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Hello and Welcome to PQA Peterborough
We operate on Saturdays from 9.45am-1pm in the lovely setting of The Peterborough School, where we welcome students aged 4 to 18. Each week students have sessions in Comedy & Drama, Musical Theatre and Film & Television all led by our fantastic team of teachers and teaching assistants.
Since we opened our doors in April this year we have been working on lots of exciting projects which feature our students performing in a variety of different roles, in musicals, plays and films. We have already made a film featuring all age groups, and we were very excited to be invited to sing with vocal Group G4 on their live tour in September.
We are passionate about every student's personal journey with us, and the whole team works hard to ensure every single student is given the opportunity to become the best performer they can be, and reach their potential creatively. Every student has something unique to offer and it's our job to encourage this and develop it!
I would love to show you what we do here at PQA Peterborough. It really is a hub of energy every Saturday. In addition to our weekly classes, we have Trinity exams, West End productions, cinema screenings, Quirky Kidz agency and much more for the students get involved with.
If you're interested in a free taster session please call me for a chat and we can arrange for you to visit the Academy. Alternatively, you can request a brochure or enrol online now – we look forward to welcoming you to PQA Peterborough!
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.
Dale's first foray into the world of drama was an instant success culminating in an award-winning production of Billy the Kid at the tender age of 11, which he wrote, directed and starred in the leading role. This was recognised as a seminal piece of work by a Year 6 student in his primary school, and from there Dale's love of drama continued.
Throughout his business career Dale has continued to write short pieces of drama and comedy sketches on the side, and in recent years has been part of an improvisation crew. As a lover of fitness, he has admitted to having a secret wish to learn Street Dance – albeit as a slightly more mature dancer!
Dale has run his own companies for many years and is really enjoying transferring these skills to the smooth running of PQA Peterborough.
"I have always had a love of theatre and film, and to be a part of PQA is proving to be a superb experience. Having been very involved in the running of global business events over the years, I am looking forward to putting my skills to good use at the Academy with our very own red-carpet film premiere, plus I have lots of ideas for other exciting events for PQA Peterborough".
Performing Arts has been a huge part of Charlie's life since a very young age, and over the years she has played a wide variety of parts from the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz to the unforgettable part of Glinda.
She began her dance studies at Deeping dance centre at the age of 3 and continued there until the age of 18 by which time she had completed advanced levels in ballet, tap and modern dance. Charlie then took the obvious next step and went on to further her performing arts education at Midlands Academy of dance and drama (MADD) graduating with a Dance and Musical Theatre Diploma in 2009.
Since graduating Charlie has been working for many companies and schools in the Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire area teaching musical theatre, drama and a wide variety of dance styles such as Hip-hop, commercial street dance, Latin American, Irish dancing, Mexican, Stomp Dance....... the list goes on. Charlie's energy and enthusiasm for all her work is contagious, and she is always bursting with ideas for musical theatre numbers and show stoppers.
"I am passionate about musical theatre and love nothing more than seeing that passion come alive in children. I am so excited to join the team at PQA Peterborough and look forward to sharing my knowledge and passion with the students at PQA".
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.
Comedy & Drama
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 students 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.
Holly holds a Diploma in Performing Arts and is continuing her studies in contemporary and physical theatre at the University of Peterborough. During the week Holly works at The Voyager Academy where 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 being a part of the teaching team at PQA Peterborough and using her varied performing arts experience to inspire our students.
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.
Kerrie has had an interest in performing arts since the age of four when she first enrolled in tap and ballet classes, and later landed her first big part playing the inn keepers wife in the school nativity.
Throughout her school years she relished the opportunity to perform on stage. At the Kingswood School, Kerrie worked on a project called "Delivered" in conjunction with Frantic Assembly physical theatre company. She also played the part of 'Niobe' in The Love of a Nightingale and had various roles in the devised shows on offer at Kingswood, receiving acclaim at 17 for her original play "Mea Culpa" which was performed within Kingswood's black box theatre.
Kerrie took the natural progression of going on to to study Drama and Education at De Montfort University where she worked on a range of performance techniques and styles including musical theatre, modern theatre, musical and popular theatre. Here, Kerrie performed in many university productions and still enjoys the opportunity to devise new plays and performances.
Kerrie also holds a certificate of higher education from Oxford Brookes University in English and Performing Arts Community and Education. Whilst there, Kerrie took part in many voluntary placements including Creating Routes charity, Pegasus Theatre and Cheney school. Kerrie has worked with children across all key stages from age 3 months – 19 years. She has a passion for the early years and loves to see young children express their imagination in a creative way.
Theatre in education is something that has always interested Kerrie and she is very excited to join the team at PQA.
"Imagination is one of the greatest skills that we can encourage in a child. There is nothing more rewarding than watching a child develop their creativity, and as a result grow in confidence ."
Teaching Assistant / Cover Teacher
Hope found her passion for comedy and theatre at an early age when she played a giant pie that opened up to show blackbirds inside in a primary school play.
She has carried the comedy aspect on, performing as many comedy characters such as Bottom from A Midsummer Night's Dream and writing her own one-woman comedy show that was shortlisted to go to Edinburgh Fringe festival. She is also a key member of a Theatre in Education company that tours to schools performing an interactive comedy version of Shakespeare's classic Romeo and Juliet.
Hope holds a degree in Drama and has recently qualified as a secondary Drama and English teacher. She seeks to take her enthusiasm for the performing arts as far as her imagination will let her. Her most recent theatre production role was stage managing Hampton College's rendition of The Little Shop of Horrors, that used a West End size set.
Hope is very excited to be joining PQA Peterborough as Cover Teacher / Teaching Assistant. She has worked as a cover teacher with all groups within the Academy from the Poppets to the Red Group. She is looking forward to becoming a regular member of the team!
As an experienced teaching assistant and class cover supervisor in a wonderful village primary school, Lara's love of school life extends as far as running the football team! Her lifelong affection for the performing arts is carried over into the 'Nuture' group she runs at school, where she helps groups of children with their social & emotional development and confidence.
With a passion for musicals, plays and music, Lara can often be found singing along at a west end show, or dancing the night away at a pop concert. Lara is also a devoted wife and mother of two children and in her limited down time she loves nothing more than to relax with her nose in a good book or watching a period drama.
Rob's interest in the theatre industry sparked at around age 7 when he performed in the chorus of the Dick Whittington pantomime at the Cresset Theatre, Peterborough. From there his enthusiasm for the world of drama has continued to grow.
During his years performing Rob has also developed experience teaching children and assisting directors by facilitating sessions and workshops on various projects including productions of Oliver, Dream Night's and The Wiz, as well as working closely with young adults with learning disabilities.
The enthusiasm Rob has for theatre led him to study Drama at the University of Lincoln. Alongside his studies he has worked with media students on various film and television projects, performed at the National Theatre Connections festival, and taken on the role of both actor and costume designer for a performance of Shakespeare's King John at Newark Castle.
Rob is currently finishing his third year at university and he believes his studies have enhanced his skills of performing as an actor, singer and dancer, whilst furthering his knowledge of numerous theatre practitioners and styles of performance.
"My passion for theatre has led me to the Pauline Quirke Academy, inspiring me to transfer my knowledge and skills to the next generation of theatre makers, which I hope will allow them to create enjoyable, engaging and innovative work to a high standard."
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|Saturdays||09.45 - 13.00|
|Poppets||10.00 - 11.30|
The Peterborough School
Grab one of our FREE info packs, fill out our quick form.
To enrol simply complete and submit our online form.