A Derry actress had all her dreams come true just weeks before she finished drama school when she was offered a part in a major Sky TV show.
Saoirse Jackson, from Culmore, was in her final term at the Arden School of Theatre in Manchester when she got a part in ‘The Five’.
‘The Five’ is a mystery series created by top selling author, Harlan Coben.
The series, which started on Sky last month, is the author’s first foray into TV and it has received rave reviews.
Saoirse went for a part as an extra in the show and was ‘shocked’ to receive a more prominent role straight out of drama school.
‘It is a really interesting piece and it is a very vivid and bright production. There are actors from all different areas and with different accents.
It was nice that I was able to keep my Derry accent for my first acting role. I never, ever imagined I would be able to do this so early in my career’.
‘I went for the role of an extra, just a homeless girl on the street. The producers kept calling me back and because I had never had an audition before I thought it was a bit weird’.
‘Then they gave me a script and I was offered a role as a girl who had been missing and returns after a few years.’
Saoirse said the opportunity was so unexpected and she is ‘proud’ of what she has achieved in her short acting career so far.
‘I have been so, so lucky to get this opportunity to work along with some fantastic actors. They all made me feel so comfortable. Even though the show is now on TV it hasn’t really sunk in yet’.
Acting was something the former St Cecilia’s College pupil always wanted to do.
She attended drama clubs as a young girl, but says it was only when she went to St Cecilia’s she got the encouragement to follow her dreams.
Her career has gone from strength to strength and she has been starring in an acclaimed production of ‘Of Mice and Men’ for the last five months.
‘The production was based in Birmingham for two months and it has been touring around the United Kingdom ever since. My family came over last week to see the show which was lovely’.
‘It is all starting to become real now and being on the stage has been an amazing experience’.
Saoirse says she gets a ‘real buzz’ being on the stage but as she has often has to perform twice a day, it can also be a gruelling experience.
The play is coming to the end of its run and Soirse hopes to take a short break before searching for her next role.
‘I hope to do a mixture of theatre and TV work. I can’t choose which one I prefer because they are both so very different’.
As for the future, Saoirse would like to move into films.