James McArdle

ARTFORMS: Acting , Drama


Glasgow-born James McArdle is the youngest Scot to have been accepted to study for an acting degree at RADA in almost ten years. The list of previous graduates from RADA reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ in British acting.

James started studying acting at school, progressing rapidly through the practical examinations to become a member of the Advanced Higher Cohort. In his last year at school, he played Hamlet, the play having been chosen on the basis of James’s ability to play such a complex and challenging character. He was the finest young actor his acting teacher had come across in her career.
James has been a committed member of the PACE Youth Theatre for over ten years, and was considered to be one of the most talented young actors to have been involved in the company. To help raise money to get himself to RADA, James wrote a play which was produced by PACE Youth Theatre Company and which, it is hoped, will transfer to the Edinburgh Festival in 2008.

James is considered to have enormous potential as an actor and is expected to become one of Scotland’s finest actors in the future.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will help with the fees and living costs as James starts his studies at RADA.

At the end of his first term at RADA, James writes, “This has truly been the richest time of my life in terms of the knowledge and growth I am receiving daily. The Dewar Arts Awards has allowed me to enter a difficult profession at the highest level.”  After a successful first year, James's award has been confirmed for a second year.

Update Jan 2019: James McArdle stars in blockbuster 'Mary Queen of Scots'. Read more here.

Your kindness has allowed the rare opportunity for Scotland to be represented at the world’s most prestigious drama school, and for that, I thank you. I am deeply honoured …