First of all I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a sensational New Year! I know 2019 has been a crazy year for everyone. I hope you all get a much deserved rest with laughter and loved ones.
Associated Studios is what it is because of our wonderful staff, students and team. To my Associated Studios family…
I want to thank you for your creative genius, your talent and your commitment. I appreciate each and every one of you. That is why you are a part of our team. At the risk of gloating, I am going to summarise some of our achievements this year. Yes I am proud of it and all of us in the management team have worked like demons to make it all happen. That includes in particularly Joshua Yeardley, Briar Franks, Scott Harrison, William Harris and a few others in the background who have lent their skills and knowledge. Thank you.
We have recruited two new Staff members. We are incredibly lucky that Mark Magill, former Artistic Director of the Stockwell Playhouse, will be joining us full-time in 2020. We are also joined by Robin Moran as Marketing Assistant. Both have already started with us and have been a joy to work with. Please make them feel welcome when you meet.
Achievements in 2019
This year we have successfully completed a planning application in London and moved premises to 204 Latimer Rd in Kensington and Chelsea. Building works our under way and we will have a beautiful 3-storey new home, dedicated to us, our school, our coaches, creatives and students.
We are currently undergoing validation through the University of Wolverhampton to be able to offer an MA in Musical Theatre Performance. We are incredibly excited to be able to offer this sort of qualification to our students and hoping to get the green light come February 2020.
Associated Studios Australia
We have opened a new branch in Melbourne Australia, with our former Office Manager in London, Briar Franks, moving there to become General Manager of ASA. We have completed a successful first year there and are hard and fast recruiting students for our second year. We have extraordinary tutors who have transformed our first fabulous intake in Australia, and Briar has proved herself to be a high flying and brilliant GM. A massive thank you to our Australian colleagues who have been incredibly supportive and established us as a school to be proud of. Watch this space!
Sister Act at The Vaults
We produced a spectacular show at The Vaults. Sister Act, brilliantly directed by Cameron Menzies, MD extraordinaire Greg Arrowsmith, Choreographer Sam Spencer-Lane, which received 4 star reviews and Chris Omaweng said it was ‘slicker than the West End production’.
Student take-up at showcase was very successful. Some of the most established theatre agencies in London snapped up our alumni including Curtis Brown, John Markham, Bronia Buchanan, Shane Collins, F&I Associates, Michael Moor, Simon & How and more. Casting Directors and the industry in general continue to give their support and time, as do our fabulous patrons and Board of Governors; Sir Tim Rice, Jeremy Irons, Rory Bremner, Timothy West, Jeremy Herrin, Rosalinde Plowright OBE, Paul Weigard, Danielle Tarento, Alastair Lindsay-Renton, Dr Christopher Stewardson and Patrick Lawrence QC. The Australian showcase was also a great success and a few of our students there have been offered representation.
Our alumni are flourishing. Highlights include;
David O’Mahoney is a lead in Mamma Mia West End, Simon Anthony Rhoden is a lead in Hamilton West End, Doug Hansell is a lead in Come from Away Australia, Rachael Ward is Swing in Chicago Sydney, Matt Kane is Swing in Motown tour, Reece Richards is Swing in Motown tour, Ricardo Castro is Swing in Motown West End, Kayla Carter has been granted the largest scholarship for the MA at the Royal Academy of Music, Adam Strong is Kashoggi in We Will Rock You tour, Cartier Fraser is Swing in Buddy the Musical West End, Charlotte Knight is a lead in Frozen Disney, Faye Ainley is a lead in Dick Whittington, Justina Kehinde went straight into a lead role in Around the world in 80’s days, Vanessa Owen has founded ‘Unite Theatre Projects, taking theatre regionally, Stephen Redwood has composed and written many brilliant things including his first successful Cabaret, Joanna Rennie is in Sleepless, having finished as Swing in Chicago West End, Natorii Illidge is in Thriller Tour, Alice Stokoe went into When the Boat Comes in after American Idiot and playing Sophie in Mamma Mia West End, Tom Whalley is in Panto at Sunderland Empire and founded his own successful Panto Production Company Tom Whalley Pantomimes, Coleman James is on world tour with Choir of Man, Jamie Lambert and Elizabeth Jackson have founded Lambert Jackson productions and sold out many shows at Cadogan Hall. Jamie Lambert also stars in Collabro who have to date sold millions of records, Katie McHardy has become a successful singer songwriter, Amy Alexander got a role in Hollyoaks and other TV jobs, Ryan Lynch is performing in The Four Harps, Natalie Rushdie has starred with full orchestra at The Royal Albert Hall, Melvin Le Blanc is currently in the UK Tour of Lion King The Musical, Daniel N’Guessan Lopez appeared in ‘Rent’ .…
There are so many more successes and also extraordinary ‘tutor’ successes, as all of you work in theatre as independent creatives. This is but a short selection, but I am proud that as a small but prestigious school, we are making huge waves with the quality of our training and contributing brilliant performers, creatives and young entrepreneurs to the bustling Performing Arts industry.
See you all in 2020 and let’s make it another great year! Sending gratitude and best wishes to you all.
CEO/ Founding Principal Associated Studios
Vocal & Performance Coach