Royal academy calls for autistic teenager from Fraserburgh

Steven MacFarlane outside the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts in London
Steven MacFarlane outside the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts in London

An autistic teenager from Fraserburgh has overcome adversity to be accepted into one of the most prestigious drama schools in the UK.

Steven MacFarlane, 18, who was diagnosed with autism aged 9, has been admitted to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London to study Technical Theatre and Stage Management.

Lorna MacFarlane, Steven’s mum, said: “Despite all the challenges he has faced and the constant battle with the education system to get the help he needs, he has been accepted into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

“I really am very proud and think the people of the Broch should see that having Autism should not stop anybody reaching their potential.”

Steven’s father died when he was younger but Lorna said that he would have been equally proud of his son.

She said: “His father died so didn’t see him grow up and see this achievement, but he would be really proud.”

Lorna has now embarked on a fundraising campaign to ensure that Steven can realise his dream and attend the Academy - which will cost in the region of £40,000 over the two years.

A single mother since Steven’s father died Lorna has been unable to find funding for Steven and cannot afford to pay for it all herself.

She said: “We are having no luck finding any sort of funding that is available for an autistic student who is 18 years old.

“I am disappointed by this but determined not to let that stop him going.”

The pair have began to raise money through a quiz nights and raffle and will continue this weekend with prize bingo on Friday and a carboot sale and teas on Saturday.

They have also organised a band night at the Bala on August 20 and a family friend, Nathan Matthew, will also be doing a sponsored wing walk to fundraise for Steven.

To support Steven visit www.gofundme.com/autisticstudent