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News > Old Girls' Association > Spotlight on Beth Chalmers

Spotlight on Beth Chalmers

Beth (Alison) Chalmers (ED 1991) left St Swithun's to study teaching at Homerton College, Cambridge. It provided her with a profession to support her whilst she pursued her real dream of acting.
Interviewed for OGA Chain magazine 2021
Interviewed for OGA Chain magazine 2021

Beth did a six-month tour with the famous Footlights troupe (Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club) and worked alongside people like David Mitchell and Rob Webb before starting at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. Beth feels she learnt more about acting whilst she was at university but her drama school provided the opportunity to meet agents and enter competions. Beth went on to win the Carleton Hobbs award, giving her 6 months’ work experience in BBC Radio Drama. During that time, she met many producers and has worked in radio ever since, notching up over 250 radio plays. In addition to this, Beth has also acted, written and produced her own material.

In addition to radio work, Beth is the voice of various Numberblocks and the Queen in Mike the Knight; has acted in Midsommer Murders and The Lenny Henry Show and written episodes of Horrible Histories. She is currently writing and showrunning a multi-award winning children’s drama for the BBC entitled Mystic. Filmed in New Zealand, the series focusses on a young girl, Issie Brown, who has just moved to New Zealand with her mother and is struggling to make friends. A chance encounter with a mysterious stallion soon changes things for Issie. Seasons one and two are available to watch on BBC iPlayer now. 

Beth on set in New Zealand filming Mystic before lockdown

Of all the things Beth does she gets the most satisfaction from writing – even though it is also usually the longest process. Beth says, “I love acting and the variety of it and voiceovers are fun too but there’s a huge sense of achievement from finishing a script. For me, the sense of pride is bigger.”

That said, one of her favourite times acting was up in Edinburgh working on the Alan Ayckbourn trilogy The Norman Conquests with Olivia Coleman and Amy Shindler. Beth went to university and drama school with Amy and over time they have become lifelong friends and writing partners.

Beth says, “You have to be sure of yourself and be confident in your ability but you get knocked down a lot. In a writing partnership you both bring different things to the team and can always find something positive to say about each other. You share the same successes and the same tribulations. Amy and I are a calming influence on each other.”

Beth feels her time at St Swithun’s helped instil a sense of confidence in her and a feeling of being worthy of (rather than entitled to) being listened to when she walked into a room. This has helped her in many situations. 

In the future, Beth will be continuing to work on Mystic and would like to head back to America too. She finds the work better paid (she has worked with networks like ABC) and there are many more channels to collaborate with. It is a career that has brought her much joy and we wish her every success in her new adventures.

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