Whalley's Mia McLoughlin is destined for stardom
PUBLISHED: 00:00 08 June 2016
With a prestigious theatre scholarship under her belt, ten-year-old Mia McLoughlin from Whalley is set to have her name in lights
Singing, check. Dancing, check. Acting, check. Whalley’s Mia McLoughlin is what the Hollywood glitterati would call a triple threat – and she’s only ten years old.
‘She ticks every single box,’ beamed Mia’s acting coach, Rachel Hayden, who has taught the young star since she was six. ‘Her core strength drives her. She really wants to do well but doesn’t realise just how talented she is.’
Mia may not have realised it, but everyone else at Little Voices Blackburn and Ribble Valley knew she had star quality from joining the performing arts organisation in 2012. And it’s not only those in the north Mia has captivated. The young starlet has recently achieved a scholarship for the prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School in London, which includes Billie Piper, Denise Van Outen and Amy Winehouse as alumni. A gruelling audition process saw Mia crack a Shakespeare monologue and sing and dance numerous routines.
‘I wouldn’t normally advise a child to go down that path as it is exhausting and can be cut-throat, but I didn’t doubt for one moment that Mia couldn’t do it,’ said Little Voices’ principal, Jane Maudsley. ‘A school like Sylvia Young is full on. You have three days of normal academic studies for your ten GCSEs and then two days vocational for three disciplines of dance, drama and singing.’
‘However, Mia is a talented, committed and passionate performer with the burning desire to follow her dreams. All of our tutors, parents and pupils are thrilled for Mia and her family. This is a massive achievement and it’s very well deserved.’
For Mia, who will be moving to London with her mum, Jo, in September, it’s been a lifelong dream to study at Sylvia Young. ‘It was such a shock when I found out I’d got in. I was dancing at the time! My mum came in and told me and I just couldn’t believe it.’
‘We had been waiting for two days to hear something, it was torture. I thought that was it,’ said Jo, who said that it was only when more and more of Mia’s teachers were telling her and husband Lee just how good their daughter was that they thought they should go through the arduous process of applying for a place.
‘When we were sat in the final audition, some of the children had already starred in West End shows. I was thinking, how will this happen, she just goes to her local school – they have all been focused on it for years.’
‘It was so amazing to find out she had got it. I will move with her to London for the first year, and Lee and my son Max, 13, will stay here. Mia is a real home bird so it’s a shock to see she’s not that bothered about leaving. She’s been picking out new home items in John Lewis already!’