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Welcome to PQA Swindon

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PQA Swindon opened on September 19th 2015. Every Saturday from 10am-1pm and 1.45-5pm we have lessons in Film and Television, Comedy and Drama and Musical Theatre for children and young people aged 6-18 years old. We have shows every term.

We also offer a Poppets class for ages 4 and 5 that runs from 10am until 11.30am every Saturday. Every week the students explore a different theme via dance, drama and singing. Each term the Poppets will have their own little show for family and friends to watch. Past shows have included 'The Poisoned Apple', 'The Poppets of Oz', 'Second Star to the Right' and 'A Spoonful of Poppets'.

Master Classes happen every few months. A professional will come in and take sessions in specialist arts like Stage Combat, Puppetry, TV and Radio Presenting, Ballet, Hip Hop, Make Up, Shakespeare, Musicals, Cheerleading, Mask Work, Physical Theatre, Special FX Make UP and many more.

Every few years the students get the opportunity to perform in the West End. At the end of 2017 PQA Swindon performed in 'The Lazy Ace' at the Shaftesbury Theatre!

Every couple of years our students get to walk down the red carpet, have their professional photographs taken, and then watch the films that they have made on the big cinema screen! In 2017 their Red Carpet Event was held at the Empire Cinema in Greenbridge and it was an amazing!

Trinity College London Exams are known internationally and are offered for free to all students every year. In 2016 the students took their 'Musical Theatre in Production' exam and all achieved Distinctions! 2017 saw the students take exams in 'Devised Drama' for which they achieved high merits and distinctions.

Every year the students are in a big theatre show. In 2016 the academy performed their own show 'The Next Top Star' at Swindon's Arts Centre. 

We give our students so much variety, we help to build their confidence, and everyone has so much fun! Be Yourself, Be Amazing!

Dee Thompson
Principal

Contact Dee on dee.thompson@pqacademy.com to book a free taster session.

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Meet the Team

Dee Thompson

Principal

Dee Thompson - Principal

I started training in the performing arts at the age of 3 and did my first public performance at the age of 4, I loved performing from an early age and want to give that experience to my students. I am still learning 30 years later because there is always more to learn and it never gets boring. I want PQA Swindon to always be educational and exciting and I am so happy to be running this academy alongside my performing work.

After gaining a degree in 'Theatre' I went to London to train in Acting at The Academy Drama School, which included acting for the screen from The International School of Screen Acting.

I started in productions as part of the Acting Chorus for Aida, Rigoletto, and Turnadot (Royal Albert Hall) and in The Portrait of a Lady directed by Peter Hall (Theatre Royal Bath). Following this I performed as lead roles in various fringe productions, plays include Hecuba, The Rivals, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Two Lips Indifferent Red, The Clink, Lysistrata and Under Milk Wood.

Then I began in children's theatre where I toured to lots of number one theatres and several arenas. This work has taken me all around Great Britain several times and also to Finland, Czech Republic and Poland. Roles have included playing a mean green witch, a smartypants clown, a naughty little boy, a scarecrow, a magical genie and a posh cat. I've also worked on lots of pantomimes where roles have ranged from the Fairy Godmother, to the Slave of the Ring, to the Wicked Queen. I have worked with local celebs to stars like Brian Blessed.

Screen work includes 'Casualty' and 'Lee Nelson's Well Good Show' (BBC), 'The Girl's of Hedsor Hall' (MTV USA), and the film 'Fathers of Girls' starring Ray Winstone.

I have also worked on training films, commercials, idents, events, outdoor shows, radio jingles and voice over work.

So that's a bit about me. I hope I can use my experiences to encourage everyone at the academy to do whatever they want to do, be whoever they want to be and enjoy themselves. Do it! Be it! Love it! Alongside learning, I want PQA Swindon to build confidence and to be loads of fun. Myself and all the teachers look forward to meeting you soon.

Nicki

Vice Principal / Comedy & Drama

Nicki - Vice Principal / Comedy & Drama

Nicki trained at De Montfort University in Leicester and graduated with a degree in Drama Studies and English.

She started working for PQA Oxford where she taught Comedy & Drama, then Film & TV, and was also the Vice Principal. Nicki has taken many PQA courses including Vice Principal training, Poppets, Comedy & Drama, Film & TV and Trinity College Exams. She taught a Vocal Masterclass at PQA Reading, has worked on three PQA West End shows and at many PQA holiday schools including 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Annie' at the Phoenix Theatre.

Nicki has performed in lots of shows in Oxfordshire including the lead role of Deloris Van Cartier in 'Sister Act' and Mary Magdalene in 'Jesus Christ Superstar'. She is a performer for Fairy Dust Productions and is part of their two latest shows 'The Missing Easter Egg' and 'The Fairy Prince'.

During the week Nicki works at a secondary school where she specialises in Drama and Special Needs.

Alex

Film & Television

Alex - Film & Television

Having spent several years freelancing as a camera operator, Alex started 22six Productions in 2013, a video production company focusing on music videos and corporate films.

He has written and directed several short films, some of which have gone on to national film festivals. In 2016 he finished work on his debut feature film, a post-apocalyptic thriller called 'Follow The Crows'. He is also a playwright and his debut play 'The Door' received the People's Choice Award at the Swindon Fringe Festival 2017.

In his spare time Alex enjoys making films with his two young children, as well as working on an array of passion projects.

Pippa

Musical Theatre

Pippa - Musical Theatre

Pippa has been Dancing since she was 3 years old. Then at age 16 studied Musical Theatre at Birds College of Performing Arts.

She then went into dance professionally for 4 years before becoming a Dance Teacher which she has been doing for over 15 years, including doing choreography and staging for many productions.

Pippa currently works at a secondary
school where she has been involved in many productions including 'Annie', 'Grease' and 'Bugsy'.

Dani

Poppets

Dani - Poppets

Dani started at PQA Swindon as a student. In this time she starred in 'The Next Top Star' at the Swindon Arts Centre, 'A Night at the Movies' at the Wyvern Theatre and in 'The Next Step' at the Tristan Bates Theatre in the West End. Dani also played the lead role of Belle in 'Beauty and the Beast' for our first musical in a week.

Outside of PQA, Dani has performed in 'Cabaret' and various pantomimes at the Phoenix Theatre; in '1984' at the Bohemian Balcony; and in 'Solo' at the Shoebox Theatre.

Dani is an actress for Fairy Dust Productions where she performed in 'The Missing Easter Egg' as part of the Swindon Fringe Festival 2017. In 2018 she will be in their new show 'The Fairy Prince!'

Kim

Academy Assistant

Kim - Academy Assistant

Kim is a mum of two and one of her children is also a PQA Swindon student. She has been working in education for eight years and before that her working life was all accountancy and administration based.

In her spare time (when she can grab some!) she enjoy's listening to music, watching films and walking her dogs.

Jamie

Film & Television Assistant

Jamie - Film & Television Assistant

Jamie is currently studying TV and Film Production. As part of this course he has been awarded for outstanding editing skills as well as achieving double distinctions for his work so far.

He has also produced, edited and directed many of his own short films.

As a performer his recent roles have included playing the lead role of Troy in 'High School Musical' and the role of Young Scrooge in 'A Christmas Carol'.

Taylor

Academy Assistant

Taylor - Academy Assistant

Taylor started at PQA Swindon as a student. In this time she performed in 'The Next Top Star' (Swindon Arts Centre),' A Night at the Movies' (Wyvern Theatre), 'Beauty and the Beast' (Phoenix Theatre), 'Solo' (Shoebox Theatre), 'The Next Step' (Tristan Bates Theatre, West End), and various short films.

Taylor is also a Director and her short film 'Unrequited' premiered at the Marbella Film Festival 2016 where it got a Special Mention.

In 2018 Taylor will be performing with the company Fairy Dust Productions with their new show 'The Fairy Prince!'

Olive

Poppets Assistant

Olive - Poppets Assistant

Olivia has been a passionate performer since a very young age. Starting off her career with taking classes in Ballet, Tap and Modern. She then progressed to taking exams with The Royal Academy of Dance and featuring in both Alice and Wonderland and Peter Pan in association with Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Then at the age of thirteen, she found her love for Contemporary. She competed in Spotlight's dance show in late 2014, she continued with contemporary for another two years until she decided to do Performing Arts at college with the intent of honing her skills and love for the stage.

She's spent the last three years at college doing Performing Arts and Acting being given the chance to do workshops with John Ross, Jr Cunningham and Victoria Farley.

Recent credits include, The Good Fairy in Dick Whittington and an ancestor in The Addams Family.

Daniella

Cover Teacher

Daniella - Cover Teacher

Biography coming soon.

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Location

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

Nova Hreod Academy
Akers Way
Swindon
Wiltshire
SN2 2NQ

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