Archive for February, 2016

5 Star Review for Acting Graduate

Posted on: February 24th, 2016 by artsAdmin

Image: Callie Cooke in Harvest, ArtsEd 2014


Following a sell-out run at Hampstead Theatre, Firebird has transferred to the West End starring 2015 BA Acting graduate Callie Cooke. Phil Davies’ debut play is a searing new thriller about how the naivety of youth is open to exploitation and is directed by Hampstead’s Artistic Director Edward Hall.

Critics have given Firebird four and five star reviews this week, with high praise for leading actress Callie. Here are some of their comments:

Holly Williams, The Independent: In just-outta-drama-school Callie Cooke, he’s (Phil Davies) found a young actress who can scorch through this harrowing material. 

Lettie Mckie, Londonist: An outstanding lead performance from newcomer Callie Cooke. Cooke is staggeringly good – yes, this is her first professional role – but moreover it’s rare to see an actor lose themselves in a character so entirely. 

Greg Jameson, Entertainment Focus: It’s Callie Cooke’s central performance as Tia that’s fundamental to drawing the audience in. It’s remarkably mature, especially considering that this is Cooke’s debut theatre role…undoubtedly Cooke is one to watch. 

Lauren Mooney, The Stage: Callie Cooke gives a remarkable central performance as Tia. Cooke’s pitch-perfect reactions make it clear that a little kindness goes a long way. 

Madelaine Bowman, The Reviews Hub: Cooke’s portrayal of Tia is particularly powerful, bringing Davies’ script to life with all the vibrancy, energy and psychological anguish that you’d expect to see in a messed up teenager. 

Firebird runs until 19th March at Trafalgar Studios 2.

ArtsEd Student Slams all the Way to Paris!

Posted on: February 10th, 2016 by artsAdmin

ArtsEd BA Acting student Rachel Nwokoro was crowned the 21st UK SLAM! Champion on Saturday 4 February at the Courtyard Theatre in Hoxton. Competing against fourteen other spoken word artists, Rachel won first place with her piece ‘Proud to Be’ and now holds the longest running national slam title in Europe. She will go on to represent the UK at the World Cup of SLAM! in Paris in May 2016.

Judges included Jade Anouka, Abe Gibson, Katie Haworth, Simon Lawrence and Fanny Walker and runners up were John Wheeler and Toby Campion.

Rachel was delighted with her success:

Winning the SLAM! Championship was an overwhelming experience. I knew that I would be competing against the strongest performance poets in the UK and so I was just glad to be performing on the same stage. I had to prepare three poems and it was all incredibly tense when I made it to the third round. It was also quite emotional as my winning piece, ‘Proud to Be’, was first performed in my first-year storytelling project at ArtsEd. To have the opportunity to represent the UK at the World SLAM! Championship in Paris is incredible. I'm grateful to Juma Sharkah, who graduated last year and acted as my mentor, for being in the front row when I won and to ArtsEd and Jane Harrison for supporting my outside pursuits.

For more details and to hear Rachel perform her work go to: