the Isle of Man Arts Council joined forces with the Studio Theatre at Ballakermeen High School to extend congratulations to Her Majesty the Queen on the occasion of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday and mark the occasion with a special live screening of The Audience starring Dame Helen Mirren.
Ahead of the screening was another celebration, when, in his welcome address, Arts Council chairman Geoff Corkish MBE MLC announced that ‘rising star’ Michelle Jamieson, a former Young Actor of Man and Young Singer of Man ‘who had graced the Gaiety Theatre in many productions’ had been appointed an Arts Ambassador for the Isle of Man.
18-year-old Ms Jamieson, who is a member of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and current holder of the best under-21 performer and best actress from the 2016 Easter Festival of Plays, is soon to leave the Island to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; in doing she becomes one of only nine women out of 800 who auditioned for the musical theatre course.
Of her newest appointment she said: ‘It’s truly a great honour to have been made an Arts Ambassador for the Isle of Man. The island offers young performers so many opportunities and such tremendous support to develop their talents so it’s a genuine privilege for me to be able represent and promote the Isle of Man as the true cultural powerhouse that it is.’
Guests, who included the Mayor and Mayoress of Douglas, Councillor John Skinner and his wife, Gill, the Speaker of the House of Keys, the Hon Steve Rodan SHK, and the Bishop of Sodor of Man, the Rt Rev Robert Paterson, heard Mr Corkish explain that live screening was ‘a major initiative’ by the Isle of Man Arts Council which brought ‘the best of ballet, opera and theatre from the West End and Broadway direct to audiences in the Isle of Man.’
He continued: ‘This initiative has been running for three years at the Studio Theatre and in that time over 9000 people have attended the shows.’
In closing Mr Corkish paid tribute to Ballakermeen High School’s head teacher Adrienne Burnett and her team for their vision and commitment to make the finest stage and screen productions from around the world accessible and affordable to the people of the Isle of Man.
For details of the Studio Theatre’s live screening programme visit www.thestudiotheatre.im
Image: Isle of Man Arts Council chairman Geoff Corkish MBE MLC with newly appointed arts ambassador for the Isle of Man Michelle Jamieson.
Photo credit: Andrew Barton