A young Midlothian actor is set to make his professional debut by performing in a show at the world’s largest arts festival – only weeks after graduating.
Toby Jeffries, who lived in Bonnyrigg before moving to Dalkeith, has secured the leading role in a new production of ‘Five Kinds of Silence’ at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The 23-year-old will portray Billy in the show, which is set to take place at C-Venues in August, only weeks after graduating from the MGA Academy of Performing Arts.
Toby has spent three years honing his craft at the Edinburgh institution, which earlier this year became the first full-time professional training academy in Scotland to be awarded accreditation by CDET (Confirming quality in Dance, Drama & Musical Theatre).
‘Five Kinds of Silence’, written by Shelagh Stephenson, tells the story of a family living in the shadow of a vicious and abusive father and husband.
Toby said: “I’ve always been fascinated by the process of making films and TV shows.
“Whilst I enjoyed academic subjects at school, I soon realised that theatre, TV and film were for me and so I had to try my hand at acting.
“There weren’t many opportunities to get involved in acting so I taught myself by watching online seminars and setting up a drama group for younger pupils.”
Toby was recently given the opportunity to work with Nic Cory, who flew in from New York City to direct the MGA Academy’s production of the hit comedy ‘Boeing Boeing’ at Edinburgh’s Church Hill Theatre.
Toby added: “For me, acting is all about telling stories. I love offering people a form of escapism and taking them into different worlds.
“Working with Nic Corey on our end of year show was an amazing experience and we all learnt so much from him.”
MGA Academy managing director Andrew Gowland said: “Everyone at The MGA Academy is very proud of Toby and all he has achieved.
“We’re confident that the training he has received here will ensure he goes on to be a great success and we look forward to supporting him during the Fringe and following his progress in the performing arts industry.”