Archive for July, 2018

Top National Student Survey 2018 Results for ArtsEd

Posted on: July 31st, 2018 by artsAdmin

We are delighted that, for the second year running, ArtsEd has been ranked as the top drama school for overall student satisfaction in the 2018 National Student Survey.

Over 320,000 students from right across the UK take part in the survey, answering questions about their course, institution and learning experience in general.

ArtsEd are delighted to have maintained the title of top drama school for overall satisfaction in NSS 2018, with 95% saying that they were happy with their training.

Industry preparation is key in the performing arts and this year’s survey results demonstrate ArtsEd’s success in this area, with 100% of respondents agreeing that  have received good career advice during their time here and that their time at ArtsEd has provided them with the practical skills to learn and achieve. 

Principal Chris Hocking said: “We are continually reviewing and refining our acting and musical theatre courses to ensure that the training we provide is of the highest quality and prepares students for the particular demands of today’s industry. Our students have always had a strong and positive voice within ArtsEd, and the 2018 NSS proves that: 90% of students feel that their voice is heard, compared to the sector average of 69%.”

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Foundation course bursary place announced by the Lyric Hammersmith and ArtsEd

Posted on: July 26th, 2018 by artsAdmin

The Lyric Hammersmith and one of the UK’s leading performing arts schools, ArtsEd, are proud to announce the launch of a new bursary scheme on the Foundation Acting course at ArtsEd. This bursary, funded by ArtsEd, will allow one Young Lyric member to complete the 10-month Foundation course starting in September 2018.

The Foundation course develops participants’ skills in preparation for degree level training. An exciting and innovative industry connection, unique to ArtsEd and the Lyric, is that half the classes are delivered at ArtsEd and half take place at The Lyric Hammersmith.

The bursary has been one of the outcomes of three years of working in partnership with ArtsEd who run both their Foundation Acting and Musical Theatre courses from the Lyric building. The students are an integral part of the Lyric building; they are enrolled as Young Lyric members, and participate in workshops and performing arts projects within the Lyric’s facilities. Several of the students also gain employment experience from working in the building as ushers. The bursary student will continue to be supported by the Lyric as well as their course tutors at ArtsEd.

The Lyric is pleased to be able to offer this opportunity as part of its ongoing commitment to giving young people from all backgrounds at every level of experience and training access to the arts. The Lyric’s programmes including Young Lyric, the flagship START programme for 16 – 21 year olds who are NEET, the Lyric Ensemble company of young actors, as well as many other projects and activities, have a proven record of supporting young people from a wide range of backgrounds offering different pathways into the theatre industry. The ArtsEd bursary scheme will enable the Lyric to build on this work and help contribute to greater diversity amongst the UK’s drama schools.

The young person selected for this bursary has completed several projects at the Lyric including the flagship START programme for marginalised 16-21 year olds not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Sean Holmes, Artistic Director of Lyric Hammersmith Said;

“We are delighted that through this bursary, the Lyric and ArtsEd have ensured a life-changing opportunity for a highly talented young person. An opportunity that might not have been obtainable without this significant investment.”

Chris Hocking, Principal of ArtsEd said:

“We are thrilled to strengthen our ongoing partnership with the Lyric, Hammersmith by offering a full scholarship to a Young Lyric member for our outstanding Foundation Acting Programme. They will not only benefit from ArtsEd’s outstanding tutors using the fantastic Lyric facilities but also will be part of the supportive and inclusive ArtsEd student body. We hope that this is just the beginning of a fruitful partnership – a collaborative approach to widening participation to the performing arts scene in west London.”

Read The Stage article HERE.

For talented young people in this country, financial pressures mean that many students of great promise face the prospect of turning down their place or even leaving their course before finishing. ArtsEd provides support where it can, but not to everyone that needs it. The generous support of individuals plays a vital role in the creation of the next generation of exceptional talent – enabling extraordinary young students to fulfil their true potential as artists and performers. 

Find out more about how you can help our gifted young students by making a donation or becoming an ArtsEd Friend today.

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Double Award Success for ArtsEd Acting & Musical Theatre Students

Posted on: July 19th, 2018 by artsAdmin

This week has seen a double award success for ArtsEd’s BA (Hons) Musical Theatre graduate Alex Cardall and third year BA (Hons) Acting student Laura Meredith. Each student has been awarded £5,000 to help towards their living costs as they both embark on the next leg of their performing arts journey.

21 year-old Alex Cardall from Solihull was the first winner of the brand new Rising Star Award, given to a graduate of the Musical Theatre BA programme for outstanding talent and effort demonstrated throughout all three years of their training.

The prize money will help Alex to support himself as he continues onwards with his professional career and as he makes his stage debut in Sweet Charity at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury later this year.

Intended to provide much needed financial support to a Musical Theatre graduate in the first year of their professional career, the Rising Star Award will ensure that Alex and others in the coming years can continue into the industry with a degree of financial security, whilst also strengthening ArtsEd’s mission to provide students and graduates with support in as many ways as possible.

The Rising Star initiative has been created and donated by an anonymous donor with a long-standing passion for musical theatre who approached ArtsEd after seeing numerous outstanding graduates in West End shows. Alongside the Rising Star award, their generous philanthropy also supports two annual bursaries for exceptional third year students of Musical Theatre.

After watching Alex develop over the years, the Principal of ArtsEd and Head of Musical Theatre, Chris Hocking said:

“Alex is not only an extremely talented triple-threat Musical Theatre performer but he also embodies the ArtsEd ethos of professionalism, dedication, generosity and humility.”

Rising Star Award recipient Alex Cardall said:

“I am delighted to receive this Rising Star Award. I can start my career at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury feeling more financially supported and I am really grateful for that.

“Being at ArtsEd has been a life-changing experience for me. I’ve received world-class training and have made friends and contacts for life – I can now go out into the world as a professional with the richness and diversity of this learning and make my dreams come true.”

Laura Meredith from Hull continues into her third year at ArtsEd’s School of Acting, as the recipient of one of the Sir John Gielgud Charitable Trust Awards that are received by well-deserved students across many of the UK’s drama schools every year.

This award commemorates the life and work of Sir John Gielgud who dedicated his entire life to the arts, both on stage and screen. Twenty-two John Gielgud bursaries are awarded amongst drama schools annually to help drama students in their final year propel into their future careers and ease the pressure of financial hardship.

Throughout her time at ArtsEd, Laura has proved her dedication and strong work ethic amongst colleagues and teachers.

Laura’s second year director said:

“Laura is a committed and much valued member of the ensemble… she has the toolkit and skills to bring authenticity and presence to each performance – a pleasure to work with.”

Laura’s dedication to the arts stretches beyond her course as she inspires young children and adults in her home City of Hull, helping out with Youth Theatre classes at Hull Truck Theatre and offering arts-related career advice.

Excited about the year to come, Laura says:

“Receiving the John Gieldgud Award enables me to enter my final year of training feeling  much more financially supported – I can now focus on this integral year with confidence and more security.

“ArtEd has provided me with quality training and opportunities beyond my wildest dreams. Working with world-class professionals every day amongst the school’s safe, personal, challenging and creative performing arts environment means I am having the time of my life and growing to become the professional I want to be.”

For talented young people in this country, financial pressures mean that many students of great promise face the prospect of turning down their place or even leaving their course before finishing. ArtsEd provides support where it can, but not to everyone that needs it. The generous support of individuals plays a vital role in the creation of the next generation of exceptional talent – enabling extraordinary young students to fulfil their true potential as artists and performers. 

Find out more about how you can help our gifted young students by making a donation or becoming an ArtsEd Friend today.


Pupils Scoop up Prizes at Prize Giving

Posted on: July 13th, 2018 by artsAdmin

Yesterday, ArtsEd Day School and Sixth Form celebrated the end of another academic year at our annual Prize Giving. The ceremony opened with Head Teacher, Adrian Blake, recounting highlights of 2017/18 shows and events and underlining the increasing importance of the arts during a time when its place in the curriculum is continuously under threat. The Prize Giving ceremony and performances were a joyous celebration of the arts in a time of unrest; with dynamic dancing, awe-inspiring acting and belting ballads.









The central message of the day was beautifully summed up in a Mayo Angelou quote from Principal, Chris Hocking:

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

This sentiment was echoed in speeches from: Jamie McLelland (Year 7), Millie Mahoney (Year 11) and Joshua Orpin (Year 13), who all agreed that ArtsEd is a unique and joyous place to study and train; Joshua is delighted to be staying on at ArtsEd for a further three years to study for a BA(Hons) in Musical Theatre.

The talent and commitment of all of our students was proved further in the awarding of an array of prizes in numerous performance and academic categories.

Congratulations to all who won awards at Prize Giving 2018!


Dame Gillian Lynne dies at 92: Dancer, Choreographer and ArtsEd Patron

Posted on: July 2nd, 2018 by artsAdmin

It's with great sadness that we learn of the death of Dame Gillian Lynne – celebrated choreographer of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical CATS, among many others, and longstanding and dedicated ArtsEd patron.

Principal Chris Hocking says:

“Gillie was an inspiration to everyone that worked with her. What an honour it was to have Gillie work on CATS at ArtsEd in 2010. She treated the students like professionals and they all learned so much from her wonderful knowledge, passion and wicked sense of humour. Dame Gillian changed the face of Musical Theatre in the UK and we will always be in her debt for this. I was luckily enough to see her last week at the naming party Gillian Lynne Theatre in the West End – a fitting tribute to one of the all-time Dance and Musical Theatre greats. She still had naughty sense of humour and an eagle-eye for detail. Our thoughts are with her husband Peter and family at this time.”

ArtsEd President, Andrew Lloyd Webber, paid tribute to Dame Gillian on Twitter: “Farewell dearest Gillie, three generations of the British musical owe so much to you.”

While Elaine Paige, who played the lead in the original production of CATS, remembers her “dear friend and teacher”.

Based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by TS Eliot, the show opened in May 1981 with Elaine Paige, Bonnie Langford (ArtsEd alumna) and Paul Nicholas among its cast.

Last month Dame Gillian attended a special ceremony in her honour hosted by Lord Lloyd Webber and producer Cameron Mackintosh. The New London Theatre, the original London home of CATS, is now known as the Gillian Lynne Theatre – the first West End venue named after a non-royal woman.


Dame Gillian Lynne enjoyed a long and illustrious career. Chosen as a teenager by Dame Ninette de Valois to join Sadler’s Wells Ballet during the Second World War, she was quickly promoted to Leading Soloist and spent eight years in the company. She then moved to the London Palladium as their star dancer while acting and dancing in films with Errol Flynn, Arthur Askey and Anthony Newley. Gillian was instrumental in the development of jazz dance in Britain and her distinctive style – a fusion of classical and jazz – led to her groundbreaking work on the world famous CATS. In 1981 Dame Gillian took on Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical which ran for almost 9,000 performances in London. She also worked on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking hit Phantom of the Opera for which she provided the musical staging and choreography – one of more than 60 Broadway and West End shows she has helped mastermind.

Gillian Lynne’s television direction and choreography won her the Best Arts Programme BAFTA, while she received the RAD’s Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award for services to Ballet and she has been given the freedom of the city of Vienna for her production of CATS, the first proscenium version. She was made a Dame in 2014 for her services to Dance and Musical Theatre.

Group photo shows Dame Gillian with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cameron Mackintosh and dancers from CATS at the renaming of the New London Theatre in June 2018.   Photo: Craig Sugden