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Welcome to PQA Nottingham

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Due to popular demand
we are opening an afternoon Academy at
PQA Nottingham
with a FREE OPEN DAY on
Saturday 6th May 2017
from 1.45-5pm
at Bulwell Academy, Squires Avenue,
Bulwell, Nottingham, NG6 8HG

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

Welcome to the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts in Nottingham! We offer classes in Comedy and Drama, Film and Television and Musical Theatre for 6 to 18 year olds and also a Poppets class for under 6's, with our inspiring and very talented teachers. We run from 10am - 1pm on Saturday mornings at our amazing venue the Ellis Guilford School, with brand new, top of the range facilities.

I am so proud to be able to offer children an authentic and invaluable experience. We want to give every child the opportunity to perform and develop their confidence, whether they're attending because they want a career in performing arts or just for fun. PQA Nottingham vows to give each student the chance to shine and learn priceless skills.

Get in touch to book a free taster session!

Sarah
Principal
sarah.varnam@pqacademy.com

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Meet the Team

Sarah Varnam

Principal

Sarah Varnam - Principal

I was born and raised in Leicestershire where my love of the performing arts began at a very early age. My father is an accomplished set designer and stage manager and whilst he was behind the scenes, working his magic, I performed on stage in the children's ensemble in pantomimes and musicals.

As I grew older, so my enthusiasm for the theatre grew with me, and when I became firmly 'hooked' in the Arts, I attended a weekend theatre school, and enjoyed developing a good grounding in drama and musical theatre, as well as meeting lots of new people who are still great friends today! I began attending private drama lessons, and was taught and mentored by one of Leicestershire's best drama teachers, who moulded me into the actress and teacher that I am today.

At the age of 15, I made my debut playing the title role in Agnes of God at The Little Theatre in Leicester. Other roles followed, including Ruby Birtles in When We Are Married; Jane Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, which toured to the open-air theatre at Minack in Cornwall and numerous Old Time Musicals.

After studying Performing Arts at Melton College, Drama School was my next port of call. I gained a place at London's prestigious Central School of Speech and Drama, training with many now-household names and playing many different roles, including a female Hamlet and studying an elephant at London Zoo! I graduated with a BA in Acting in 1995.

My first professional engagement was playing the Nurse in Night Must Fall, starring Barbara Jefford and directed by Phillip Franks. Other credits include Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Martirio in Lorca's The House of Barnarda Alba, Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible and Miss Hannigan in Annie.

Finally, my desire to work with young people (and meeting my husband) brought me back home to the Midlands, and for the last 13 years my role has been that of a teacher of performing arts, as freelance, in state schools and more recently as the head of performing arts at an independent school.

I have directed many productions with young people at a variety of societies. These include two very successful productions of A Slice of Saturday Night at Leicester's Little Theatre, The Pirates of Penzance, Honk!, Oliver!, Low Level Panic and Bugsy Malone. I have also mentored a number of young people who have themselves gone on to train at top drama schools and ultimately enter the profession.

Other directorial projects have included Romeo and Juliet, Hello, Dolly! ,Steel Magnolias and too many pantomimes to mention!

It is important to me that the young people who attend our new academy experience the same thrill of learning and performing that I did. It is vital that everyone has the same chance to shine and feels special whilst growing as an individual and in confidence! Whether your reasons for signing up is to make new friends or to take those first few important steps into a varied and fulfilling career, then PQA Northampton is definitely for you.

Come and join us and, Be Yourself, Be Amazing!

Sian

Vice Principal / Poppets

Sian - Vice Principal / Poppets

Sian started dancing at the age of three, studying ballet, tap, modern dance and theatre studies. She moved on to compete in dance and singing competitions through to the age of 18 where she gained a place studying musical theatre at the prestigious Laine Theatre Arts in Surrey. Whilst at Laine, Sian worked with many top industry professionals featuring in shows such as 'Just So' and 'Some Like It Hot'.

Alongside her training, Sian studied teaching in Modern dance and gained a distinction in her DDI teaching qualification gaining her a teaching placement at the Laine Theatre Arts children's school. Recently Sian worked as a lead singer for Warner Leisure Hotels in Hereford performing in the shows and leading her own cabaret. Currently she works for Indigo Live Productions performing around Nottingham as a commercial dancer alongside her DDI dance teaching studies in ballet and tap.

Sian is thrilled to be given the opportunity to teach the Poppets everything she knows and have lots and lots of fun doing it!

Catherine

Musical Theatre

Catherine - Musical Theatre

Catherine has been dancing since she was 3 and she became massively interested and involved in musical theatre when she joined the Marcia Jones School of Dance at the age of 9. She auditioned for and gained parts in the Christmas pantomimes at the Theatre Royal Nottingham as well as being part of the choir in Joseph and His Technicolor Dreamcoat several years running at the Royal Concert Hall.

At 18 she moved to Liverpool to study musical theatre at Merseyside Dance and Drama Centre, where she also trained in many dance genres to a professional standard and took her ISTD dance and LAMDA drama teaching qualifications. While in Liverpool Catherine taught dance and musical theatre for three years at two very large schools; The Grace Academy and The Barbara Simons School of Dance and Drama. She trained students for exams and put together performances for shows for children of all ages.

After graduating MDDC she gained her first professional contract working and living in India, dancing in Bollywood films, music videos and at award shows. Since then she has worked in luxury hotel resorts in Cyprus and Kos providing entertainment for guests; performing shows such as The Lion King, Hairspray, Chicago, Mamma Mia and many more.

Catherine is now back in the UK and can't wait to start teaching at the Pauline Quirke Academy. She is passionate about musical theatre and can't wait to pass on that passion as well as the knowledge and skills she's obtained to the students at PQA.

Jack

Comedy & Drama

Jack - Comedy & Drama

Jack has been involved in the performing arts in one way or another since he was in secondary school, having parts in school plays, performing in gymnastics showcases or writing and filming comedy sketches with his friends.

He followed an academic performance route going to De Montfort University and graduating with a first class honours degree in Dance and Drama. He then completed a Masters with Distinction in Contemporary Performance Making at De Montfort.

Throughout his University and graduate life he has performed in many different contexts including taking and performing comedy shows at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, creating live one man shows to perform in London and Leicester and being part of the community cast in the debut of Michael Pinchbeck's Bolero at Nottingham Playhouse.

He has a range of teaching experience that varies in both age and practice, he's taught comedy, drama, parkour and gymnastics to people aged between four and forty two!

Jack loves working for PQA as it gives him the opportunity to aid the development of young people, not only in drama but in general life skills. He also really enjoys collaboratively working on projects with young people, and exposing them to types of drama practice they may not have experienced before.

Jack

Film & Television

Jack - Film & Television

Jack started his career as a dancer training at Expressions Performing Arts Academy and then working on various commercial and music theatre events/shows around London and the UK.

At 19 years old he embarked on a world arena tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Jesus Christ Superstar'. After this, Jack continued to work as an actor/dancer for several years until realising that his passion was for directing film.

Two years on and Jack has re-trained at Confetti in Nottingham, directed 5 short films and a plethora of corporate videos. Jack combines his on-going industry experience with 6 years' experience of teaching, to create fun and creative classes!

Matthew

Academy Supervisor

Matthew - Academy Supervisor

Matt's lived in Nottinghamshire all his life and started attending speech and drama classes at the age of 8. His first appearance on stage was as Cagey Joe in Bugsy Malone The Musical. Since then he continued his work on stage with various theatre companies including the Ravenshead Theatre Group and other amateur and professional companies. In 2011 the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Dramatic Association awarded him Best Supporting Actor for his role as Denis Wicksteed in Alan Bennett's Habeas Corpus.

He holds a Level 3 diploma for Early Years Foundation Stage. He also has experience in both looking after and teaching all age ranges. For his weekday job he implements a lot of drama practices to boost children's confidence and social skills.

By combining his two passions of drama and teaching, he's gone from being a 'young pup' Poppets teacher to the Vice Principal of PQA Nottingham in 3 years, and learned lots of tricks along the way. His only disappointment is that the opportunity to attend a Pauline Quirke Academy was never around when he was a kid!

Christian

Academy Assistant

Christian - Academy Assistant

Christian has been involved in the performing arts since he was very young. He was first introduced into the world of performance as part of the Tracy Quaife Theatre Dance School at the age of 5 where he performed at the Theatre Royal. By the age of 12 his interest had moved onto acting, specifically as he joined Unlimited Theatre; a youth group that was largely physical theatre based; and there he remained a committed member for 5 years.

After studying Drama at GCSE he decided to further his knowledge of the subject by studying Drama & Theatre studies at A-Level. At this time he joined the Lakeside Youth Theatre Group and during his time there he was able to develop his skills further and got the chance to perform at the Sheffield Crucible as part of the 'Regional Youth Theatre Festival' based in the East Midlands.

After A-Levels he began studying a foundation degree in 'Theatre Arts Acting' at New College Nottingham for 2 years where he received a commendation overall. He then decided to continue his studies for a 3rd year as he completed his BA Hons in Acting. During this 3rd year, as part of his industry practice module, he began working as a volunteer at the Pauline Quirke Academy. After very much enjoying his tenure as a volunteer he is very excited about being a part of PQA Nottingham on a permanent basis within his role as Academy Assistant!

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Location

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

Ellis Guilford School
Bar Lane
Nottingham
Nottinghamshire
NG6 0HT

Venue from 22/04/17:

Bulwell Academy
Squires Avenue
Bulwell
Nottingham
NG6 8HG

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