Academy is looking for young stars
THEATRICAL types have been offered a new opportunity to hone their skills and plot a path to the bright lights of the West End with a new academy in Swindon.
The Lucky Fin Academy of Acting has been opened by Rachael Pennell, creative director at Lucky Fin Productions, a theatre company which produces comedy and drama for the stage.
Last month the academy opened its doors at The Commonweal School in The Mall, with three-hour classes every Saturday on drama, singing and movement for youngsters aged five to 17.
Rachael has opened the academy in Swindon as a second office for her business, aimed at South West operations from the town.
The actress and writer grew up in Swindon and attended both Grange Junior and Kingsdown Schools before moving further afield to follow her ambitions in the arts. She is now back living in Swindon.
“I wanted to be in one place. This is a good location for the academy; there is a lot of potential and a lot of community families,” said Rachael.
“One of my aims is to produce work for and with children and channel their creativity. I want to produce actors and actresses of the future using my own experiences.”
In the two weeks the academy has been running it has attracted between eight and 10 people to each of its junior and senior classes, which are for six to 11-year-olds and 11 to 17-year-olds respectively.
There are rates to be paid each term for the classes, information on which can be found from the Lucky Fin website luckyfinproductions.co.uk.
The academy, which will run out of the Arts Centre in Devizes Road as well as Commonweal, was taken to the school due to its status as a performing arts academy.
“They also have a sixth form starting next year and they are building a theatre venue, which makes this a great time for me to come in and get established there,” said Rachael.
“For those students at the sixth form age next year, I see no reason why we can’t offer auditions for them to link up with the professional company.”
Josie Williams, community arts development officer at Commonweal, said: “Part of our remit is to involve the community and increase opportunities within the school. Lucky Fin really fits that bill. Rachael is a real-life professional rather than someone who does something on the side.
“We are considering using Rachael’s expertise within the sixth form A-level syllabus from next year. We may also look into using her with extra-curricular activities.”
A Swindon Council spokesman said: “We are pleased Lucky Fin have chosen to set up an academy in Swindon as there will be a number of acting opportunities for young people in the borough.
“Lucky Fin will be holding some workshops at the Arts Centre which are aimed at Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils and schools have been sent further details of these.”
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