THE star of an acclaimed Scottish play has spoken out about the difficulties that working class people have in breaking into the acting profession.?Jasmine Main, who grew up in a single parent family in the east end of Glasgow, is the latest actor to voice concern about the lack of representation of the working class in the industry.

The 23-year-old plays the lead role in WIRED, a five star show which sold out at the Edinburgh Fringe last year and is back for another run this year.

“What is happening is that the working class is not being represented in the arts at all,” said Main.

“I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have achieved if my mammy had not been so determined to help me. I remember bailiffs at the door because she used the rent money to pay my acting classes.

“She took me along because she thought it might build my confidence because certain childhood traumas I experienced meant I just couldn’t speak to people. Acting helped unbelievably and it has all I’ve ever wanted to do.”

Main says she has found it difficult to pursue her dream because of the expense and attitudes within the industry which resulted in her being told to change her accent when it was not necessary for the part.?Although she managed to gain a BA honours degree in acting, she said that most of the other students were getting help with their rent while some had family in the industry giving them a “massive advantage”.

“The amount that drama schools are charging for auditions alone is ridiculous. That’s £60 or £70 and there are other costs on top – it adds up to beyond what you could imagine. Then there is the social capital – if you don’t know anyone in the business it’s hard. I don’t believe it is accessible enough.”

Main added: “The way I talk has been looked down on. I’ve been in Glasgow acting classes where I am the only one with a strong accent. I’ve been told to go into auditions with an English accent or at least try to be more neutral – whatever that means. That kills me. What is a neutral Scots accent?

“I try to always take a positive attitude but the snobbery and elitism does get a bit much and there is a change that needs to happen.”

Main, who juggles two or three jobs to keep acting, says accessibility has to be improved to help working class people enter the profession.

“Every institution has a duty to make acting more accessible for people from all backgrounds,” she said.

“We need people from these backgrounds represented in the institutions so that they represent the world we live in. A lot more needs to be done rather than people like me being told to ‘fix’ our accents. Accents like mine should be celebrated and should be seen in a positive light for Scottish jobs.

“It’s one reason why WIRED has been a dream job for me – it is about a working class Scottish woman like me, who joins the army then experiences trauma.”?Main said actors who chose to stay and work in Scotland should also be given more credit.

“People who have worked or studied outside Scotland are given a higher level of respect than someone who has stayed up here to work which is just wrong,” she said.

WIRED runs from August 10 to25 (not 13 and 20), Hepburn House, East Claremont Street, Edinburgh, 2.30pm, £12, £10 concs. Tickets: