'Thrilled' teen actress wins lead role in Austen radio play - The Rugby Observer

'Thrilled' teen actress wins lead role in Austen radio play

AN ASPIRING actress From Rugby is on the crest of the airwaves after winning the lead role in a radio play.

Jess Hardy from Harris C of E Academy has trained at performing arts schools in Rugby, Coventry and London and made her first appearance on stage at the age of four.

Now the 15 year-old will showcase her talents as Emma Woodhouse – a meddlesome child in Jane Austen’s village who inspired the classic novelist’s work.

Malcolm Noble, who wrote the play Nothing to do with Emma, said: “Initially I had Jess in mind for the part of Emma’s sister, but an impressive audition convinced our producer to offer her the leading part.”




Although the Year 11 pupil has performed in theatres and stages across the country, she told The Observer performing radio was completely new to her.

She said: “It has been an amazing experience to be in a recording studio.


“Performing for radio is all about personality and confidence. It is just your voice and the audience, no other distractions.

“I am thrilled to play the role of Emma and have the opportunity to work with such a talented cast and production team. Emma is a wonderful character and I look forward to bringing her to life.”

The part-time starlet is juggling GSCEs with her acting pursuits, as well as drama exams for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).

She said: “Drama is a fantastic subject to study. I really enjoy it so it never feels like it is something extra I have to fit into my day. It takes lots of hard work and commitment but the rewards are worth it.”

“The skills I have learnt are invaluable and have supported me in all aspects of life.

“I would encourage all children to explore the performing arts and find a subject they love to enjoy.”

The 30 minute play is set to broadcast live on Market Harborough’s community radio station Harborough FM on October 12. Visit www.harboroughfm.co.uk for more information or to listen online.

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