Longford actor in Lir Graduate Programme

Local actor Liam Heslin pictured with Karen McCartney in a performance of Scenes From the Big Picture, one of several productions the Lir Graduate Programme will undertake this year. Photo: Keith Dixon
Liam Heslin from Colmcille is currently in his final year of the graduate programme at The Lir, Ireland’s National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College, Dublin, and he is one of only 15 students who were accepted onto the course in its first year.

Liam Heslin from Colmcille is currently in his final year of the graduate programme at The Lir, Ireland’s National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College, Dublin, and he is one of only 15 students who were accepted onto the course in its first year.

“When I auditioned in 2011 there was no other practical-based degree course in drama here in Ireland at the time,” Liam says. “We’ve covered many different aspects of acting, including movement, the Alexander Technique, physical theatre, vocal training, and so forth.”

This year, though, there is no more schooling, with the focus being firmly placed on performing before audiences.

“At the moment we’re working ‘Scenes From the Big Picture’ by Owen McCafferty,” Liam reveals. “The director of the play is Nona Shepphard from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She’s directing the play as the Lir course is based on the RADA model. This will be our first graduate performance for the public, and our next show will be ‘Mary Stuart’, which will be directed by Conol Morrisson.

A native of the Comcille area, Liam - a son of William and Deirdre Heslin - previously spent time with the Backstage Theatre Youth Group.

“Pat-Joe McLoughlin was a very helpful during my time at Backstage,” he stated.

Liam then moved to Dublin, where he took a VEC course in acting at Bull Alley.