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Welcome to PQA Norwich

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PQA Norwich is a dedicated performing arts school at the Open Academy, Salhouse Road, with classes for children and young adults in Comedy and Drama, Musical Theatre (singing and Dancing) and Film and Television.

We run classes every Saturday for students age 4 – 18 years in the Norfolk, Norwich, Wroxham, Taverham, Acle, Wymondham, Longwater, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft areas.

Request a brochure or Enrol online now.

Note from our Principal:

We opened our doors back in October 2016 and our Academy is thriving, growing from strength to strength. So far, we have already been fortunate enough to participate in prestigious events such as ; The annual Norwich Christmas Lights turn on, performing live with Mustard TV, Theatre Royal Norwich, Potters Resort and G4 Christmas by Candlelight UK tour at Norwich Cathedral.

In January our students took their Trinity examinations in Musical Theatre and Acting & Speaking and are now in full rehearsals for our West End show "Troubles a Brewin" which they will be performing at "Her Majesty's Theatre" in October 2018. Not forgetting the numerous students who are working professionally through Quirky Kidz Agency and attending many auditions for leading West End shows and tours.

PQA Norwich operates at The Open Academy in Salhouse with its state of the art facilities, which include - Purpose-built dance and drama studios fully equipped with mirrors, sprung floors and the latest sound and light systems.

Being born and bred in Norfolk myself, I know very well what we have on offer here and I want to provide that extra something to the community. Therefore, I chose to open PQA Norwich. I believe that with my professional expertise partnered with PQA, we can create something amazing here for local children - whether that's performing in the West End, walking down the red carpet at our local cinema screening or even just gaining a little bit of extra confidence in general everyday life at home or at school.
PQA Norwich will always be on hand to offer support and give you all the professional help and guidance you need.

Here at PQA Norwich, the students leave each week with BIG smiles on their faces, feeling excited, inspired and engaged, but most of all feeling a sense of achievement of which we can all be proud of.

With only limited spaces available please call or text Zac to book your place on 07436 930193 to avoid disappointment. AM classes 10am - 1pm (Poppets 10am - 11:30am) PM Classes 2pm - 5pm.

Find out more

I hope to see you soon and welcome you to PQA Norwich.

Zac Patterson
07436 930193

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Comedy & Drama Classes

Our comedy and drama lessons provide our students with the knowledge of theatrical forms and techniques including: Improvisation and devised theatre to mime, mask, script work and vocal techniques in projection and diction.

Musical Theatre Classes

Musical Theatre classes combine singing, dance and acting. We teach our students a range of vocal and dance techniques giving them the ability to pass from dialogue to song and dance seamlessly within a performance.

Film & Television Classes

PQA is the largest provider of Film and Television education in the UK for under 18s. Our students will discover and develop talents in areas such as script writing, directing and acting for camera.

And so much more! 

Specialist Masterclasses, Quirky Kidz Agency, West End Theatre Shows, Trinity College Exams, Film Festivals, Creative Stages Reports, Local Cinema Screenings, Showcases & PQATV

"PQA Norwich are amazing people, my daughter Jessika has just been accepted on to the Performing Arts course at Norwich City College, all thanks to Zac and Kat for all their coaching and help with her monologue. Jessika really enjoys her Saturday mornings at PQA Norwich. Thank you." - Karen Fulcher (Parent)

"My daughter can't wait for Saturday PQA day every week! Staff are all fantastic and I am happy in the knowledge my child is having a great time with a group that cares about the children." - Sharon Pollen (Parent)

"PQA Norwich have such a friendly team. They make the children feel at ease straight away. Would highly recommend. 5 stars! Good job guys." - Kelly Fox (Parent)

Meet the Team

Zac Patterson


Zac Patterson - Principal

Having trained local in the area with Estelle Clifton and June Glennie, Zac went on to further his career and trained professionally at Performers College in Essex under the direction of world renowned choreographers Brian Rogers and Sue Stephens.

Zac became a dancer with The Potters Theatre Company at the 5 star Potters Resort on the East coast in 2008. He then went onto tour the world with The Headliners Theatre Company for P&O Cruises. After cruising Zac returned back to Potters and this time as Company Dance Captain and has been in the position for the last 5 years. Whilst working at Potters, Zac has shared the stage with many celebrities such as - Joan Collins, Olly Murs, Diversity, Peter Andre, Gareth Gates, Anton Du Beke, The Overtones, and Kerry Ellis to name but a few.

Zac has performed numerous times in the West End and on TV including The Royal Variety Performance, Sunday Night Live at The Palladium, Chanel 4's Big Breakfast and appeared in adverts for Birds Eye and Kleenex. Zac toured the United Kingdom in The Paul Mitchell Hair show tour and has performed several times in Music Videos, Christmas seasons at Peter Jays Hippodrome Circus and Water Spectacular and at corporate events in some of London's top hotels and casinos.

Zac also holds professional teaching qualifications in Musical Theatre and is First Aid and DBS Certified.

Nothing inspires Zac more than when students come and are a little shy, then seeing the difference in them within a few short weeks. "I know we are doing something right when a student comes to the academy and won't talk for week 1 yet by the end of term they are singing solos and auditioning for major parts with Quirky Kidz Agency, this inspires me even more to nurture the next generation of performing arts students."


Vice Principal

Jo - Vice Principal

Vice Principal Jo has been with us from the conception of PQA Norwich. Her main role is to assist in all aspects of the general running of the academy and is normally the first person you see when you enter.

Jo has sung professionally for many years, mainly with a live band. She has sung at many prestigious venues all over the country and abroad, performing her favourite style of music which is soul/funk and R&B.  After doing many corporate gigs Jo had the pleasure of performing at a private party for Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

"It's a pleasure being part of the PQA Team and witnessing first hand the confidence growing in each and every child, week after week."


Musical Theatre

Liberty - Musical Theatre

Liberty started her training at 16 at dance east in Ipswich where she trained there for 2 years. She then gained herself a place at Mountview Academy of theatre arts in London, where she starred in roles such as Wendla in Spring Awakening and was ensembles in the musical Spelling Bee.

After Mountview Liberty furthered her training and went on to London school of Musical Theatre where she was taught by West End dancers and leading ladies from the west end. At LSMT Liberty starred in the musical Redhead. Since graduating, Liberty is continuing to audition professionally with her help from her agent in London.

From a young age Liberty has always performed and has sung for many years prior to her training in London. She also has performed at local venues such as the Hippodrome Christmas spectacular and also has performed in Disneyland Paris.


Film & Television

Sara - Film & Television

Sara Gonzalez was born in Tenerife. Since a very young age, she was interested in drama and cinema. After taking a cinema course in 2005 she started working in the film industry as an assistant director. In 2013 she worked as a third assistant director in the film Project 12 the bunker, directed by Spanish director Jaime Falero. Whilst working here, Sara had the privilege to work alongside some very important actors such as James Cosmo (Game of Thrones), Natasha Alam (True Blood), Timothy Gibbs (I/Nation) and Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight).

Apart from being an assistant director Sara has had the pleasure to work on a project called Opera Prima Canarias, by Luis Adern which consists in helping people interested in the cinema world to create their own short film. In this project, Sara was trained in many other aspects of the cameras (script writing, continuity, runner, and production assistant). This experience had provided Sara with a better understanding of how everything works in the process of film making.

Sara was also part of a drama company for three years. During that time she played Catalina in the play "An Enemy of the People" (Henrik Ibsen), Ala in the play "Tango" (Slawomir Mrozek) and many other characters. Sara has also appeared as an actress in many short films.

Sara has plenty of experience working with children, and gets very excited to come to PQA on Saturday mornings to nurture and teach the next generation of film makers.


Comedy & Drama

Kat - Comedy & Drama

Kat has been a professional entertainer since the age of 16. Leaving the Guildhall at 18 to work as lead vocalist at Potters Leisure Resort and numerous holiday parks.

She then decided to expand into musical theatre, performing at The London Palladium and touring with West-End shows such as "The Blues Brothers" and "Little Shop of Horrors".

After years performing all over the country, Kat moved into comedy and has toured the world with her own show and supported top comedians such as Bernard Manning, Chubby Brown and Joe Pasquale. She was lucky enough to have her own show on Blackpool Pleasure Beach for two consecutive seasons.

She has acted in numerous film and television productions from sit-coms to major films, including her own T.V series for Sky.
Kat has been teaching singing and performing arts for over 10 years for several major theatre schools and on a private basis, taking her students to perform at the London Palladium, the O2 and The Royal Albert Hall.

She has been lucky enough to have multiple students accepted into London based performing arts colleges and onto professional contracts all over the country.

Kat is an asset to PQA Norwich and the students are inspired and wowed by her lessons every week. At Christmas, Kat produced and directed "A Muppets Christmas Carol" for PQA Norwich that we performed for the parents and was loved by all.




Laura - Poppets

Laura's passion for the performing arts began at an early age when she attended the June Glennie School of Dance. She then continued her early training with Estelle Clifton at Star EFX and Dance Estelle, performing in shows at Her Majesty's Theatre, the London Palladium and the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Laura made her professional début at the young age of 16 at the Hippodrome Circus and Water Spectacular as a dancer and show swimmer. Her 4th season at the Hippodrome Circus saw Laura performing as part of an Illusion act.

At the age of 18, Laura furthered her training at Masters Performing Arts College in Essex. During her time at Masters, Laura had the opportunity to work with various industry renowned choreographers and performed with the EastEnders cast on BBC'S Children In Need, Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee with AMCK and at Salon International with Paul Mitchell stylists to name but a few. Since graduating in 2012, Laura performed at the London 2012 Olympic Games and for the past four years, Laura has been performing with the Headliners Theatre Company on board P&O Cruises fleet-wide. Alongside performing, Laura is also a BootyBarre instructor and a resident teacher at Dance Estelle.

Since opening Laura has produced, choreographed and directed "Poppets go to the North Pole" and our very own "Poppets pop video" Laura is delighted to be part of the creative team at PQA Norwich and loves to pass on her knowledge and expertise to the next generation of young performers.

India Belle

Teaching Assistant

India Belle - Teaching Assistant

India is currently studying performing arts at Great Yarmouth College. She has been a member of many theatre groups including Reydon & Southwold pantomime group, which for the past two years she has been choreographer. India has also been in the last two productions for Spark Live pantomimes a semi-professional company that perform at Beccles.

India's love for performing has resulted in her being in La Traviata with Opera and Ballet International at the Marina theatre and also being in productions at London O2 and the Royal Albert Hall.

India started performing at the age 6 in dance shows and very much hopes that her training and performing will help her acquire a full time job in the industry when she has completed her training.

She enjoys very much working with you all PQA Norwich.


Poppets Assistant / Teaching Assistant

Lily - Poppets Assistant / Teaching Assistant

Lily has been attending theatre classes since the age of 8, giving her over 8 years of experience in acting and drama. Alongside developing her style of realism, Lily was inspired to improve her musical theatre skills and choreography when she was provided with the opportunity to perform in the musical "Peter Pan: The Search for the Lost Boys". The regular rehearsals for this show allowed Lily to continually practise both her vocal techniques and her dance skills, as well as exposing her to the role of directors and choreographers in productions.

Once Lily turned 16, she had to officially audition to secure roles in plays. This introduced her to a more accurate reality of pursuing a career in theatre, as being successful in these competitive auditions resulted in her being accepted into her first theatre company.

The audition that provided Lily with this placement in the theatre company also gained her a role in the production of Jack Thorne's "Burying Your Brother In The Pavement" - in which Lily played an acting part as well as performing several songs. Her experience of this more mature representation of working towards a future in theatre, has taught Lily the importance of commitment and enthusiasm: characteristics she is eager to find and bring out in young people as her tutors did for her.

Lily loves coming to PQA Norwich every Saturday and is delighted to be part of the team


Teaching Assistant

Finlay - Teaching Assistant

Finlay has been performing since the age of three, allowing him to have a wide range of theatrical experience. He has participated in many local shows and has been lucky enough to have performed as leads and ensemble in many West End productions, performing on stages such as the London Palladium, The Royal Albert Hall and The O2 Arena.  During these productions he has played roles such as the Lion in Wizard Of Oz, Tweedle Dee in Alice In Wonderland and Uncle Fester in the musical adaptation of The Addams Family.

Over the years Finlay has been able to be involved in film and music production including working with the likes of The Darkness allowing him to gain an insight into the skills and effort needed in the production process. This knowledge helped during his GCSE Media course for which he received an A* and in the production of his own short film.

Finlay hopes that he can apply his experience and knowledge into assisting you with your studies at PQA Norwich and beyond.

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Saturdays 09.45 - 13.00 & 13.45 - 17.00
Poppets 10.00 - 11.30

Open Academy
Salhouse Road

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Request An Info Pack

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

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Enrol Now

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