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Welcome to PQA Bedford

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Welcome to PQA Bedford!


Saturday 28th April
from 9.45am-1pm

We are delighted to be opening our
brand new Academy
at Kempston Challenger Academy, Hill Rise,
Kempston, Bedford, MK42 7EB

To receive a free information pack please click HERE
or to secure your place at PQA Bedford you can enrol online HERE


Our aim is to introduce the ethos behind The Pauline Quirke Academy, to demonstrate what we do and how we achieve our goals, how your children will benefit from our classes and, above all, to allow your children to get a flavour of The Academy.

Following a brief introduction the children are divided into age groups and get to sample classes in Musical Theatre, Comedy & Drama and Film & Television (don't worry if your child does not want to join in at this stage, we know that some will be shy, they can just watch and possibly have a go when they're ready). Parents are welcome to stay with their children – of course this happens with the younger groups but teenagers will usually not have their parents anywhere near an unpolished performance!

During the classes parents can have some refreshments, a chat with the PQA team, and really begin to learn what we are all about! We would also encourage spending some time sneaking a look at your children during their sessions.

I look forward to meeting you on the day!

Gemma McDermott – Principal PQA Bedford

Meet the Team



Gemma - Principal

I am delighted to be joining PQA this year and opening a brand new Academy in Bedford. This is certainly a performing arts academy with a difference! The opportunities for children are endless and I cannot wait for students to embrace them.

I realised my love for the arts at age thirteen when I joined my local performing arts school. I couldn't get enough and went to every class I could to better myself as I felt I started quite late so I needed to catch up with the 5 year olds!

I worked super hard and was awarded a scholarship to train at the famous London Studio Centre where I achieved my BA (Hons) Degree in theatre performance. Since graduating I've explored various exciting avenues within the arts including stage productions, dance companies, theatre, cruise ships, television, music videos, corporate events and teaching.

The pinnacle of my career was performing in the West End musical 'We Will Rock You' where I completed a 3 year contract as assistant dance captain and went on to have my first child. Since then I have taught at various colleges and schools as well as taking on some acting and modelling roles. (And had one more child!)

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for choosing PQA for your child's performing arts journey. We aim to instill independence, confidence and relevant knowledge of the current industry in a fun, safe, inspirational setting. Everyone is welcome and I am a strong believer that there are no rules as to who can or can't take part. We all have talents, we just need great teachers to guide us and opportunities


Vice Principal

Craig - Vice Principal

I'm delighted to be joining the PQA family.

My background in the entertainment industry started in 1996 when I trained as a professional dancer at the Doreen Bird College of Performing Arts.

I went on to perform in many West End productions of We Will Rock You, Starlight Express, Saturday Night Fever, Footloose, along with UK and International touring productions such as Wizard of Oz and Boogie Nights.

In addition to this I was fortunate enough to work within the TV and Film industry working alongside the likes of Madonna and Kenneth Brannagh and working on the hit ITV show The X-Factor.

It has always been a privilege to be able to share my experience with others and I have been lucky enough to teach and choreograph for some of the top performing arts colleges and schools creating shows from conception to production.


Musical Theatre

Lily - Musical Theatre

Lily is delighted to be joining the PQA family.

Lily is originally from Warwickshire. She left in 2008 to study Musical Theatre at Arts Educational Schools in Chiswick, London.

In her final year at ArtsEd Lily left early to join the ensemble and understudy the role of Eponine in Les Miserables in the West End.

A year later she was cast in the ensemble of the arena tour revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, starring Tim Minchin, Chris Moyles & Mel C.

She landed her first leading role as Demeter in Cats in 2013 where she toured the UK/ Europe. In 2015 she reprised her role in the West End also taking on a Grizabella understudy responsibly.

Later that year she was nominated for a Whats On Stage award for her portrayal of Nina Rosario in the original West End production of In The Heights.

Lily recently finished a thirteen month contract playing the role of Michelle Morris alongside Glee's Amber Riley in the original West End production of Dreamgirls. Lily's vocals can be heard on the cast recording.

As well as theatre Lily has also had credits in television and film such as the Beauty & the Beast feature film (Walt Disney Pictures), Drifters (E4), Vicious (ITV) and Sex Pistols vs. Billy Grundy (Sky), The Windsors (ITV) as well as many short film projects and adverts.


Comedy & Drama

Jorrie - Comedy & Drama

Jorrie has over 10 years of experience in the arts including performing, directing and teaching and is currently a full time performing arts teacher at a secondary school in Bedford.

Jorrie graduated with a BA (Hons) degree from Brunel University in Theatre and went on to gain a P.G.C.E (QTS) from the University of Bedfordshire.

'I am very excited to join the PQA family and pass on my passion for the performing arts.'


Film & Television

Greg - Film & Television

Greg is a Producer/ Camera Operator based in London. He has experience of creating content for broadcast and online use. Has filmed documentaries in many countries around the world, some of which include: Uganda, United Arab Emeritus, Bahrain, Turkey, Tunisia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France and Sweden. He currently works for broadcasters and production companies on a freelance basis.



Jennifer - Poppets

I am incredibly excited to be joining PQA as Poppets teacher.

I completed my degree in Performing Arts at DeMontfort University's Bedford campus in 2007. My plan from there was to gain a PGCE and become an Early Years teacher. That plan took a back seat as I had my three wonderful little girls.

Last year I was very lucky to be given the opportunity to be Assistant Teacher at another performing arts school in Bedford. I loved every minute of it, and it reminded me of how passionate I am about Teaching Performing Arts to young children. It was wonderful to watch the confidence of the children grow weekly.

I am very much looking forward to filling Saturday mornings with fun, laughter and creativity.


Film & Television Assistant

Georgia - Film & Television Assistant

Film, Art and Music have been interests of mine for as long as I can remember.

Whilst studying Film Studies and Creative Media Production at Sixth Form, I realised I could use my passion and creative flair to make a career doing what I love- telling stories.

Whilst pursuing my own personal film projects, I have been working as a production assistant and editor for a local video production company. It has been fantastic to have met and worked with so many talented and diverse individuals who have given me the opportunity to create various projects with great content.

My career aspiration is to continue practising and developing my skills in all aspects of film production with a view to enhance my editing skills and progress onto becoming a director. I look forward to sharing my experience and growing my enthusiasm with the students at PQA Bedford!

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Saturdays 09.45 - 13.00
Poppets 10.00 - 11.30

Kempston Challenger Academy
Hill Rise
MK42 7EB

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Request An Info Pack

Grab one of our FREE info packs, fill out our quick form.

Info Pack

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