Archive for April, 2018

Exclusive Interview with This Is Writer: Roy Williams

Posted on: April 25th, 2018 by artsAdmin

Roy Williams has written a range of ground-breaking and strikingly British plays during his career. This time, he writes about Britain between 1997 and 2017 in brand new play, This Is. We ask: What has changed in twenty years and how has the personal informed the political and vice-versa? 


So Roy, how did you find writing for and with our students? What were the challenges and were there any pivotal moments in the process?

The students are a writer's dream. I cannot express enough how great it was to have students at my disposal. Writing is all about trying and throwing things out; playing out ideas with them saved me a lot of time by making me realise what worked and what didn't. I couldn't have asked for a more talented and inspiring group.


The play tackles the themes of class, expectations and aspirations, what inspired it?

The students were my inspiration. Once I got over how ridiculously young they are, it occurred to me, most were born in 1997, and so much has happened in this world, both socially and politically over the last 20 years: The rise and fall of Blair, 9/11, 7/7, London riots, Brexit, Trump. I found it exciting to write a piece that follows a group of young people as they navigate their way through those times. Our protagonist, Kelle and her friends have to fight through a great deal of change.


You have used key socio-political moments of the last twenty years to punctuate Kelle’s journey. Tell us the ways in which these changes impacted on your life and why you have included them. 

It reminded me of how I navigated my life through the 80s, a life changing decade for me; there were riots, Thatcher and overt racism. This helped me to relate to what Kelle is going through. Every generation has to fight. 


The play presents a range of masculine archetypes, for example, Luke and Jack referring back to Marc being beaten up by a girl, Park’s reactions in the first scene, Marc’s relationship with Kelle. Can you tell us more about this aspect of the play?

The men's struggles are useful for me to explore how hard and demanding these times are for the young. It's a time where the sense of community is being eroded, there's a rise in crime and a lack of faith in politicians. The boys in the play are doing what they can to live by the choices they have made or are going to make. 


The play also explores power, the lack of it and the struggle to gain it. For example, the different ways in which characters try to solve problems: Marc by turning to violence, Kelle turning to study. Can you tell us more about these themes?

Again, the characters are merely trying to get by in a world left for them by the powers that be. The play addresses cause and effect, and for the purpose of the play, I am showing the effect. 


What do you want the audience to be thinking about when they leave?

I want the audience to leave with the feeling that they have been told a good story and have been moved by it, but have also learned something important about the young people in our society.

Purchase tickets for THIS IS here

ArtsEd Students Perform with Chita Rivera and Jason Donovan at Olivier Awards

Posted on: April 9th, 2018 by artsAdmin

ArtsEd students were thrilled to perform at a star-studded Olivier Awards ceremony on Sunday 8 April at the Royal Albert Hall, broadcast live on ITV and hosted by Catherine Tate.

Principal Chris Hocking said:  “It was a real privilege to attend the Oliviers and to watch so many of our talented alumni perform in excerpts from current West End shows along with our current BA (Hons) Musical Theatre students, Year 7 pupils and pupils from our Weekend Classes.”

The London cast of Hamilton opened the 42nd annual Olivier Awards ceremony with a special performance of the show's opening number. ArtsEd alumnus Tarinn Callender, who graduated just last year, plays Hercules, a friend of Hamilton, and James Madison, another founding father.

“Keep your eyes on this one” says Whats On Stage – congratulations Tarinn!

Already making Olivier Awards history with 13 nominations, Hamilton stormed off with seven prizes – the most of any show – including best new musical and two best performances. Other nominees included ArtsEd alumna and Patron, Janie Dee, for 'Follies' at National Theatre, Olivier.

ArtsEd first and second year Musical Theatre students were proud to sing with American star Chita Rivera, performing West Side Story's 'Somewhere' to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the musical's debut in London. Rivera played the role of Anita in both the original Broadway and the London stagings of this classic by Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents.

The 50th anniversary of Andrew Lloyd Webber, ArtsEd President, and Tim Rice’s 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' was also celebrated. Past stars of the musical, including Jason Donovan, Lee Mead, Danielle Hope and Joe McElderry performed in the finale, alongside ArtsEd students and pupils.

The Oliviers 2018 were definitely a night to remember – share the story, share the success!

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ArtsEd Team Up With The Stage Scholarships

Posted on: April 4th, 2018 by artsAdmin

ArtsEd are offering the incredible opportunity to win scholarships in a selection of part-time courses, in association with The Stage. We have six places at the Extra Skills Academy, six on the 2018 summer course, one place on the EXCELerate Musical Theatre course and another on the EXCELerate Acting course. The total value of each of these fantastic opportunities comes to around £13,000.

Extra Skills Academy

The Arts Ed Extra Skills Academy offers weekend opportunities for 4-16 year olds to learn and develop skills in the performing arts in a fun, vibrant and friendly environment. These young people get the opportunity to learn new skills, make friends and showcase their talents to their parents. This is a truly rewarding experience for any young person who is passionate about performing, and YOU could be one of the lucky six to win a scholarship.

Summer Courses

Arts Ed’s summer courses are aimed at ages 4-16 and 16+, and are renowned for providing the very best performing arts training in the UK. We offer a range of programmes from Junior Drama Company and Putting on a Musical, to audition techniques for students aiming to further a career in the performing arts.

EXCELerate Courses

The Arts Ed Excelerate part-time courses focus on intensive skills in musical theatre and acting audition preparation for those aged 18 and above. These courses are delivered over two terms from September to March, three evenings a week. These courses aim to provide students with the skills and confidence to take them to the next step in their vocational training, or can act as a refresher for anyone who wishes to get into the industry, while allowing full time or part time work on the side.

Director of ArtsEd Extra, Jonathan Goodwin explains:

“The ArtsEd brand is very strong in itself, so to align ourselves with an organisation that has the same ethos is really important. The Stage supports young people in their development and promotes it. From our perspective, it’s about building reputations and concentrating on the individual. It’s about getting to know the young people and nurturing and encouraging talent. The small class sizes mean that we can develop their skills individually and move them forward better.”

Jonathan Goodwin stresses that we are not looking for star performances, but potential:

“For the auditions, if they are planning on joining the acting option, then we’ll want them to perform a monologue. We want to see some personality and that you have passion and enthusiasm. It’s not about delivering a finished product, however – we need to see the potential. We look at their story because we want to get to know them and how they think this course will help them to move forwards. From a musical theatre point of view, they may come and do a song and a short dance class. Again, it is only about potential. We call it an audition, but it’s really just a case of meeting us and showing us what you enjoy doing.”


J. Goodwin
Arts Educational Schools
Cone Ripman House
14 Bath Rd
W4 1LY