Boy (12) wins Amy Winehouse stage-school scholarship


A 12-YEAR-OLD boy has become the first recipient of a scholarship, in memory of Amy Winehouse, to a prestigious stage school in London.

Shane Keogh Grenade, whose mother is from Co Kildare, was on a train journey back from the audition when he got the call.

“At first we didn’t hear the phone ring and they left a voicemail. Mum checked it and her jaw dropped. I thought, ‘What’s wrong?’ She just hugged me and said I’d got it,” said Shane.

The young performer auditioned last April in front of a panel of judges comprising singer Eliza Doolittle, actor Matt Di Angelo and Winehouse’s parents.

“I sang Who’s Loving You by The Jackson 5, danced and did two acting pieces – a modern and a Shakespeare piece – and I was so nervous,” Shane said. “I’ve always loved performing and I know this is the life for me. It’s what I want to do forever.”

The scholarship was set up last March in a partnership between the Sylvia Young Theatre School and the Amy Winehouse Foundation. It offers a four-year place at the performing arts school.

Winehouse’s father Mitch Winehouse said it was difficult to choose a winner, but Shane stood out.

“We felt Shane excelled in all three disciplines – dance, singing and drama. He is a natural talent and we have a lot of hope for the future for him,” he said.

“It’s for youngsters who wouldn’t usually be able to afford to attend to learn their craft. We are delighted to give Shane that opportunity in Amy’s name.”

The scholarship is for four years – the school week is divided into three days of academic work and two for performing arts.

Shane, who has just returned home to England after performing as the young Michael Jackson in the musical Thriller in France, said he got into showbusiness accidentally last year after auditioning for a modelling job with Argos.

“It’s been like a rollercoaster,” his mother Eileen Keogh said. “I’m a single mother and have just been made redundant so it could not have come at a better time. I am so proud of him.”