THE founder of a national theatre school says he is aiming to find the next Martin Compston in Inverclyde after enjoying a ‘dream’ first six months at his Greenock branch.

Theatre School of Scotland (TSOS) principal Reece Donnelly launched classes in the town in September last year – adding to his successful training hubs in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Established in 2017, TSOS offers acting, singing and dancing courses for those aspiring to a career in performing arts.

The Greenock branch has been running classes for children aged three to 18 at Songbird Studios – with Reece saying he has been ‘amazed’ at the talent of Inverclyde's youngsters.

Greenock Telegraph: Youngsters at a recent TSOS open day in GreenockYoungsters at a recent TSOS open day in Greenock (Image: Alex Craig)

Within seven weeks of opening, one student managed to book a major job as the face of car dealership Arnold Clark.

A further 15 Greenock pupils also took part in a TSOS pantomime production of Aladdin at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow in December.

Reece, 27, told the Tele: “The school is thriving.

"If I can find the next Martin Compston down here, then I’ll be very grateful.

“My favourite Inverclyde person Jean Johansson and the bold Martin have flown the flag for down here."

The launch of the Inverclyde branch has so far seen the creation of three new job roles – one full-time and two part-time – which are currently filled by local professionals.

Another staff member from TSOS’ Glasgow office also supports the delivery of classes.

Reece – who appeared on last year’s season of The Apprentice – and his Greenock team have big plans for the coming year, including performances at the Beacon Arts Centre.

The move into Inverclyde has felt like a ‘full circle’ moment for Reece, who gained his first professional acting job in Waterloo Road ten years ago while the show was shot here.

Greenock Telegraph: Reece Donnelly is set to launch a new branch of his theatre school in Greenock

He lived in the area while filming at the former Greenock Academy and met many of his closest friends while shooting the series.

He now hopes to go back to school in a different context.

Reece said: “Our job is to go out into schools so that every single child is aware that there is a thing called acting, singing, dancing.

Greenock Telegraph:

“We provide free workshops in schools so that teachers are not left to teach drama and singing. It would be amazing if any school or nursery teachers in Inverclyde want to have us in.”