A YOUNG actor has secured a coveted scholarship place at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in New York.

Alastair Coughlan, 19, who lives in Kirkbymoorside, is currently on a gap year, working to earn and raise the funds needed for him to attend the acting school.

He has taken part in many local productions with Ryedale School, York Light Opera Company, Ryedale Community Operas and Helmsley pantomimes. While attending Ryedale School, Alastair gained a place in the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain. His projects with them include working at the Royal National Theatre in London.

After Ryedale, he attended Gordonstoun as the sixth form drama scholar. In October last year, he was invited back by the school to sing for the Queen, alongside his younger brother Ben, who currently holds a Sixth Form Academic Scholarship at Gordonstoun.

To help raise the funds towards his place at AADA, a gala event titled Broadway at Helmsley Arts Centre, on Saturday, April 14.

Hosted by Martin Vander Weyer, the line-up will include a variety of performers from across the country alongside Alastair. There will also be a raffle with prizes donated by local companies, including Hunters of Helmsley, Viva Hair and The Black Swan Hotel.

Alastair said: “AADA is the perfect place for any young creative with my ambitions within the acting and entertainment industry. I know that AADA will stretch, challenge and inspire me as a performer and an individual. I am extremely grateful to the Helmsley Arts Centre for their generosity in enabling me to put on this show in their theatre, which is a very special venue for me.”

Tickets are available from the box office on 01751 771700 and helmsleyarts.co.uk. You can also support Alastair at youcaring.com/alastaircoughlan-920170