Begw Rowlands of Cardiff – Photographer Huw John


An aspiring actress from Cardiff says the pandemic has given her more time to think about her future, as she prepares to collect her A-Level results this summer.

Until the coronavirus pandemic hit, Begw Rowlands, 17, was planning on heading to drama school in September. Now she’s planning on taking a year out to volunteer at a local theatre and decide what she wants to do long-term.

Begw, who attended Ysgol Gwmraeg Bro Morgannwg, is relaxed about her results but is no longer sure whether continuing in education is right for her.

She said: “I applied to three drama schools this year but, because of the lockdown I only got to do one face-to-face audition with the Royal Welsh College for Music and Drama. My call-back was all done virtually so I didn’t get the audition experience I was hoping for. I didn’t get in this year but for me it’s a win-win; getting into the college would have been a great experience, but taking a year out will give me more time to gain new life experiences and think about what I want to do next. I’m not that stressed about results day, but obviously I want to do well. The industry I want to get into judges more on performance and experience.

“This year I became an ambassador at Theatr na nÓg, a company in Neath with charitable status that creates educational performances for schools. I haven’t had the chance to do much with them yet because of the lockdown, but my plan is to spend the next year volunteering with them and getting some real experience in the industry. I’ll be working mostly behind the scenes which is something I’ve never done before. It will give me a whole new perspective on the theatre, with the chance to learn about aspects of productions I haven’t worked on before like lighting, sound and set design. Most importantly, volunteering with Theatr na nÓg will give me opportunities to make connections with other people who work in the industry and real-world experience I can draw on for any future auditions or drama school applications.

“I’m really lucky to have a job at the University Hospital of Wales as a radiology assistant, so I’ve been able to keep working part-time throughout the lockdown. I’m planning to keep working during my year off alongside my volunteering role with Theatr na nÓg so I can save up and maybe go travelling. I believe in going for every opportunity that comes my way, results day is just the beginning.”

Working Wales is encouraging the young people who will receive their results this month to consider all their options for the future and make an informed choice to start their story.

Working Wales, delivered by Careers Wales, is a free service from the Welsh Government part-funded by the European Social Fund. Working Wales is a one-stop-shop for impartial, expert careers advice which helps people aged 16 and over choose a career that’s right for them and find long-term employment.

Advisers from Working Wales and Careers Wales will be available on both results days to offer help and guidance to young people and their parents or carers receiving their GCSE and A-Level results, whatever their chosen path.

Nikki Lawrence, Careers Wales Chief Executive said: “We know the results day period is likely to be a particularly challenging time for many this year. No matter how you’re feeling about results day, the best thing you can do is research all your options so you can make an informed decision about your next steps. Working Wales will have advisers available on both results days to offer support and guidance to help you make the right choice for you.”

For more information, search Working Wales Start Your Story or call free on 0800 028 4844.