A FORMER plumber has hailed a Wee County theatre for giving him the inspiration to chase his dream.

Ross Carpenter was a teenage plumbing apprentice when he spotted an information board for the Alman Dramatic Club that would change his life.

The Menstrie man told the Advertiser: “It was just down from the bus stop and it was an information board with a brief history, a few paragraphs and a few photos [about the Alman].

“That’s what caught my eye.”

That was 2017 and since then Ross has left his job as a plumber to pursue his passion after studying acting for two years.

“I had an interest but as a plumber on a construction site I tended, at that age, not to express what I wanted [to do],” he said. “Everybody’s nice but sometimes you can’t be bothered with the banter.”

Now 24 years old, Ross has been involved in four or five Alman performances. If he isn’t on stage he’s usually backstage helping with the lights and sound.

He has also made short films which he started during the Covid-19 lockdown and his films have since featured in festivals both in the UK and abroad, including the London Short Film Festival, and won a few awards.

Ross is now involved in recruiting young people to a new venture at the Alman: a Young Actors’ Company.

He continued: “When I first joined there was only one person who was younger than me. He left, and the person next up was probably [around] 35 or 40 years old.

“Because I never knew the Alman existed I was thinking: ‘This is brilliant’.

“For people who aren’t necessarily into stuff like pantomimes and big jazzy musicals but want to get into acting it’s a really great place to start.

“It can be a harsh world out there but everybody is really nice if you just look for the right people.

“Everyone’s encouraged to be themselves and I think, after Covid, people will be wanting to start doing something.”

Ross continued: “Once I went to the Alman, it really helps you and helps you to learn to love yourself

“There’s no harm in coming along. You don’t need to act, you can just come along and see what you do.

“It’s not for everybody, but if you don’t come along and give it a shot, you never know.”

For more on the Alman Dramatic Club, visit https://www.thealman.com/