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Welcome to PQA Torbay

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Hello and welcome to PQA Torbay!

PQA Torbay have just triumphed in their West End Debut with an awesome performance and they achieved 91% and a Distinction in their Trinity College Musical Theatre In-Production Grade 3 exam. Next term we will develop our skill set as we make a start on High School Musical which we are performing locally in March.

We are also proud to announce that we will be performing and supporting top series one X Factor winners G4 in their Christmas by Candlelight tour singing at Torquay Central Church 29th November. 

We won a national award for an anti-bullying film by Red Group and for Blue & Green groups we filmed not one but two location shoots in Film & TV. Some of these films will feature at the English Riviera Film Festival in June before our Gala Film event at the Vue Paignton on the 6th November!

Here at PQA Torbay we are extremely passionate about providing high quality, professional and up-to-date performing arts tuition, as well as offering the opportunity for young people to build their confidence, learn life skills and make new friends whilst ensuring all of this takes place in a fun, safe and happy environment.

The Academy is based at the wonderfully equipped performing arts studios at South Devon College. Our Academy boasts a specialised theatre space, two dance studios as well as fully equipped Film and Television space, which our students have exclusive use of each Saturday.

As well as fun-packed lessons in Comedy & Drama, Musical Theatre and Film & Television, students will have the opportunity to take part in Masterclasses run by specialist tutors, perform in London's West End, see their film projects on the 'big screen' at the local cinema and potentially at Empire Leicester Square, join our professional agency 'Quirky Kidz', and take part in free Trinity Group exams.

If you want to join the PQA fun then why not book a free taster session? Call 0800 531 6282. We hope to see you soon.

Meet the Team

Victoria Whelan

Principal

Victoria Whelan - Principal

Victoria initially trained in dance (ballet, tap, modern) performing as a mouse in the Nutcracker in a professional show in Brisbane aged 6. She continued to dance and perform alongside her love for gymnastics until she was 17. Then she was lucky enough to have a bout of modelling for the next two years, where she started to explore acting. In the mid 80's she trained in Theatre at the Queensland University and worked professionally in Australia touring in musical theatre and comedy. She started to teach performance, singing and circus skills.

Whilst at University Victoria discovered song writing and music, and from the late 80's until 2005 she worked as professional touring musician, with 10 albums and national airplay in Australian, NZ and the UK. She started teaching singing within this time from 1996 – 2005 when she became a mother. From 2000- 2007 she worked in a recording studio, co-producing over 30 albums where she engineered, mixed, sang and played as a session musician and supported artists in their creative process. It was during this time was learnt a range of multimedia skills including final cut and motion for film editing and making music videos, as well as photoshop, web design and logic pro.

Since 2010 Victoria had an unexpected but delight new career as a festival producer working throughout the South West, programming and delivering over 10 national events. In the last few year's she has really enjoyed Improv workshops, with john Cremer from Brighton's Maydays. So now with her daughter heading to Secondary school she is excited to becoming the new Principal at PQA Torbay this September.

Amy

Vice Principal / Poppets

Amy - Vice Principal / Poppets

I have been interested in performing arts from a very young age, regularly attending performing art groups and performing in shows.
I decided to pursue my love of the Arts and completed a Performing Arts Course at South Devon College gaining a merit.
Liverpool Arts College was my next step to achieving my dream where I completed a 2 year BTEC National Diploma in Dance, receiving a distinction.

I have performed in a number of different shows at a number of different venues around the UK. These shows include, Jesus Christ Superstar, Oliver, Annie, A Chorus Line, Fiddler on the roof and many more.
After my training, I have used my skills that I have learnt to teach children at PQA Exeter, Street dance and am a part of the So Street Dance group.
I am really excited about being given the opportunity to teach at PQA Torbay and look forward to meeting all of the students and being able to see them all grow and learn as individuals, whilst doing something that they enjoy.

Karma

Musical Theatre

Karma - Musical Theatre

Karma has been performing professionally since 1998 in various capacities as a singer, dancer and actress. She has performed all over the UK and overseas from the West End to NYC, on many projects from touring shows to entertainment management. Karma continues to perform alongside her teaching work.
In 2005, she began to undertake formal training to pursue a career in teaching Performing Arts and has a suite of professional and teaching qualifications including BA hons Choreography, FDA Performance Practice and Events Management and Qualified Teacher Status. Her teaching career began in 2009 as a Performing Arts Lecturer where her main focus is Musical Theatre, producing, directing, choreographing and vocal coaching the end of year musical show.
Karma is constantly undertaking training to update her skill base and is hoping to enrol on her Masters Degree in Drama this year.
Karma is delighted to be part of the PQA team and cannot wait to start working on the new projects with the budding stars!

Saoirse

Comedy & Drama

Saoirse - Comedy & Drama

Saoirse has been surrounded by performing arts since an early age. She started dancing which lead to her involvement with musicals, singing and theatre.

She's been studying Performing Arts for over 10 years and recently graduated from Bath Spa University where she studied Drama.

Saoirse enjoys all aspects of theatre, having worked with companies such as the BBC, National Youth Ballet, Billy Elliot (NYT). She also has experience working behind the scenes as part of the technical team on a range of different productions.

Saoirse loves to explore drama in the community and thinks it is a great way for children to express and explore their ideas. She is interested in teaching as a career and hopes PQA is a fun first step.

Abbie

Film & Television

Abbie - Film & Television

Abbie graduated from Marjons in 2008 with BA Hons in Media with Creative Writing and has qualified teacher status, as well as a range of other media related qualifications. She has worked on numerous productions fulfilling several different production roles.

Abbie has been teaching Media at South Devon College since 2014 and has experience teaching, Levels 1, 2 and 3; GCSE, A-Level, and FdA within Creative Media. Her continuing professional development is ongoing and industry up-to-date ensuring innovative approaches to ideation, creative problem-solving and applied practice.

Abbie's inspirational and enthusiastic approach to teaching fosters a happy and motivated collaborative learning environment that stimulates success.

Previous to teaching Abbie worked as a youth support worker gaining valuable insight into the needs of young people, how they learn, how they behave and how they engage. She also ran a small photography business for 3 years focusing on weddings and business marketing.

Creativity has always been the core of every area of her life, education, teaching and even personal growth. Videography is not only a career choice but an area of exploration and expression both personally and professionally and is hoping to start her own production company in the near future.

Abbie is excited to be a member of the team and is looking forward to inspiring the students to fulfil their dreams and aspirations.

Amy

Poppets Assistant

Amy - Poppets Assistant

I am delighted to be working with PQA Torbay. I have always had an interest in dance but never thought I would be offered the opportunity to work with such talented teachers and students, everyone enjoys what they do and we all have lots of fun. I really enjoy working with the children and getting stuck into all the different topics.

I would describe myself as a caring bubbly person with lots of energy. I have trained in first aid and your child safety is my priority. I am looking forward to learning new things In the future.

Mary-Anne

Teaching Assistant

Mary-Anne - Teaching Assistant

Ever since a young age I have been extremely passionate about the performing arts and this is something that has stuck with me. Acting is a part of me and I feel most at home when on the stage. I first performed when I was 3 years old and I haven't left the stage since. Over the years I have played many different roles ranging from Emilia in Shakespeares Othello, Wendy from Peter Pan and the Beggar Woman from Sweeney Todd. I have recently finished studying the performing arts at South Devon College with a Distinction and two Distinction stars. Helping to assist the Green Group at PQA is such an amazing experience for me and watching such talented young people grow as performers is indescribable.

Ashleigh

Blue Group Teaching Assistant

Ashleigh - Blue Group Teaching Assistant

Ashleigh has just achieved a first class honours degree in theatre and performance from Guildford School of Acting.

Although her skills set are primarily in acting, Ashleigh is a triple threat performer; having trained as a dancer achieving her grade 8 ballet and worked up to intermediate tap and advanced foundation contemporary.

Ashleigh also has had singing lessons since she was nine. She has performed in many amateur productions as Paulette in Legally Blonde, Nancy in Oliver, Maddy in 1in4, Polyhymnia in Chance to Hide and many more.

Ashleigh also has experience as an extra in films.

Amber

Film & Television Assistant

Amber - Film & Television Assistant

I've always had a massive passion for Film and TV. My dream has always been to be in front of the camera but I also love the aspects of working behind the camera too. Last year I finished my AS in Film Studies which I enjoyed enormously.

I've always dabbled around with cameras, and from a young age I would steal my dad's and carry it around with me everywhere; taking shaky and unfocused shots of miscellaneous things, but I promise I've gotten better!

Over the years I've practised my camera work and gained more experience with filming and editing, for example participating in media lessons at South Devon College helping the students complete their lesson tasks.

Film and TV brings me so much happiness and creativity, and the ability to produce anything using only your imagination is an incredible feeling that I cannot wait to introduce to all our PQA members!

Working at PQA honestly is a dream come true as I get to work alongside professionals in this industry who teach me so much as well as working with amazingly talented, young individuals who always put a smile on my face.

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Location

Saturdays 09.45 - 13.00
Poppets 10.00 - 11.30

South Devon College
Vantage Point
Long Road
Paignton
Devon
TQ4 7EJ

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