A RISING star on the West Cumbrian theatre scene has spoken about her future career plans.

Hannah Birbeck, of Whitehaven, has performed with A&B Stage School for several years and as her time with the group comes to an end, she is now looking towards her future in performance.

A&B Stage School is an amateur theatre group for young people aged four to 18 years old, co-owned by Beth and Alex Clarke.

This month Beth starred in one of the leading roles in their production of Sister Act as Mother Superior which will be her final show with the group as she turns 18.

She described the performance as 'bittersweet' but said that she will still be involved with the group as an assistant and hopes to continue being involved in drama when she goes to university.

Miss Birbeck said: "I've been working with Beth for about ten years, so I've always known her, and I decided to join her A&B group once I developed more confidence. 

"I was involved in a production of Legally Blonde but that was postponed for around two years because of Covid.

"After that, I played Gabriella in their production of High School Musical, as one of the main characters."

READ MORE: A&B Stage School put on superb performance of Sister Act

Hannah says that in September of this year, she will be going to university to study psychology, but she also hopes to do a post-graduate degree in drama psychology.

At university, Hannah aims to take part in societies that specialise in musical theatre. 

She continued: "When I joined, I wasn't very confident, but I was always encouraged by my mam to get involved with performing arts as I enjoyed it.

"Alex and Beth opening up A&B has just increased my confidence, especially with all the people there.

"It's a nice thing and very rewarding to see something that appears on a script to be performed on a stage."

Hannah said that she knew from the start of the year that Sister Act would be her final performance. 

She says that on the day of the show, it was a mixture of 'sad' and 'bittersweet' emotions. 

Beth has asked Hannah to stay on at the theatre group as a classroom assistant, so she will still be attending weekly.