An aspiring Kirriemuir actor is making his West End debut on the London stage in a production which is taking the theatre world by storm.
Ryan Kopel, 21, is treading the boards in The Inheritance at the Noel Coward Theatre, which opened to five-star reviews.
He said it felt “a little bit like a dream” to be starring alongside some of the great names in stage and screen, including Vanessa Redgrave, the only female in the production.
“I feel so incredibly honoured and excited to be a part of this fantastic piece,” he said.
The play, which has been hailed as “the cultural event of the year”, is written by Matthew Lopez.
The epic seven-hour long production is an update of EM Forster’s Howards End, which explores the legacy of the Aids crisis among a generation of young gay New Yorkers.
Ryan, who first tread the boards in local productions in Kirriemuir Town Hall and the Reid Hall in Forfar, recently finished a three-year course at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London, where he gained a first class degree in musical theatre.
He has been cast as ensemble/understudy to leading character Adam/Leo in the production, led by multi-Olivier Award winner Stephen Daldry.
Ryan said: “The whole process has felt a little bit like a dream, and I’m just trying to make sure I make the most of every day.
“I feel extremely lucky.”
A former pupil of Isobel Luke from Brechin, he started out performing with Rising Youngstars and Angus Musical Youth Theatre.
He attended the Dance School of Scotland in Glasgow, Scotland’s Centre of Excellence for Dance and Musical Theatre and then moved to London to study at Mountview.
Earlier this year he was named Young Scottish Musical Theatre Performer 2018.
Among those who attended Ryan’s star-studded opening night of The Inheritance were his mum and sister, Jacqueline and Kendal Kopel and his aunt, Elaine Whittet.
The Inheritance.The production, which opened at the Young Vic before transferring to the West End, has been nominated for three categories in the shortlist for London’s 2018 Evening Standard Theatre Awards – the best play category, best director for Stephen Daldry and best actor for Kyle Soller.
The 64th annual ceremony taking place November 18 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.