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Welcome to PQA Peterborough

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We operate on Saturdays from 9.45am-1pm, where we welcome students aged 4 to 18. Each week students have sessions in Comedy & Drama, Musical Theatre and Film & Television, led by our fantastic team of Teachers and Teaching Assistants.

We are always working on exciting projects which feature our students performing in a variety of different roles, in musicals, plays and films.

We are passionate about every student's personal journey with us, and the whole team work 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!

We would love to show you what we do here at PQA Peterborough. If you're interested in a free taster session, please call us for a chat and we'll 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!


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".


Musical Theatre

Charlie - Musical Theatre

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

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.


Teaching Assistant

Lara - Teaching Assistant

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.


Teaching Assistant

Rob - Teaching Assistant

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
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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