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60-year-old woman who fell in love with acting as a little girl pursues her dream after retirement

Fiona Allen became obsessed with drama at the age of 7. She finally chased her dream after retirement at the age of 60.

 60-year-old woman who fell in love with acting as a little girl pursues her dream after retirement
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Vladimir Gladkov

Everyone talks about chasing their dreams. When we are kids, our options are unlimited – astronaut, doctor, teacher, actor and whatnot. However, once we grow up, the fear of reality strikes and we look for safer and simpler alternatives. Dreams lie buried within us and the spark dies out. However, there is always a silver lining for those who persist. In an interview with The Guardian, 72-year-old Fiona Allen opened up about re-enkindling her dreams 12 years ago and how she is doing even more.


 
 
 
 
 
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Allen spoke about how her childhood dream had been to become an actor. She also mentioned that her love of theater and drama took root long ago at the age of 7. "The moment I saw Christopher Robin come into the white spotlight, I was starstruck," Allen said. She ignited her passion and took part in various dramas and plays in school and college, but it was not enough to lead her further in making it a career. Eventually, like most of us, her spark died down and she studied business at university, joined civil services and worked in Scotland until her retirement. However, retirement was not the end of her book but simply another chapter.

Even after retiring in 2012, she studied theater and performance. In the same year, she discovered the art of mumming, a masked form of drama that was more unique and approachable compared to the high-end theater that we initially looked up to. Mumming goes back to the 1800s when it was extremely popular and quite an interest among the locals in Scotland. The then 60-year-old studied the Galoshins, a play involving a hero, villain and a doctor. She made it the subject of her dissertation. "I really enjoyed the informality. Countless Scottish people have performed the play before – it's like I'm connected to different generations," she explained. It was Allen's dream stemming from the roots she planted years ago. However, she didn't stop there.


 
 
 
 
 
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To turn this dream into reality, she decided to share the art she discovered with others like her. She started her group, "The Meadows Mummers," for women who connected with mumming. And from there with hard work and inspiration, her dream only moved forward. They had their first performance at the Meadows Festival Edinburgh in 2015. Soon after, they were doing plays for different local events and it was truly something adorably authentic. She even traveled to Italy, where the majority of Scottish folk craved her art.


 
 
 
 
 
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Despite age and other commitments, the members of her group supported each other with performances and schedules. Things got tough during the COVID era when Allen also faced health issues and her husband became a victim of cancer. Though things went slow, she didn't let it stop. She mentioned, "We've just done one performance this year, but I'm excited that we're getting ready for more festivals next year."



 

When asked about her inspiration, she said, "I saw a woman staring intently at this emerald green river. She told me she was going blind and wanted the river to be the last beautiful thing she ever saw." Allen added: "If you choose to do something off the wall, like me, people may say: 'What are you doing?' But deep down, they are thinking: 'I wish I had the nerve to do that.'"

Her story proves that living life stops only when you say so. Allen was 60 when she gave a second chance to her dream, but that didn't stop her. Indeed, her efforts and dedication are the inspiration for people to follow their dreams.

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