New Pauline Quirke academy opens its doors this Saturday

Kids aged from six to 18 have their big chance to take to the stage this Saturday, with a free open day at a new performing arts academy in West Croydon.

Fancy trying out a session at a drama academy: PQA has a taster open day this Saturday

Birds of a Feather and Broadchurch actress Pauline Quirke is inviting young people for a performing arts taster session at her Croydon Academy.

The Pauline Quirke Academy Croydon is brand new, and is based at the Harris Invictus Academy.

The new school boasts fantastic performing arts facilities, and it is here that the PQA team of specialists will take Croydon youngsters through their paces rotating through hour-long sessions in Comedy and Drama, Musical Theatre and Film and Television.

The Croydon Academy’s Principal, Natalie Persaud, will warmly welcome all children and young people to the open day, with no prior experience of performing arts necessary. The open day starts with registration at 9.45am when the children are divided into age groups. This is followed by an introductory talk and then students go with teachers to sample the three PQA modules in a shortened version of a normal Academy day (they are welcome just to watch if they would prefer not to join in).

TV star Pauline Quirke – who first performed when she was nine – set up the PQA in 2007

During the lessons, refreshments are served for parents and they can talk to PQA staff or observe the classes. On top of that, one lucky attendee will win a term’s free membership (terms and conditions apply).

PQA was started by Quirke and her producer husband Steve Sheen in 2007 with an Academy, and now has 180 Academies nationwide.

As well as many in-house productions, showcases and specialist masterclasses, PQA students have the chance to see their short film projects on the big screen of their local cinema, where they get to walk down the red carpet Hollywood-style.

Some films are selected for the PQA Film Festival at Cineworld in Leicester Square. Students also have the opportunity to take part in one of the PQA theatre shows in London’s glittering West End. Alongside this, PQA believes in rewarding and inspiring its students, so along with regular reports to monitor their progress, all students are offered group exams through Trinity College London – at no additional charge to parents.

For more information, click here or contact Natalie Persaud (07506 112032 /

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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