Author Archive

ArtsEd Alumni Shine Bright: Nominations at the 2023 Black British Theatre Awards

Posted on: September 22nd, 2023 by Maria Shtanova

We are delighted to share that three of our ArtsEd alumni have been nominated for the distinguished 2023 Black British Theatre Awards in the category of Best Recent Graduates. This recognition not only casts a spotlight on the innate talents of our alumni, but it also speaks volumes about the standard of ArtsEd’s training and mentorship.

Jenna Bonner — An outstanding talent from our Sixth Form, Jenna made the bold decision to delve directly into the industry upon completing her Sixth Form studies. She is currently captivating audiences in her role as Swing in “Tina: The Musical” at the Aldwych Theatre.

Leah Vassell — A proud graduate of our BA Musical Theatre class of 2022, Leah’s exceptional talent sees her taking on the role of Alternate Jane Seymour/Catherine Parr in the renowned “Six: The Musical”.

Charis Alexandra — Yet another graduate from our BA Musical Theatre class of 2022, Charis is currently playing the role of Alline Bullock in “Tina: The Musical” at the Aldwych Theatre.

To Jenna, Leah, and Charis, our heartfelt congratulations. Your accomplishments are a testament to the dedication and passion with which you approach your craft, and we couldn’t be prouder.

ArtsEd welcomes Peter Middleton, Interim Headteacher of ArtsEd Day School & Sixth Form

Posted on: September 1st, 2023 by Maria Shtanova

ArtsEd is delighted to announce that it has appointed Mr Peter Middleton as the Day School and Sixth Form Interim Headteacher for the academic year 2023-24.

Peter is an experienced Head, Oxford graduate, and with a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Management. A lifelong learner, he is committed to continuous self-improvement and sets high expectations not only for academic excellence but also for the personal development of each individual student.

Peter grew up in Somerset and was educated at Radley College before reading Chemistry at Oriel College, Oxford. He began his teaching career at Cheltenham College and moved to St Edward’s School, Oxford, where he was a Housemaster and was responsible for Prep School Liaison. He was subsequently appointed as Deputy Head at Clifton College. From 2013 to 2020 he was Principal at Welbeck College, where students were on a pathway to careers within the armed forces.  There, he developed an environment that balanced academic standards and expectations with opportunities for students’ personal and career development.  He also ensured that both Welbeck and Clifton were given the highest ratings by ISI inspectors. After the closure of Welbeck, he was Head of Kensington Park School.

With a proven track record of supporting students on specialist career pathways, the Board of Trustees is convinced that this, coupled with Peter’s passion for the academic success and personal development of our students, makes him extremely well-placed to lead the Day School and Sixth Form through the next period of its development.

Peter said:

“It is an honour and privilege to have been invited to be the interim Headteacher of ArtsEd. Parents have only one opportunity to give their children the best possible education.  I am committed to working with parents, pupils and staff to ensure that ArtsEd delivers an exceptional education; where ambition and academic achievement are respected and highly valued, creativity is celebrated and diversity is embraced.  In an environment where the performing arts are at the heart of education, it is crucial the each individual is nurtured and challenged to become the best possible version of themselves.  I am commitment to ensuring that students will leave having achieved goals and aspirations of which they could only have dreamed.  I am really looking forward to joining the ArtsEd community in September and working with the inspirational staff, outstanding students and their parents.”

ArtsEd’s Principal, Dr Julie Spencer said:

I am delighted about Peter’s appointment as Interim Headteacher. His impressive depth of expertise in the education sector means that Peter is exceptionally well qualified to lead the Day School and Sixth Form pupils and their inspirational teachers over the coming year

Five ArtsEd Students receive the Ian Fleming Award for Musical Theatre in 2023

Posted on: August 17th, 2023 by Maria Shtanova

ArtsEd School of Musical Theatre is delighted to announce that Reece McGowan, Georgie Gaudencio, Al Knott, Will Hopkins, and Kayna Montecillo have obtained Ian Fleming Award and got funding to advance their studies.

Initiated in 1980, the Ian Fleming Charitable Trust Music Education Awards, in collaboration with Help Musicians, have been steadfast in their support of exceptionally talented young musicians, aiding them with the financial challenges of higher education.

For those students on the cusp of their final year in Musical Theatre, there’s an opportunity to receive up to £5,000 in financial support, aimed at offsetting study and living expenses for the next academic chapter.

We are thrilled to announce that Reece McGowan, Georgie Gaudencio, Al Knott, Will Hopkins, and Kayna Montecillo have not only met the criteria but excelled in their applications and auditions, earning them this year’s coveted Ian Fleming Award for Musical Theatre.

Fantastic job! We’re immensely proud and look forward to seeing you grow as performers in your third, and final, year of training with us.



ArtsEd Sixth Form Celebrates Excellent Results

Posted on: August 17th, 2023 by Maria Shtanova

We are thrilled to announce outstanding BTEC and A-Levels results achieved by our Sixth Form students this year.

Students enjoyed success in both BTEC and A-Levels:



Combined: (including BTEC equivalent UCAS points)

Mark Ferrington, Director of Sixth Form said

I am so pleased with the individual achievements of our students this year. They should all be so proud of their hard work and dedication over the past two years, what a great set of results. Thank you to all our teachers, parents and carers who have supported our young people during their time at ArtsEd Sixth Form.  We wish all our students the very best of luck as they move forward onto the next chapter of their journey.

Lizzie Bellamy, Head of BTEC, had the following message for students:

Congratulations to our Year 13 BTEC students. You should be proud of what you have each achieved. You have shown great strength and vigour throughout the past two years. I hope you can all look back on your journey with us with pride, knowing that you can overcome any challenge if you put your mind to it. We look forward to hearing of your future successes. Keep motivated, open, and share your creative voice.

If you are interested in learning more about life at ArtsEd Day School and Sixth Form, why not join us at our upcoming Open Evenings this September! Register today and share the link with others who might be interested.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Register now

How to nail your drama school audition

Posted on: January 24th, 2023 by Maria Shtanova

If you are auditioning for our School of Acting (BA Hons Acting, Foundation Acting, MA Acting) you’ll need to prepare and send a self-taped audition as part of your application.

Self-tapes are part of everyday life for a professional actor; they’ve been used in the TV and film industry for many years and are increasingly used for theatre auditions as well. But if you’re just starting out on your actor training journey, we understand that self-tapes can be a bit of a mystery, even quite daunting.

Don’t worry! We’ve got you.

ArtsEd’s Director of the School of Acting, an Actor and Director, Kim Vithana, has provided some top tips for auditionees applying to our School of Acting. Keep reading for her guide to a successful self-tape.

For details on what you need to present in your tapes and how to choose a monologue, please visit our auditions page and select the course you are applying for.

Kim’s steps to self-tape success


You must record a brief ident to introduce yourself by stating your:

Your ident should be delivered straight to the camera, and my top tip is: don’t overthink this bit! Treat your ident as the equivalent of walking into a room and introducing yourself to the panel – show us a bit of your personality. Be enthusiastic about the characters you’ve chosen. If you’re engaging in your ident, we’ll be more engaged when watching you!

Let’s cover the technical aspects of filming your pieces:

My main piece of advice regarding the positioning of the camera and body/face is that we don’t want to see the side of your face!

How to perform your acting monologues for audition:


  1. My first top tip is this: do not attempt to do ‘acting for camera’. We want to see a theatrical performance.
  2. If you are recalled to the second round, which will be in-person, part of that audition will be a screen test. At the first self-tape stage we want to see how you would perform as if you were in the room with us.
  3. Use your natural voice – don’t affect an accent or do a ‘voice’ to fit the character. We want to hear YOU.
  4. Wear comfortable clothing. Don’t attempt to dress as the character or wear a costume.
  5. No make-up, and hair should be tied back so that we can see your face.
  6. Don’t use props.
  7. Don’t use background music.
  8. Please don’t overthink it or attempt to film multiple takes in order to choose the ‘best’ one. You should film each monologue no more than 3 times and choose the best one from the 3 to send to us.
  9. Don’t copy a famous version of your chosen monologue from YouTube!

What are we looking for in our Acting auditionees?


This is one of the most common questions we are asked regarding applications and auditions, and the answer is actually very simple.

Here’s my final top tip, and it’s a very important one:

Be brave, be bold and enjoy yourself. I look forward to seeing your tapes.

Kim Vithana

DOs and DON’Ts for your acting audition:


  • Be enthusiastic about the characters you’ve chosen.
  • Showcase your personality in your introduction
  • Use your natural voice
  • Wear comfortable clothing
  • Be bold in your choices
  • Make the pieces your own
  • Showcase your unique creativity
  • Film self-tapes Landscape not portrait

  • Don’t overthink your introduction
  • Don’t attempt to do ‘acting for camera’
  • Don’t affect an accent or do a ‘voice’ to fit the character
  • Don’t wear make-up or costumes
  • Don’t use props or background music
  • Don’t film too many takes in order to choose the ‘best’ one
  • Don’t copy a famous version of your chosen monologue from YouTube!