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East Anglia Future 50

See former Essex student in this Netflix hit

PUBLISHED: 10:15 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:58 27 February 2019

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in June 2013 at Colchester Institute
Picture: NOVA HUGHES

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in June 2013 at Colchester Institute Picture: NOVA HUGHES

Nova Hughes

Former Colchester performing arts student Patricia Allison is starring in the new Netflix hit comedy drama, Sex Education.

Now performing arts tutors at Colchester Institute and are hoping her success will encourage more students to join drama courses at the college and its degree provision at University Centre Colchester.

The new British filmed comedy, starring Gillian Anderson of X-files fame, is set in a school.

Ms Allison plays Ola Nyman, who develops feelings for one of the main characters, Otis.

Performing arts course leader Nova Hughes said, “We are really pleased for her, and the other students who have gone on to do well from here. It is great going to see them in shows in the West End and on TV too.

Actress Patricia Allison performing on stage when she was a student at Colchester Institute
Picture: NOVA HUGHESActress Patricia Allison performing on stage when she was a student at Colchester Institute Picture: NOVA HUGHES

“Patricia was with us for two years, on our level 3 musical theatre course.

“I directed her in her second year in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee which was in June 2013.

“She was always a very strong actress. It was her strength.

“She then went from here to E15 (in London), for four years and she graduated from there.

Actress Patricia Allison starring in the Netflix comedy drama Sex Education
Picture: DANIEL SUTKAActress Patricia Allison starring in the Netflix comedy drama Sex Education Picture: DANIEL SUTKA

“She is doing really well.

“She has most recently filmed the Netflix series Sex Education.

“She also appeared on the BBC 1 series of Les Miserables, playing the role of Marguerite.

“The Netflix series has received a significant response on social media, and in the press.”

Ms Allison, who studied Musical Theatre at Colchester Institute said: “Colchester Institute was the first taste of what was yet to come in terms of my drama training. I learned an immense amount of discipline, whilst exploring my inner creativity; it was so exciting to come straight out of school and into a vocational acting (Musical Theatre) course, I felt I had definitely taken a step in the right direction. Being amongst like-minded peers was a joy - they, like my tutors helped shape my short, but sweet time there.

“Sex Education has had such a wonderful reception, there’s a lot of people who love it; I am very grateful for the response, it’s great to know that you’re part of something that resonates with so many others, especially when the writing is so spot on. Being part of such a talented diverse cast makes it all the more exciting. As Jackson says, “We’re taking over.””

Nova Hughes added: “It’s a wonderful feeling to know that Colchester Institute is providing that first rung of the ladder in their development as professional performers. There is a family atmosphere here and students keep in touch with us for years afterwards to share their news. I think this speaks for itself in how our past students value the time they spent here.”

There are a number of other alumni from Colchester making progress in arts and entertainment, she said, including Karis Jack, Lukin Simmonds, Fred Smiley, Reece Kerridge and Freya Brown.

For more information about the Performing Arts course at Colchester Institute or degree at University Centre Colchester visit www.colchester.ac.uk for further information.

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