Continuing ArtsEd’s Centenary celebrations, we launch Thomas Dennis’ 100 Years in 100 Seconds video.
Thomas attended both ArtsEd Day School and Sixth Form, graduating from the Sixth Form in 2014. He went straight from ArtsEd, landing the lead role of Christopher Boone in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, then landed another lead role as Albert Narracott in the National Theatre’s War Horse.
Find out what he had to say about his time at ArtsEd, and how it helped kick-start his exciting career:
And now, we share 100 Years in 100 Seconds with BA Musical Theatre alumnus, Danny Mac who graduated in 2009. Danny has enjoyed tremendous success both on stage and screen; from Hollyoaks and Strictly Come Dancing, to Amelie the Musical and On The Town at Regents Park Open Air Theatre. Today, Danny opens in Christmas West End sensation: White Christmas at the Dominion Theatre. His next endeavor will be Pretty Woman: The Musical which will be opening on the West End, February 2020.
We are thrilled to have a number of alumni nominated for this year’s WhatsOnStage Awards, including the brilliant Isabella Pappas from our Sixth Form. Isabella’s nomination is for Best Supporting Actress in a Play for her role as Cassidy Lafayette in Appropriate, Brandon Jacob Jenkins’ new play staged at the Donmar Warehouse.
Balancing Sixth Form responsibilities while working in the industry is a huge challenge that Isabella has attacked head-on. Here’s what she had to say about her nomination and how ArtsEd helped her along the way:
“It is amazing to be nominated for a WhatsOnStage Award for Best Supporting Actress alongside such accomplished women. And it’s equally wonderful to have Appropriate nominated for Best New Play. I believe in the power of theatre to move audiences in unexpected ways and I’m fortunate to have been involved in plays like Appropriate and The Nether, which raise important questions and stimulate debate amongst audiences. The fact that WhatsOnStage awards are chosen by the public shows that people appreciate the artistry and talent of everyone involved in these productions.
Since my nomination, the outpouring of support from ArtsEd has been overwhelming and I cannot thank everyone enough. As an ArtsEd student, it can be a challenge to represent the school’s tradition of excellence and its commitment to London’s theatre tradition while also being a working actor. I’m often revising backstage and between shows in order to juggle both commitments. I could not do this without the strong support of the ArtsEd community. Their support takes so many forms: from the dozens of ArtsEd instructors and students who came to see Appropriate, to teachers providing a flexible academic schedule so that I could attend recalls, to the students who helped support me after I missed lessons. ArtsEd has a 100-year tradition of promoting success in the performing arts and I’m proud to be a part of that tradition and to have their guidance, instruction and encouragement as I pursue my craft.
It’s time to get voting! Show your support for Isabella and other ArtsEd nominees: Miriam-Teak Lee, Oliver Tompsett and Jac Yarrow and vote on the WhatsOnStage website now!
In ArtsEd’s 100th year, we unearth memories, pictures, programmes and newspaper clippings to collate the rich history of ArtsEd together. While doing so, we discovered a whole family of ArtsEd students made up of three generations of women: grandmother, Lynn Sawyer, her two daughters Samantha and Claire Sawyer, and granddaughter, Scarlet Grace Churchhouse, who currently attends ArtsEd Sixth Form.
Grandmother, Lynn shares memories from her time at ArtsEd in the 60’s:
“I attended 144 Piccadilly at Hyde Park. It was an amazing building full of history. I simply loved it there. I won a scholarship in 1966 and had a wonderful time. After my schooling I then auditioned for the students’ school and continued my training for a further three years.
I am still in the business that I love as a talent agent! I have trained many students who have gone on to further training at ArtsEd; one of these is Jordan Shaw who is doing amazingly well playing the lead role in The Lion King.
I have wonderful memories of my time at ArtsEd and cherished every moment. Even back then, I knew this was a very special place indeed.
…By the way, I still have my boater hat!”
Daughter, Claire Sawyer also shared memories of her time at ArtsEd:
“When I think back to my time spent training at ArtsEd, I can only think of what an amazing school it was and how lucky I was to have had the opportunity to study drama there. Not only is the vocational training outstanding, it also offers an excellent academic education.
I attended the day school at the age of 11 when the school was located at Golden Lane. It was an impressive building with lots of character and even an iron bridge! Our Head at the time was the lovely Mrs Jack.
In my second year we moved to Turnham Green, Chiswick to where it is today.
I was fortunate enough to audition for a Walt Disney Film called Friendship in Vienna and was offered a role with my friend Zoe Tahir and we filmed in Budapest for a while, and our drama teacher chaperoned us. I was also fortunate enough to perform in The Sound Of Music at The Apollo Theatre, and my luckiest role was landing the lead in a three-year TV series called Mr Majeika which aired every week and on Christmas Day! I honestly believe it was ArtsEd that put me in good stead to land these roles!
I love the fact that 3 generations of my family have attended the school! My mother, sister and now my daughter Scarlet is fulfilling her dreams studying there.
I made friends at ArtsEd that I still have to this very day and the lovely memories of studying there will stay with me forever!”
Daughter, Samantha Sawyer reminisced on her time at ArtsEd:
“I can remember being so excited to have been offered a place at ArtsEd and following in my mother’s footsteps, having heard such wonderful stories of her time there. We were taught such amazing skills that have taken us through our professional lives. I excelled in acting and worked in a number of television series for some time, such as Barchester Chronicles and Lame Ducks. ArtsEd is such a prestigious school and I am so proud to be part of their Centenary”
Granddaughter, Scarlet Grace is currently studying Acting and Film Studies at ArtsEd Sixth Form, and she is also appearing in exciting new series, Truth Seekers, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. You can read more about it in our previous news article.