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In The Spotlight > In The Spotlight > In The Spotlight: Charlie Russell

In The Spotlight: Charlie Russell

Charlie Russell (2005-07)
Charlie Russell (2005-07)

Tell us about what you do now. Has your time at the School influenced your life today? 

I am an actor. I make theatre and TV with the company Mischief, and work independently too. I’m also trying my hand at writing these days! The Drama Department at BMS really supported me in my journey towards becoming an actor. The teachers showed me a path I could follow to pursue my dreams, and gave me every opportunity to stretch and grow. I also had a job working for Nick Parker whilst I was still auditioning and trying to get into drama school. If it wasn’t for the School and the Drama Department, I wouldn’t be where I am today. 

Tell us about your time at BMS. Do you have any special memories you would like to share? 

I was fortunate to be cast as Madame Thenardier in 'Les Misérables' back in 2005 and I had so much fun. I was also given the chance to play the titular role of Mother Courage in Brecht’s play 'Mother Courage and Her Children' at The Place Theatre with Theatre In Transit - it was really tough and my biggest challenge to date. I felt so grateful to be given the challenge! We also went on school trips to see shows at National Theatre and Donmar Warehouse which inspired me. Aside from Drama I always loved House events - House Pool and Snooker when I was in Year 12 was so much fun and a great way to get to know people. 

Who was someone from your time at BMS who had an impact on you and why? 

Helen Rees-Bidder, Jason Riddington-Smith, Mark Burgess and Nick Parker were all incredible sources of support and laughter. They were there for me when I got my first rejections and seemed to never stop believing in me - which helped me to keep believing in myself. Aside from Drama I always remember the fun I had in my History and Politics classes with Ms Webb and Mr McGinty. They made sure I wasn’t just a one-trick pony! It’s a family thing at BMS isn’t it? Because another person I am glad I got to know was John Smith. He’s loved by everyone and it wouldn’t be the same school without him.

What do you do like to do in your spare time? 

I’m learning to play the piano - it’s such a lovely thing to do, but I am quite rubbish and my cat tries to pull my hands away from he keys every time I play... 

What advice would you give to your younger self? 

Take risks. It’s better to crash and burn because you really tried than play it safe but never find out what you’re capable of.  And hang out your clothes straight away - if you leave them in the washing machine they smell all mildewy, and no one likes that!

Are there any other thoughts you would like to share with the OBM and BMS community?

We all work hard, but let’s remember how fortunate we are to be part of this community. It’s a privilege we share - but it’s what we do with that privilege that counts. Share the love!

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