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Huge congratulations to ex-student Lizzie Davidson, Hurtwood's multi-talented comedian, actor and writer. In her very first TV role, Lizzie was part of a BAFTA winning team for her role in the BBC comic hit, ‘Such Brave Girls’.  The BAFTA for ‘Best Scripted Comedy’, is THE coveted award in this country in its field, awarded over the years to all the greats including Porridge, Fawlty Towers, Derry Girls and The Office.

The reviews are superb with the Guardian proclaiming that the series is ‘indeed brave – singular, fresh, scabrous and unflinching – but still – or, rather, as a result – hilarious.’ The Observer stated ‘In a television world full of comedy-dramas that are fun if not funny, ‘Such Brave Girls’ is a refreshingly scrappy sitcom’ adding ‘If you’re a fan of laughing, please watch this’ and calling Kat ‘fantastic’ and Lizzie ‘brilliant’. In ‘Such Brave Girls’ Lizzie’s older sister Kate (professional name Kat Sadler) turned the collective turmoil of their family life and personal traumas into entertainment. It is inspired by her own experience with mental illness and in the show she lives with her sister Billie (played by Lizzie) and her mother Deb (Louise Brealey). All three feel that they can trace most of their problems back to one event: when the girls’ dad stepped out for tea bags years ago, never to return. The tale of what happened when he left the family in debt and without a stable male figure in their lives is definitely worth a watch. Nothing is too traumatic to joke about.

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A Drama scholar at Hurtwood, Lizzie studied Theatre, Media and English. She impressed her English teacher, Louise with her ‘acute intelligence and originality’ and ‘her amazing insight and wit’. She was always on stage here at the heart of many Hurtwood productions from our Christmas Musical extravaganza ‘Chicago’ to the many rock and pop concerts at the school.

After Hurtwood Lizzie went straight into the industry and spent the next five years on the delights of ‘Shrek’s Adventure’ and the ‘London Dungeon Experience’.   Her sister Kat had the skill and luck to have secured the attention of the BBC for her scriptwriting and set about turning what Lizzie calls the collective ‘narcissistic neurosis’ of the sisters and their mum, into the pilot of ‘Such Brave Girls’ which brings to comic life the tensions of single-parent family life, female neurosis and frustration, sisterhood and sibling rivalry. The fight to translate this into a commissioned series took three years and they were delighted when their ‘comedy hero’ Simon Bird came on board to direct.

Following their interview on Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’, Lizzie and Kat were applauded by host Anita Rani as important newcomers on the edge of fame.  At the BAFTA ceremony, Anita even took off her heels in order to sprint across and congratulate the girls, affirming ‘I knew you would win it’.  There is little doubt that the future looks very bright for Lizzie as the second season has already been commissioned. Everyone at Hurtwood will be following her every step of the way, particularly Doug Quinn and Phil Ward, her Theatre and Media teachers. They affectionately recall her extraordinary capacity for creating hilarious mayhem. ‘Quirky, comedic’ as well as ‘hard-working’ and ‘astute’ in the process of bringing out the best in others. 

Lizzie is generous in her praise of Hurtwood saying ‘I adored my time at the school - they are my happiest memories. It’s where I truly and finally felt seen to be whoever I wanted to be. I was given every opportunity to explore every option with the craziest amount of support which has probably added to my delusions of grandeur!  I owe so much of my success to Hurtwood and I can’t thank everyone enough. I have no idea how I didn’t see a career in comedy coming from when I was cast as ‘grave digger 2’ in Hamlet! I always tried desperately to make everyone in and out of the classroom laugh. I thought it was attention seeking, but apparently, I just wanted to be a comedian!’ She adds ‘I didn’t need to know what I wanted to do - Hurtwood made me believe I could do anything.’  The ‘totally professional approach’ here produced fantastic exam results, but also gave her the highest of expectations.  It certainly seems like she has filled the brief.  From her self-defined role as class clown, she has now garnered extraordinary plaudits from peers and professionals alike. Take a bow Lizzie!