Archive for March, 2020

Islam Bouakkaz: 100 Years in 100 Seconds

Posted on: March 25th, 2020 by ArtsEd Admin

Continuing the celebration of ArtsEd’s Centenary, we launch Islam Bouakkaz’s 100 Years in 100 Seconds Video!  

This launch is just in time for release of new Netflix series, The Letter For The King, featuring our BA Acting 2018 classmates, Islam Bouakkaz and Thaddea Graham. 

Based on Tonke Dragt’s bestselling medieval adventure novel, this story follows fifteen-year-old squire, Tiuri (Amir Wilson), who is tasked with delivering a top-secret letter to the King; the contents of which the whole future of the kingdom depends on. On this deadly mission, Tiuri is joined by a group of Novices, including Thaddea as Iona and Islam as Arman.  

Perhaps a series to add to your isolation TV list? 

Find out what Islam had to say about his time at ArtsEd, and how it helped kick-start his exciting career: 

International Women’s Day: The Women who built ArtsEd

Posted on: March 8th, 2020 by ArtsEd Admin

As ArtsEd celebrate 100 years, we remember the incredible women who have helped build our legacy from 1919 to present day! For International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March, we’ve created a gallery to highlight the women who make up ArtsEd’s illustrious history, past and present.

Grace Cone & Olive Ripman

The women who started it all! These two extraordinary women shared a deep understanding of the value of combining academic education with specialised training in dance, drama, music and art. Having run their own dance schools, they joined forces in 1939 to create the Cone Ripman School which was renamed the Arts Educational Schools in 1947.

Olive Ripman & Grace Cone

Dame Beryl Gray & Alicia Markova

ArtsEd Principal in the 1950’s, Dame Beryl Gray helped set up the revolutionary company, London Festival Ballet with iconic ballet dancer and ArtsEd President at the time, Alicia Markova. This company was made up of ArtsEd students and later became the English National Ballet. Below is Beryl Gray with the Markova Award in the 1970’s.

Dame Beryl Gray with the Markova Award.

Mrs Marie Jack

As ArtsEd Principal in the 1960’s-70’s, Mrs Jack left an unforgettable legacy. To this day, alumni share stories about their time at ArtsEd with Mrs Jack – a stickler for good manners; she insisted students curtsy every time they walked past her! (perhaps we should bring that back, right ladies?)

Mrs Jack


Eve Pettinger

Much loved ballet teacher from 1960’s-1990’s, Eve is still involved with Tring Park school.

Eve Pettinger

Jackie Bristow

Jackie was a jazz and ballet teacher at ArtsEd for 40 years! Here she is, pictured on the bottom left at a late 80’s reunion!

Jackie Bristow (bottom left) at a late 80’s reunion!

Jane Harrison

The wonderful Jane Harrison was Principal of ArtsEd from 2008-2017. She oversaw many exciting changes and improvements at the school, including the launch of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Theatre in 2013!

Jane Harrison


ArtsEd are proud to have so many brilliant women in leadership roles, paving the way for another generation of performers. Let’s shout-out to these ladies:

Jane Morton

Deputy Principal Jane helps run the ArtsEd ship!

Di Stedman

Head of Production, Di has been with us since the 1980’s and is responsible for all of our professionally staged shows here at ArtsEd.

Natalie Bareham

Director of the Performing Arts for Day School and Sixth Form, Natalie has been at ArtsEd for over 20 years!

Claire Parker Wood

Deputy Headteacher for ArtsEd Day School and Sixth Form, Claire also teaches Science (repping women in STEM!)

Julie Spencer

Director of the School of Acting, Julie was cited as one to watch in The Stage 100 2020!

Kim Vithana

Head of Film & TV for the School of Acting, Kim is also active within the industry, and has recently appeared in Netflix drama, The Stranger.

Jill-Louise Hydes

Head of Dance for the School of Musical Theatre, Jill makes sure those feet are always pointed!

ArtsEd BA Acting Student is awarded Laurence Olivier Bursary Award

Posted on: March 6th, 2020 by artsAdmin

ArtsEd are delighted to announce that second year BA (Hons) Acting student, Christopher Coniston has been awarded the most prestigious national award for drama students in the UK: The Laurence Olivier Bursary Award.

The Laurence Olivier Bursary Scheme was set up by the Society of London Theatres with Lord Olivier, with the sole aim to develop future acting talent for the British stage. The Society of London Theatres (SOLT) represents the major UK theatre producers, from commercial West End Theatres, to The Royal National Theatre.

Each year, two second year students per drama school are put forward for the award. A two-day selection process takes place in the form of a ten-minute audition on a West End stage, followed by an interview. The panel is made up TV and Theatre casing directors, as well as West End producers.

Thrilled with his achievement, Chris tells us:

“This award means a huge amount to me! It not only enables me to solely focus on my 3rd year (my most exciting and important year of drama school training) without the financial burdens looming over me, but it has opened up a fruitful and exciting avenue in my future to look forward to. The fact I can simply hold this phenomenal achievement to my name fills me with such pride and gratitude. To come from humble upbringings and achieve such things is utterly mind-blowing. I’d like to thank everyone who has been with me along this journey thus far for believing in me, and giving me the self-belief to go out there and make this happen. Words cannot really express how I feel, but I am over the moon.”

Director of the School of Acting, Julie Spencer shares her congratulations:

“We are absolutely delighted and very proud that Chris has been awarded one of Laurence Olivier Award top bursaries. He is a student who is committed and exceptionally focused. This is a great achievement and we are extremely grateful for the support of the Society of London Theatre”

The Laurence Olivier Bursary recipients will attend the Olivier Awards 2020 with Mastercard on Sunday 5 April at the Royal Albert Hall, where they will be presented with certificates on the red carpet.

Help ArtsEd nurture future talent and support us now – whether it’s a one-off donation or becoming an ArtsEd Friend, your help could change a life!

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ArtsEd Tops Twitter Leaderboard for Second Year Running!

Posted on: March 4th, 2020 by ArtsEd Admin

Edurank, a social media benchmarking organisation, combines a range of measures including post engagement and number of followers to produce the annual rankings.

This year Tess Henderson, our Senior Digital and Marketing Officer, has made excellent use of our social media to share a whole host of exciting stories with the whole ArtsEd community.

Our Centenary celebrations have been led  by 100 Years in 100 Seconds, a series of short films featuring ArtsEd alumni, including Miriam-Teak Lee, Danny Mac and Lashana Lynch (keep your eyes peeled in April!) reflecting on their time at ArtsEd.

100 Favourite Things is giving pupils, students and staff the chance to share what they love about ArtsEd and #ArtsEdAdvent took a trip down memory lane with sneak peeks of our archives and alumni stories in the run up to Christmas.

Chris Hocking, Principal: “Tess does an amazing job using Twitter to celebrate successes big and small from across the whole organisation and beyond to our alumni community. This award is a testament to her hard work! ArtsEd’s social media platforms are kind, supportive and fun, a digital reflection of the wonderful atmosphere that we enjoy inside the building every day.”

Make sure you are following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook! Find us on @ArtsEdLondon

Miriam-Teak Lee wins What’s On Stage Award 2020

Posted on: March 4th, 2020 by ArtsEd Admin

ArtsEd graduate, Miriam-Teak Lee has been awarded a What’s On Stage Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as leading lady, Juliet in new musical &Juliet.

Since graduating from ArtsEd in 2017, Miriam-Teak Lee bounded into the West End with gusto; firstly taking on Hamilton and now, she is the star of brand new musical: &Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

Delighted by the news, Miriam-Teak had a chat with us about her win:

“I am so unbelievably overwhelmed about winning this award! It is even more special because the fans vote for us; they are the people who come and watch our show night after night, and will wait at stage door just to see us come out! I appreciate and I love them.

It is an absolute dream being able to play a role like this night after night, to sing the legendary Max Martin’s songs and to be trusted enough to put my own spin on them. Working with book writer, David West Read in creating the character of Juliet has been an incredible experience; I feel so proud to have helped create a character that inspires people to find the confidence they never knew they had and to be true to themselves. The fact that I have originated this role is something I will have with me for the rest of my life and I will always be forever proud of Juliet and the entire &Juliet process”

Miriam-Teak has also been nominated for Best Actress in a Musical at the Oliviers 2020, alongside ArtsEd alumna Zizi Strallen for her role as Mary Poppins. Graduate, Jac Yarrow has been nominated for Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Joseph in Joseph’s Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. The Olivier Awards 2020 will be held on 5 April.

Hear more from Miriam-Teak in the ArtsEd Centenary video: 100 Years in 100 Seconds with Miriam-Teak Lee: