West End performer and teacher Victoria Farley showcases her students in a ten-minute Annie medley at a big charity concert night at the Pavilion Theatre, Worthing.
Young talents from Victoria’s teaching groups join the line-up on Saturday, April 28 with all profits going to the National Autistic Society.
But there’s another big date before that. On Saturday, April 21 Victoria launches her very own, brand-new theatre school, West End Theatre Academy at Dance House studios, Broadwater.
“I have been running West End Theatre workshops for three years,” Victoria explains. “We provide workshops for schools and performing-arts schools on a free-lance basis where we visit a school and deliver a session for them. We have also been running summer schools for the last two years for Fareham and Worthing, and because these have all been really, really popular, it has encouraged me to open a regular Saturday slot in Worthing, every Saturday in term time. I will keep people in their respective age groups. We have got the minis aged from four to seven and the juniors aged from eight to 11 and the seniors aged from 12 to 15 and also the advanced academy aged from 16 to 25.
“We have got four core staff, a singing teacher, a dance teacher, a drama teacher and also a theatre director. These four people are there every week, but we also invite guests in to do one-off workshops every few weeks. I want to keep it to a maximum of 15 in each class, no more than 15, and at the moment our minis are nearly full. Once we have got 15, I will open another class. The great thing is that we have got space to expand.”
For the moment, Victoria’s own performing is taking a bit of a backseat – though she hopes to be back on the stage by the end of the year.
“My first job was the Les Mis 25th anniversary tour. I understudied Cosette and was in the ensemble. That was nine years ago. I got to go on as Cosette quite a lot.
“The first time we did it we were in Paris, at the Chatelet theatre, and that was really special. It was the first time an English production had performed in Paris and not in the original language. We performed it in English. We went to the home where it was set and we did it in English. We were really nervous about how the Parisians would react, but they loved it. It was great. That was my first job from drama school. I also spent two years with Wicked the musical. I was stand-by for Glinda, and I got to go on.”
The show is touring again, and Victoria was tempted: “But two years was a long time to be with a show touring, and it was quite hard, but also the business is taking up quite a lot of time and so I am standing back a bit. But I am hoping at the end of the year to get back to auditioning.”
More details on: http:// westendtheatreworkshops.co.uk.
For other stories by Phil, see: https://www.chichester.co.uk/author/Phil.Hewitt2