Author Archive

9 ArtsEd Women on International Women’s Day 2019

Posted on: March 8th, 2019 by artsAdmin

Today, we celebrate the incredible women who have walked up and down the ArtsEd corridors, danced in our studios, performed on our stages and acted in our showreels. 

They share their hopes and dreams about the performing arts industry, and discuss the highs, lows and everything in between. Overall, there is a great deal of promise and excitement ahead for women in the arts. These women are here to be heard, supporting each other as they go. Here is what they had to say…


Keep up to date on what all our alumni are up to on our Twitter

Happy #InternationalWomensDay from all of us at ArtsEd! 

ArtsEd & The Stage Scholarships 2019

Posted on: February 21st, 2019 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 places available on the Saturday Extra Academy, 2019 Summer Courses, and on our EXCELerate Musical Theatre and EXCELerate Acting courses. The total value of each of these fantastic opportunities comes to around £13,000.

Saturday Extra Academy

The ArtsEd 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

ArtsEd’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 ArtsEd 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.”

And he 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

ArtsEd Choir sing with Broadway Icon, Chita Rivera

Posted on: February 13th, 2019 by artsAdmin

ArtsEd Choir had the pleasure of performing with musical theatre icon and Broadway’s greatest triple-threats, Chita Rivera at her dazzling show in Cadagon Hall, Sunday 10 February.

Tony award-winning star, Chita has wowed Broadway audiences for years in roles such as Anita from West Side Story and Velma Kelly in the original cast of Chicago, as well as breaking into the big screen in her role as Nickie in the film adaptation of Sweet Charity. Chita won her very first Tony in 1984 when she starred as Anna in The Rink with Liza Minelli.

Her two shows at Cadagon Hall saw her recreate epic moments from her career. On coming to London, Chita said:

 “I am so happy to be returning to my favourite town… so many memories, West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie, Spider Woman, Palladium. And now Cadogan Hall. Can’t wait!”

The show received wonderful reviews, flooding our Twitter feeds:


Curious to see what all the fuss is about? Watch a clip of the night here!:


TWO BA Acting Graduates cast in Netflix Series ‘The Letter for the King’

Posted on: December 17th, 2018 by artsAdmin

Brand new coming-of-age Netflix drama series, The Letter for the King has just announced their casting, with two ArtsEd BA Acting graduates playing Novices in the plot.

 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. Wilson is joined by stars, Ruby Serkis and Mary Poppins Returns actor, Nathanael Saleh.

On this deadly mission, Tiuri is joined by a group of Novices, including our very own 2018 BA Acting graduates, Thaddea Graham as Iona and Islam Bouakkaz as Arman.

Thrilled with his role in this exciting new drama, Islam shares with us:

“This is a very exciting project and an incredible story. We have been filming in the most stunning locations with a very talented cast and crew. From fight training to learning to ride a horse, everyone has been working hard to make this the best that it can be and to be a part of it is truly an honour.  I can’t wait for everyone to see this epic tale come to life.

The camera used to scare me. ArtsEd gave me patience and honesty in my training so I could push to the best of my ability. I really started to feel myself grow as an actor and every lesson would unlock more potential. The camera is now my friend.”

Equally excited about this new series, Thaddea tells us:

“It’s an honour and absolute pleasure to work on such a collaborative project with really talented, hardworking, hilarious people. Shooting can be long and very exhausting, it take a lot of mental energy and focus, but being on horseback with a sword and dagger in your belt, in the middle of a beautiful location in New Zealand isn’t a bad way to pass the time between takes at all!

I felt very equipped going into the shoot because of the screen lessons we had at ArtsEd. I found myself implementing the training automatically, from how I break down my script, to how I prepare myself and stay focused between takes. As part of the course, we would also crew for each other when filming, which meant I already understood the terminology and language used on a professional set. It made it feel a lot less daunting and foreign to step into.”

Shooting has just wrapped up in New Zealand, and they will continue to film in Prague in early 2019 – Netflix will release globally in 2019.


Applications for our 50/50 Screen and Stage BA Acting training OPEN NOW. Auditions in both London and Manchester. APPLY HERE.

ArtsEd Takes Auditions to Manchester!

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by artsAdmin

ArtsEd will be taking BA Acting auditions to Manchester this February to ensure that more people outside of London can experience an audition.

Aimed at those who cannot attend in London, the audition day will provide students with insight into ArtsEd’s BA Acting course and the opportunity to listen to key tutors and alumni about daily life. The audition session will also see a warm-up workshop led by an ArtsEd Acting Tutor where candidates will be required to perform two monologues.

Successful applicants will be invited to a recall audition in London, where they can also learn more about ArtsEd’s distinctive training, including insight into how the course is uniquely split between acting techniques for stage and screen. At the recall, prospective students can also tour ArtsEd’s excellent facilities and experience the uniquely vibrant atmosphere of its Chiswick home.

The Manchester-based audition event will take place on Saturday 23 February 2019 at the Shena Campus, Manchester College – students can sign up to attend now.

ArtsEd’s Director of the School of Acting, Gareth Farr sees these auditions as an essential step in increasing participation across the sector and as part of ArtsEd’s commitment in offering outstanding training to everyone.

Gareth says:

“Students with exceptional potential can’t always make it to a London audition, so we want to bring the audition to you. If you want to be part of the ArtsEd family and train with us then we want to see YOU at our Manchester audition.”

ArtsEd Graduate, proud Mancunian, and star of Calendar Girls, The Musical UK Tour, Tyler Dobbs says:

“I didn’t have a lot of money for my auditions so I auditioned for four schools – one being ArtsEd. The audition was brilliant because I met some students and staff and really got the ArtsEd vibe!

“After I was offered a place I did everything I could to get myself to London. I had fantastic support and advice from ArtsEd with regards to funding and wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. My advice is ‘go for it’ – don’t hesitate and get yourself to the audition! Sign up today!”



Posted on: November 14th, 2018 by artsAdmin

Five of the UK’s leading musical theatre conservatoires are collaborating to form the Alliance of Musical Theatre Conservatoires (AMTC), to raise the profile of musical theatre as a specialist art form in the UK and abroad.

The AMTC will share best practice in training, work together to increase diversity and participation in musical theatre and will campaign for more appropriate funding for the sector.

The alliance comprises ArtsEd, Bird College, GSA (The Guildford School of Acting at the University of Surrey), Mountview, and Urdang Academy: world-class organisations that share a similar history and vision and are committed to delivering outstanding musical theatre education and vocational training.

AMTC Principals say:

“The arts and culture contribute £27 billion towards the UK economy*2 – West End theatre represents a substantial element of this. Musical theatre is a significant export. It is important to note that the sector is growing very much faster than the wider economy.  The AMTC colleges are represented in every musical in the West End, and many on Broadway: their collective contribution is immeasurable. 

“This Alliance is exciting and has great potential.  It combines the best of the UK’s musical theatre conservatoires providing talented students with even more opportunities to enhance their training – leading to very successful careers in musical theatre.” 

Combining resources, the AMTC will share best practise in musical theatre training between the Conservatories and deliver networking events, as well as masterclasses and workshops for students and staff. This will provide value and access for everyone to ensure and sustain a high quality of excellence whilst raising standards across the industry.

International Award-Winning Director and Choreographer, and Bird College President, Stephen Mear says about the AMTC:

“This is such a great development for Musical Theatre.  I am very proud to be the President of one of these five leading colleges and I welcome the opportunity to further support the AMTC colleges who are wholly committed to sharing best practice.

“This collaboration is important and will help secure the future of good vocational musical theatre training, ensure that it is accessible to a diverse range of students and hopefully this development will help ensure that the sector is more appropriately funded.

“I have employed many graduates from this elite Conservatoire group and they are the very best innovative artists who are at the forefront of musical theatre.”

Forming a ‘unified voice’ for the musical theatre sector, one of the AMTC’s core aims will be to champion diversity in all forms across the industry raising awareness of the obstacles to participation that students face during their musical theatre training, and creating joint initiatives to overcome them.

Giles Terera, 2018 Olivier Award Winner for his role in Hamilton, and Mountview Alumnus, says about the AMTC:

“Raising the awareness of diversity within Musical Theatre is vital for the industry’s future. I’m delighted that the AMTC will be an important forum for raising the profile of diversity in this incredible, specialist artform.”

With several AMTC graduates employed in every West End musical in London – currently 43% of those employed in Kinky Boots are graduates of AMTC schools along with 55% of cast members of Heathers and 67% of the cast of Les Miserables. The AMTC begins with a clear track-record of success.

Bonnie Langford, iconic actress, dancer and entertainer, and ArtsEd Alumna says about the AMTC:

“The AMTC is such a great idea. This collaboration will definitely benefit so many Musical Theatre students and support the staff as well. Five brilliant conservatoires coming together will raise the bar (or Barre!) in Musical Theatre for the future and help keep it thriving.”

The specialist training that these Conservatoires provide has stimulated the musical theatre industry for over 75 years, and so championing the importance of musical theatre as an art-form will continue through the voice of the AMTC.

Famous faces from London’s West End theatre shows, including Kinky Boots, Mamma Mia, Book of Mormon, Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, Dream Girls, Wicked, Hamilton and Les Miserables, gathered to launch the Alliance of Musical Theatre Conservatoires (AMTC), with staff and students from all five institutions within the alliance hosting the event at Crazy Coqs, Brasserie Zedel, in London today.

Amber Davies, Urdang Academy Alumna, winner of Love Island 2017, and making her West End Debut as Judy in Dolly Parton's 9to5 The Musical in January 2019 at The Savoy Theatre, says:

“It brings me such joy to see such incredible schools come together as one voice on behalf of students and graduates who's dream it is to be on the stage. Urdang's support system and encouragement will stay with me forever and it's this type of student development the industry needs to make a difference.”

Plans over the next year will see the AMTC deliver a series of industry events led by high profile experts before the end of 2019. The alliance also aims to develop a forum for staff where best practise in musical theatre training can be shared and any dilemmas facing the industry discussed.

The AMTC website launched today where members of the public can sign up to receive a regular newsletter.

Keep up to date on the launch via the ArtsEd and AMTC Twitter accounts: @ArtsEdLondon and @The_AMTC



ArtsEd Launches in Dubai

Posted on: October 25th, 2018 by artsAdmin

Our international team will be delivering innovative bespoke performing arts training across the UAE to international partner schools – working with them to achieve their strategic goals, including increasing enrolment, harnessing creativity, building self-esteem and confidence, and developing vital skills amongst their students and teachers.

We are proud of the expertise and gravitas of all our staff and the calibre of their performance credits in the West End and internationally.  This depth of experience means they understand first-hand the challenges of achieving success in the industry, and we are thrilled to be taking our inimitable expertise and delivering it internationally.

The combination of talented individual minds meeting young talent creates a truly dynamic environment for teaching and learning. Our staff build warm and constructive learning relationships with pupils, creating a strong ethos of nurture and individualism that enables each student to flourish and make a success of adult life.

Our Principal, Chris Hocking says:

“We are thrilled to be bringing ArtsEd to Dubai. Our fantastic teachers, brilliant graduates and talented students will work with our UAE partner schools and their students to deliver world-class bespoke programs helping to develop a full range of performance skills internationally.”

For more information about ArtsEd in the UAE, or how to become an ArtsEd partner school, please contact Director of ArtsEd International, Jonathan Goodwin direct via Tel: +4420 8 987 6654 or via Email:

To make contact with Dr Andrew Lee in Dubai: Tel: +971 56 135 4704 Email:

ArtsEd Hires New Director of School of Acting

Posted on: October 16th, 2018 by artsAdmin

ArtsEd is thrilled to announce that Julie Spencer has been appointed as the new Director for The School of Acting. Julie will be taking up her new post in January 2019.

Prior to ArtsEd, Julie was Head of Drama at St Mary’s University and has worked extensively in the profession as an actor, director and practitioner for over 30 years. She has spent two decades teaching and directing Higher Education and Conservatoire actor training courses.

Throughout this time, Julie has taught students at the Central School of Speech and Drama, the Malta Drama Centre, the Kingston Little Theatre in Jamaica, Bulgaria and Milan – and has also delivered masterclasses at RADA.

Internationally, Julie directs classical performances on the MA Theatre Studies course at Milan University, and is a Theatre Associate of Color de Ventura in Santiago, Chile. She is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the European Shakespeare Research Society.

As an actor, Julie was fortunate to work for various theatre, TV and film companies, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, Glasgow Citizens, the Bush Theatre and the Tricycle Theatre, and with Directors such as Sam Mendes, Danny Boyle, Michael Attenborough and Nick Hynter in various productions.

This year, Julie is honoured to be shortlisted for the Diversity Champion Award in Education which is celebrated at the Inclusive Companies Awards (formerly the Excellence in Diversity Awards), to celebrate those who go above and beyond the call of duty to improve the lives of others in workplaces and communities around them.

Principal Chris Hocking says:

“I am delighted about Julie’s appointment as Director for the School of Acting. Her impressive depth of national and international expertise matched with the sheer diversity and know-how from her background in acting and education means that Julie is exceptionally well qualified to lead ArtsEd’s dynamic School of Acting and its inspirational tutors.”

Julie Spencer says:

“ArtsEd has developed a reputation for nurturing the talent of a notably diverse student body and for creating exceptionally confident and creative young performers who grace stages and screens across the world.

“This is why I feel extremely privileged to be taking on the role of Director of The School of Acting next year. I look forward to working with all the talented students and high calibre staff and adding to the excellence behind ArtsEd’s world-class training.

Graduation Day Celebrations 2018!

Posted on: September 11th, 2018 by artsAdmin

Yesterday, ArtsEd’s BA Acting and BA Musical Theatre students came dressed in caps and colourful gowns to celebrate the completion of their higher education courses, all qualifying with flying colours.

Surrounded by supportive family members, friends and ArtsEd staff, this year’s graduation was a joyful and memorable occasion with everyone enjoying the prospect of a new and bright future for the ArtsEd graduates.

The ceremony began with an opening speech from ArtsEd’s Principal, Chris Hocking, who addressed the grads with his witty and inspirational words:

“I’m absolutely convinced that you will all go on to brilliant, varied, interesting and stimulating jobs in your journey through the business-of-show.

“As you enter the ‘Theme Park’ of proper adult life you will see lots of different career rides that you didn’t choose. Careers that just go round and round like on a ‘Merry-Go-Round’; careers that push you from pillar to post – like Dodgems; careers that are scary – but then turn out to be quite dull – like a Haunted House. Now you are trained for the best Theme Park ride. You are on the one that everyone wants to go on – but many are far too scared to try. It is of course: THE ROLLERCOASTER!”

The opening speech was shortly followed by addresses from the Head of the Department of the School of Acting, Gareth Farr, and Musical Theatre graduate, Oliver Corbett, and Acting graduate, Thaddea Graham.

Guest Speaker, the amazing triple-threat star of stage and screen, Sharon D Clarke addressed the students with inspirational words sprinkled with practical career advice:

“Make sure you acknowledge everyone working with you along the way with a friendly hello – the cleaners, stage managers and even your dressers!

A ripple of laughter ran through the crowds as Sharon added:

“And remember! Don’t leave your sweaty costumes on the dressing room floor for someone else to clean up!”




The students were awarded individual certificates by City, University of London, and continued celebrations back at ArtsEd where many graduates signed up to become part of the ArtsEd Alumni Network – ensuring their legacy at ArtsEd lives on.

THREE ArtsEd Grads nominated for The Stage Debut Awards 2018!

Posted on: August 29th, 2018 by artsAdmin

For the second year running, The Stage Debut Awards celebrate emerging UK talent, showcasing cast and creatives who have made their stage debut over the last twelve months. This year, the categories include: Best Actress in a Play, Best Actor in a Play, Best Actress in a Musical, Best Actor in a Musical, Best Director, Best Designer, and the Joe Allen Best West End Debut Award.

Last September, Miriam-Teak Lee, 2017 Musical Theatre graduate, took home the award for 'Best Actress in a Musical' for her outstanding performance in On the Town at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. In her acceptance speech Miriam-Teak shared her mother’s advice: ‘what you put in, is what you get out’, and that’s certainly the case with our graduate nominees this year.

We are delighted to announce that three of our 2018 Musical Theatre graduates have been nominated for The Stage Debut Awards 2018. Toby Miles and Amara Okereke for their performances as Marius and Cosette in Les Misérables, and Simon Oskarasson for his Ariel in Return to the Forbidden Planet at the Gatehouse Theatre. Thrilled with his nomination, Simon Oskarsson says:

“Playing Ariel in Return to the Forbidden Planet was exciting, challenging and a lot of fun. Working with such lovely cast, creatives and producers was an amazing first experience in the industry for me, which I’m very thankful for. I feel very honoured, grateful and absolutely over the moon to receive this nomination.”

Shocked and delighted, Toby Miles says:

“Playing such an iconic role in the longest-running musical continues to blow my mind. I am truly honoured to have been nominated for Best Actor in a Musical at The Stage Debut Awards – it was certainly a shock!”

And Amara commented:

“I feel so honoured and very lucky to have been nominated for a stage debut award. I am of course so grateful for my training at ArtsEd, without which I wouldn't be in the situation I am in. I am loving every minute of being in Les Misérables so this nomination is really the cherry on top of a truly wonderful experience.”

Principal and Director of Musical Theatre, Chris Hocking says:

“The Stage Debut Awards are such an exciting way of recognising young talent fresh out of drama school. I am so delighted that 2018 graduates, Amara, Toby and Simon have been nominated for their outstanding contributions. We wish all the nominees a wonderful evening celebrating their debuts.”

The winners will be announced on Sunday 23 September. Find the full list of nominees here.

Looking to support new talent? Then why not become an ArtsEd Friend? By becoming a Friend of ArtsEd, you will ensure that talent and passion will win out over financial hardship. Your support will directly enable our extraordinary gifted young students to fulfil their true potential as artists and performers. Find out more and sign up today!