The Chester blog

Chester office worker lands role in BBC cop show

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A legal assistant from Chester has landed a role in a BBC drama, thanks to a Chester acting school.

Daryl Rowlands, who works for the Connells Group in Lower Bridge Street, will appear alongside Black Panther and The Hobbit star Martin Freeman in the new BBC cop drama The Responder. The six-part series also features the likes of Adelayo Adedayo (The Capture), Ian Hart (The Terror), and MyAnna Buring (The Salisbury Poisonings) The upcoming series is penned by ex-police officer Tony Schumacher, with Freeman leading the project in the role of an urgent response police officer. Based on Schumacher’s real experiences on the job, Freeman plays protagonist Chris, an officer on the beat in Liverpool, and who is tasked with six night shifts – each of which he completes over the course of one of six episodes.

A student of the North West End Acting School, in Garden Lane, 26-year-old Daryl described her two days of filming as a ‘gorgeous experience’.

“I was made up – this is my first TV job. No one knew who I was, I didn’t go to drama school and this is just so massive for me. It was fab!”

Following Daryl’s first foray into professional TV, she has since found representation with agent Nicola Bolton Management.

Director of North West End Acting School Francis Tucker said: “We are so proud of Daryl – she is a very talented actor and to land a role in a BBC drama like this is a dream come true for her.”

Co-director Lucy Thatcher added: “Lockdown has been particularly challenging for everyone working in the arts but we quickly turned all our classes online.

“One huge benefit was that we have been able to engage top directors, actors and agents, who would not normally have time in their busy schedules to visit us in person in Chester.

“Our students have had the opportunity to ‘virtually’ meet and talk to the likes of BAFTA winning director Noreen Kershaw (Call the Midwife, Our Girl), Peaky Blinders actor Erin Shanagher and agent Nicola Bolton from their own living rooms and bedrooms.”

Daryl said: “Nicola was a guest tutor one term and we built up a rapport online. I did a monologue for her, she said she liked my work and has since signed me. It is amazing.”

Daryl’s Chester bosses at Connell’s are supportive of her acting work and allow her flexibility to attend auditions.

“It is hard graft,” laughs Daryl. “I work four days a week and take most of my holidays for my acting although my boyfriend insists I take at least a week a year to spend with him!”

Asked if she had any advice for would-be actors, Daryl said: “My mistake was that when I didn’t get in to drama school I gave up, which means I wasted two or three years.

“I then realised that drama is what I really love doing and how I missed being creative. I joined the acting school in Chester and now I am writing my own plays and making my own short films.

“If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that no one’s job is safe. My advice would be to do something you love, really work at your craft and you never know what will happen.”

The Responder, a six-part police drama, is set in Liverpool and is likely to hit our screens later this year or early 2022.

The next 10 week acting course for adults from the North West End Acting School begin in week commencing April 18th. For further details see http://www.northwestendactingschool.co.uk or telephone 07976586060

Actor Daryl Rowlands
Francis Tucker and Lucy Thatcher of North West End Acting School
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