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Welcome to PQA Peterborough

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We are delighted to be opening 
PQA Peterborough
with a FREE OPEN DAY on
Saturday 22nd April 2017
from 9.45am-1pm
at The Peterborough School, Thorpe Road,
Peterborough, PE3 6AP

To receive our free information pack please click HERE
or to secure your place at PQA Peterborough 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 staff, 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. They really are great fun...
...I look forward to meeting you on the day!

Maureen Wardill – Principal PQA Peterborough

Meet the Team

Maureen Wardill


Maureen Wardill - Principal

One of my earliest memories is being around 7 years old and making up a game about a girl who found a magic book, and when she opened it she could jump into the pages and join the world of make believe, having a series of adventures. I was, of course, always the little girl. I think I was always fascinated by making stories come alive, and from this came my love of drama and the performing arts.

This passion, combined with my many years of experience in teaching drama to children and young people, together with my sense of fun, will guarantee that Saturdays are the best day of the week for your children should they decide to sign up for PQA Peterborough!

My first big role was 'The Inn Keeper's Wife' in the school nativity and from then I was hooked. I begged my mum to enrol me in the local theatre group which I attended every week without fail, and here I realised that I could play my make-believe games to my heart's content in the acting class, and met many like-minded friends.

As the years went on I performed in a variety of plays and shows, took part in drama competitions, singing festivals, performed in radio plays, did voiceover work and stage work, and I couldn't get enough. I have been lucky enough to be able to combine performing with teaching drama whilst also promoting shows for a number of theatres in the South East. My love of communication and creativity led me to study advertising and marketing which provided me with another 'string to my bow' in terms of career development. I honestly don't think I would have gone down this path had I not discovered drama at such a young age.

When I had my own family I began to focus much more on the educational side of performing arts. As a LAMDA trained Speech and Drama teacher, during the week I work with children preparing them for examinations in acting, public speaking and communication. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing the confidence grow in each child as they discover their own capabilities through performing arts. The lovely thing is that you don't have to want a career in performing arts to gain all the life skills, confidence and presentation skills that come with performing. Not to mention the fun to be had!

I am so excited to be launching PQA Peterborough. The PQA modules are modern, fun and relevant to today's world. The opportunity to perform on a West End stage is so exciting and for the children to be able to see their own film in their local cinema is a totally unique experience.

I know that the '7 year old me' would have jumped through hoops to be a part of this experience, and I am so grateful that the 'adult me' has that opportunity now.


Comedy & Drama

Lee - Comedy & Drama

Lee has been teaching Performing Arts for 12 years at Peterborough Regional College and for the last four years has been the Course Leader for the BA Hons Performing Arts degree course at University Centre Peterborough. His vast experience includes teaching GCSE and A Level Theatre studies and BTEC National Diploma levels 2 and 3 in Performing Arts. Lee has a BA Honours in Community Theatre from Loughborough University and a Masters in Education: Drama, from Middlesex University, alongside PGCE teaching qualifications.

Lee's passion for teaching and theatre goes back 30 years. After completing his A levels in Performing Arts he then set up and ran local theatre youth groups for Saldance, Walton and Stanground schools before they changed to Academies. Alongside this, he has worked at the Key Theatre as a deputy manager and as a Children's Centre play leader for the local council where he was able to use his performing arts experience to create innovative and engaging activities to children of all ages.

Lee won national awards for his theatre work at the National Student Drama Festival and has performed for the National Student Theatre Company. He has directed and produced many performances for the college and university as well as working as an actor. He loves Peterborough Panthers Speedway, Darts and Liverpool FC (but don't hold that against him)!

Lee can't wait to pass on his experience and skills in acting to many more young people in the future.

"I am very excited to work for the Pauline Quirke Academy and am looking forward to helping students of the Academy to learn and produce theatre work of an exceptional standard".


Film & Television

Brendan - Film & Television

BAFTA Award winner, Brendan Sheppard has written, produced, directed and edited several productions for main stream TV. In 1996 he won a Royal Television Society Award for his first student film, then he progressed into initially a musical theatre career working in the USA. After returning to the UK he pursued a career in Television Directing and it wasn't long before he got his first big break working as the Network TV Director for CiTV. He spent two happy years working alongside the likes of Roland Rat, Sooty and Sweep and Grotbags then in 2004 he got a job working as a TV Director for CBBC. He won his first BAFTA aged just 29 and then headed up his own programme CBBC eXtra which is still on air today.

After directing "DinoSapien" for CBBC Drama in Canada he then went to work on hit TV Show Doctor Who for four years, directing and producing short drama, documentaries, CGI material and mini spin off series Doctor Who Online Adventures. He then went onto work on some of the UK's most recognisable soaps before, in 2010, deciding to get into teaching. He recently created, directed and became show runner on "Endurance" for Word of Mouth Productions and now still writes and directs as well as being Head of Media at the prolific Netherhall School and Sixth Form Academy in Cambridge.



Holly - Poppets

Holly has been performing on stage since she was around 9 years old and her love of performing arts is infectious. Receiving first class marks for her acting roles at university, Holly is thrilled to be passing on her experience to the Poppets at PQA.

Holly's performing experience is wide and varied, from playing many lead roles in plays and musicals such as 'Sandy' in Grease, 'Prudy' in Hairspray and 'Scrooge' in the Christmas Carol, to taking on a role as presenter for a local talent show in Peterborough and taking part in singing competitions.

During the week, as well as continuing with her drama studies at the University of Peterborough, Holly works as a Key Worker and Teaching Assistant at The Voyager Academy. She has set up and runs the Building Bridges programme that supports special educational needs students and encourages learners to improve their confidence both socially and practically in many subjects. "I regularly use drama techniques to engage the learners on this programme" said Holly. "It is wonderful to see how much impact performing can have on building confidence and self-esteem".

Holly is very excited about teaching the Poppets at PQA Peterborough and using her varied performing arts experience to inspire the youngest members of the PQA family.

In her spare time Holly enjoys going to see both musical theatre shows in the West End and discovering contemporary fringe theatre plays, as well as enjoying music of all styles.

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Saturdays 09.45 - 13.00
Poppets 10.00 - 11.30

The Peterborough School
Thorpe 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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To enrol simply complete and submit our online form.

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