Now in its third year, a part-time theatre school franchise has once again supported its students in helping them achieve their professional dreams of working in the performing arts industry.
Students who attend one of the Razzamataz schools across the UK got the opportunity to compete for a scholarship to help finance the cost of studying performing arts at college. The Future Fund scholarship was created to support the schools’ hard working, dedicated and talented students and gives them the chance to audition in front of an experienced and talented judging panel.
The auditions were held at Pineapple Dance Studios in Covent Garden and were judged by a panel of independent performing arts specialists. Dancer and choreographer Robert Hamilton has a huge amount of experience in both the musical theatre and commercial genres. West End credits include, CATS, playing the lead Mr. Mistoffelees and FAME with the added responsibility of being Dance Captain. Robert’s commercial work includes The Brit Awards with Robbie Williams, Stars in Your Eyes, The Royal Variety Performance and Hyde Park with Kimberley Wyatt.
Alongside Robert was Victoria Ward who has a wealth of performing arts experience. She is currently performing in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre and is also co-producer of Upstage Productions who have produced pantomimes for the Radlett Centre for over ten years.
Actor and dancer, Carl Tracey was the final judge and an original member of the Go! Go! Go! Show. Carl also performs in many pantomimes, musicals, cruises and TV shows and has visited many of the Razzamataz schools with his specialist workshops.
Competing to win the scholarship were Lucas Cooper from Razzamataz Medway, Lorna Clark from Razzamataz Medway and Jodie Hall from Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield. Each candidate performed a song, dance and drama piece to demonstrate their versatility as performers.
The standard of this year’s entries was again very high but after much deliberation, the first prize of £3,000 was awarded to Lucas Cooper, age 17 from Razzamataz Medway with the other students offered £500 towards their own training.
Lucas has been offered a place at Reynolds Performing Arts College where he will be fine tuning all his skills to make him into a strong triple threat performer who is able to turn his hand to singing, dancing and acting.
For the audition, Lucas performed Something’s Coming from West Side Story, a contemporary dance number and a monologue from Little Shop of Horrors. All three were contrasting pieces that allowed Lucas to show the judges the full range of his emotions and talents.
The judges were impressed by his focus and well prepared audition, which is very important in this competitive industry. “I think Lucas could have a bright future in the industry and with further training could really stretch and achieve what he's set out to do,” says Carl.
His dance piece was very strong and the judges commented that it made him shine out brightly. “The dance was full of expression and good technique; a well thought out piece that showed his potential in the musical theatre industry,” adds Victoria.
The Future Fund is just one of the many opportunities that Razzamataz franchisees can take advantage of. Being part of a network of performing arts professionals, who combine their knowledge and contacts about the industry with proven business success, is a winning combination for successful theatre schools.
The growing network has almost 50 schools up and down the country and students, staff and Principals regularly take part in fundraising events to help towards the Future Fund.
Recent events include staff, students, parents, family and friends tackling Gelt Gladiator and Wolf Run, two very muddy obstacle courses where the team had to overcome a range of challenging hurdles either by running, crawling or swimming in icy waters and lots of mud.
If you want to find out more about becoming a franchisee owner, make an appointment to come along to one of the regular but informal Discovery Den days in London, Glasgow or Sheffield to find out more about this exciting and flexible business opportunity.