Musical Theatre student wins leading man award


Jack McNeill, a 1st year musical theatre student, has won Best Leading Man in the 2015 National Operatic and Dramatic Association (Noda) biennial awards (North West region).

It is the second time that Jack, from Carlisle, has won the award. In 2013 he won for the role of Bill Snibson in Me and My Girl (2013) and this time around, as Don Lockwood in Singin’ in the Rain (2014).

NODA provides assistance and advice to amateur groups and societies around the UK, and its annual awards – offered by region – are highly coveted.

Jack comes from a theatrical family. His parents run the local youth theatre company StagedRight, and Jack has been a member right up until he left to take up his place at Trinity Laban.

Jack says: “I was told that it was highly unusual to win twice and I actually forgot when the gala dinner was, so when I got the call I’m not sure who was most surprised - me, Mum, Dad or the Noda guy!

“Theatre has always been part of family life although I am the first from either side of the family to study theatre at university. I have appeared in many StagedRight musicals and cabarets - but being part of the family business massively increases expectations and that is the beauty of moving away. I am now judged on what I can do and not who I am or who my parents are.

“I've had the most amazing time so far at Trinity Laban. Although it's hard work, I love every minute of it and I wouldn't want it any other way. “

Victoria Stretton, Trinity Laban’s Musical Theatre Programme Leader, says: “Jack is a talented, motivated and energetic student who has a very successful career in musical theatre ahead of him."

Jack is in Trinity Laban’s production of The Pirates of Penzance, a fresh take on the Gilbert and Sullivan classic comedy opera, at Blackheath Halls from 4-6 June 2015.

Jack has also appeared in the National Youth Music Theatre’s productions West Side Story, and in the new musical Brass, which was voted best musical production in the 2014 UK Theatre Awards. When not studying he is busy recording the original cast album.