Chester sixth formers Sophie Jones and Joe Kelly have gained places on this year’s National Youth Theatre course.

Abbey Gate College head of drama Charlotte Andrews said: “To gain places on this world renowned course, whose alumni includes Dame Helen Mirren, Chiwetel Ejofor and Matt Smith, Sophie and Joe had to take part in a workshop with up to 40 other hopefuls and perform a monologue of their choice.

Sophie Jones (far right) with fellow cast members in Abbey Gate College's production of Honk

“They will now spend two weeks of the summer living in London and working on theatre projects culminating in one final performance.

“Up to 5,000 young people audition for the opportunity each year so we could not be more proud of Joe and Sophie and wish them every success on their amazing venture.”

Sophie is currently in the Lower Sixth and hopes eventually to go to drama school, while Joe is studying for his A2 examinations and has accepted a place to study film and television at Bristol University.