A quiet Kirkcaldy teenager is set to take centre stage after being chosen to attend a prestigious theatre school.
Matthew Cobain (16), an S5 pupil from Balwearie High School, was one of eight selected to attend the Dance School of Scotland following a rigorous audition process involving around 100 young people from all around the country.
The Dance School of Scotland is the country’s only fully funded centre of excellence for vocational dance and musical theatre. The establishment, which is funded by The Scottish Government, is incorporated into Knightswood Secondary School in the West End of Glasgow.
Professionals in the field provide specialist teaching and training within the school’s state-of-the-art facilities, and pupils also take part in the school’s mainstream curriculum.
Matthew, of the town’s Douglas Street, said he was “absolutely delighted” when he found out he had been successful.
“It was like a massive burden had been lifted from my shoulders,” he told the Press.
“I had my first audition in February and got called back in March, so it was an anxious wait until I found out.”
Matthew will start the two-year course in August and will live in Glasgow during the week, coming home at weekends.
“It’s the only thing I have ever really wanted to do, so this is a dream come true,” he said.
“A friend of mine got in two years ago, and I was talking to her about it and decided to audition.”
Matthew first got into musical theatre at primary school, taking part in school productions led by teacher Mrs Bryce, who he described as “very inspirational.”
He joined Kirkcaldy Youth Music Theatre which puts on a show every February, and Youth Music Theatre Scotland, with which he was involved in a production at the Edinburgh Fringe.
He is also a member of Kirkcaldy Amateur Operatic Society and has appeared in pantomime with Billy Mack for the past five years.
He has taken dance lessons with Gail Neish Dance School for the past two years, plays piano and does singing lessons with Rosemary Nairne, taking part in solo singing classes at Fife Festival of Music where he won three trophies.
Matthew, who is one of four children, says he has had tremendous support from all his family, none of whom share his theatrical passion.
And dad Mark and mum Tricia say they are very proud of what he has achieved.
“He is quite a quiet boy, so for him to get up on stage and do what he does is amazing,” said Tricia.
“We are delighted he is getting to follow his dream and maybe one day appear in the West End. We hope his success will encourage others to follow in his footsteps.”