Lancaster is making a name in the performing arts world for producing young talent.
Graduating students from the city’s Turning Point Theatre Arts are taking the leap into a starry future with places at some of the country’s most prestigious further education performing arts colleges and academies.
The performing arts school, based at Lancaster Leisure Park, is a place where youngsters can attend extra-curricular classes in dance, drama, music, and acrobatics. For some, it remains a hobby, but for others, it can be the gateway to a career on stage or screen.
Previous alumni include Lancaster success story Holly Johnstone, who reached the final of BBC1’s ‘Tumble’ before going on to an international career with former Cirque Du Soleil artiste, Franco Dragone, in the hit show, “La Perle” in Dubai.
Six pupils recently packed their bags to embark on the next stage of their performing career. Ellie Briggs and Elizabeth Gardner are going to study musical theatre at Liverpool Media Academy: their choir got to the live final of this year’s ‘X Factor’. Robbie Williams was so impressed, he now owns a stake in the college.
Anna Turner received multiple offers from a number of competing prestigious vocational dance schools and is the lucky recipient of a coveted full dance scholarship at Studio la Pointe in Leeds.
Hannah Norfolk also received multiple offers, and has chosen to study dance and performing arts at Essex-based Performers’ College, whose patron is former ‘Strictly’ judge Arlene Philips
Saskia Rudge-Thompson will be studying dance at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, where pupils are regularly visited by its famous and supportive patron: Paul McCartney.
Thea Westaway is joining many former Turning Point pupils on the monthly Associates programme at Studio 10, also in Liverpool.
Gail Johnstone, principal of Turning Point, is proudly waving her young stars onwards: “I’m extremely proud of all their achievements. As they’ve seen from many of our former pupils, they know they could go on to worldwide careers. “This has been a great year for the school; with 100% pass rate in our recent examinations, we feel we’re putting the north west on the map!”
All the graduating students will be returning to do a special performance at the school’s annual Christmas showcase at Lancaster University, helping to inspire the next generation of young performers in turn.