Queensbury Academy welcomes West End stars

Local drama students get performance tips from successful stage actors
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Queensbury Academy in Dunstable, part of Anthem Schools Trust, welcomed two stars of the stage to the school this term for a workshop with drama students. The visits were arranged by Stage-Ed, an organisation who deliver educational drama workshops to schools across the UK.

Mike Southern, the co-founder of Stage-Ed came along to share his experience of playing ‘Sammy’ in Blood Brothers in the West End for 10 years, as well as a year on the UK National tour. He has also appeared in numerous short films and has feature film credits. In London he delivers workshops for London Theatre Tours and Pineapple Performing Arts School.

The other co- founder, Stephen Palfreman also came along, he is one of the longest running leading men in London’s West End with his renowned performance as “Mickey” in the multi–award winning musical Blood Brothers having spanned nearly 2 decades. He has also starred opposite quite a line up including Marti Pellow, Melanie C, Barbara Dickson, David Soul and David Cassidy to name a few. On television he played Jimmy Turner in “Heartbeat” and Chris in “In Deep” for the BBC.

Students at the workshopStudents at the workshop
Students at the workshop

The two actors delivered a brilliant hands on session to a group of Queensbury drama students, generously sharing their expertise and insight from their long and successful acting careers. The students got to ask as many questions as they liked and were enthusiastically engaged all day, getting lots of top tips on how to make it in show business. The value of their experience and knowledge of Blood Brothers is immeasurable, and students were able to practically explore the musical in relation to the exam boards guidance in addition to taking part in a Q&A regarding all aspects of performance.

Helen Palmer, Headteacher at Queensbury Academy said:

“It was brilliant to have Mike and Stephen visit us this month, I know the students in the workshop found it hugely inspiring to hear directly from people who have been on stage in the West End. I am looking forward to setting up some more sessions with Stage-Ed and hope that we will see some Queensbury students’ pictures up in lights soon!”