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My First Audition: Angie Le Mar – ‘The director diagnosed my dyslexia’

Angie Le Mar. Photo: Stefan Baisden
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I was a part of a trio called Bemarro Sisters. We wrote and directed our own plays, which we performed at the Albany Empire in south London as well as many theatres and community centres across England. An opportunity came for us to be a part of a play called The Ladder, which was going to Switzerland. The parts available were for three young actresses, which sounded ideal for us.

However, I was very worried about what my reading would be like, because I had always struggled with reading aloud. It was a nightmare. Every time I had to read aloud, something would happen to the words. They would play a game with me called Let’s Mess With Angie and Make Her Look Stupid Again.

The dreaded audition came. My friends were given their parts and got through. Then it was my turn. After struggling to read my own version of the script through sweat and tears, I looked over to the director. She looked at me, quite concerned – or so I thought. She then surprised me by telling me that she suspected I might have a reading disorder. She suggested I get that checked. I did and found out I was dyslexic – something that had never been picked up on before.

Did I get the part? Yes. As she put it, I was never going to have to read directly from the script once I was on stage. She was sure that once I learned it by heart I would do a great job.

And we did! We opened at London’s Victoria Theatre, and then on to Switzerland. I was truly grateful. She had seen beyond my dyslexia to give me such a great opportunity. Sometimes you have to just do your best and hopefully someone will recognise you really want this part and are prepared to work hard to deliver.

CV: Angie Le Mar

Age: 51
Training: Barbara Speake Stage School; Afro Sax Drama Club
Theatre includes: Funny Black Women on the Edge (Edinburgh Fringe, Theatre Royal Stratford East), An Audience With Angie Le Mar (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Flyin’ West (the Drill Hall), The Vagina Monologues (Arts Theatre), In My Shoes (Soho Theatre). As writer/director: Do You Know Where Your Daughter Is? (Edinburgh Fringe and national tour), The Brothers (Hackney Empire)
TV includes: Grumpy Old Women, Must Try Harder, The Real McCoy (BBC), Get Up, Stand Up (Channel 4), Loose Women (ITV)
Agent: Straight to Audience

Angie Le Mar’s latest one-woman show, 50ish and Still Standing, is at Catford’s Broadway Theatre, London on May 21. She was talking to John Byrne

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