Students at our School are often given opportunities to perform in a professional capacity. The School’s Dance department has been responsible for providing juvenile dancers for Hippodrome pantomimes for over fifty years whilst its association with the Bill Kenwright office has resulted in over forty five years of providing the children’s choir for the touring production of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.    

How do students get their opportunity to be in the spotlight?

In some cases, students are hand picked by the Artistic Director to be put forward for upcoming castings according to the criteria required (e.g. in the case of Bryce Sanders below). In other cases, open auditions takes place at White Hart Lodge (e.g. the choir for Joseph).

BSPA is the only School in the South West to provide regular opportunities to perform, in line with our philosophy, ‘Education through performance’.

Bryce Sanders - The Casual Vacancy, BBC One 2015

Young student Bryce sanders (currently in Apollo class ) was cast as Robbie Weedon in the BBC's The Casual Vacancy  which aired in February 2015. We asked his Mum how he got on at the auditions and she said: "After his first audition, Bryce was called back for a second where he was asked to say a few lines form the show and to act them out with another person. Bryce also talked to the people there about his interests. This was Bryce's first role in anything either professional or otherwise but he took it in his stride. There was a lot of travelling as it was being shot all over the Gloucestershire area so it made long days and sometimes a lot of hanging around which made him bored and cranky (although he was always good for the crew and director when thy needed him)! Bryce said that he was happy because he got the part, but was sad when it finished because he wouldn't get to see Abigail (the girl playing his sister) again. He said he would like to do it again.

Lottie Hopkins - Fashion Live, Cribbs Causeway 2014

(one of a number of students who appeared in this show)

Lottie’s mum Steph shares her experience of Fashion Live: “Fashion Live is a fashion show which takes place twice a year at the Mall, Cribbs Causeway.

Fashion Live always contact John to provide some of the children for the show which uses both models and dancers. They expect the children to be able to dance and strut on the catwalk. The kids have to attend an audition at Cribbs Causeway where they perform their dance skills.

The Fashion Live experience is great for the kids. They have to remember highly choreographed routines (the choreographer doesn’t make any allowances for the children really, they are expected to do routines that can be as complex as the adult dancers). They have to be on stage in the right clothes with the right hair at exactly the right time as otherwise it messes up all the timings for the rest of the scene. The first time that I chaperoned one of Lottie’s shows I was amazed. I think that she was 8 or 9 and she knew what she had to wear, where she had to be and when. The training she had at BSPA really showed as I was panicking and she was really reassuring saying ‘its fine Mum, I know what I’m doing!’.

Bethany Harding - Joseph, the Hippodrome 2014

(one of a number of students who has appeared in this show)

Bethany was invited to audition for Joseph by BSPA where she had to sing as part of a group. We asked Bethany’s mum how what the experience of appearing in Joseph was like: “Fantastic, Bethany loved the whole experience from taking part in a production in the Hippodrome, to learning the correct back stage behaviour. Bethany was also lucky enough to be chosen as the girl with the teddy/dressing gown, and loved the opportunity to perform this (albeit small) important part of the show.”

Ellis Chick - Britain’s Got Talent 2014

Ellis reached the live semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2014 at the young age of twelve. It was his rendition of Cry Me a River at the audition stage that wowed the BGT judges - David Walliams in particular! Ellis currently attends Palladium, Showdance 2 and West End Workshop Overture at BSPA. Ellis is no stranger to competitions, having also won the Bristol Post sponsored Junior Search for a Star competiition in 2010.

Fabian Muldoon - Oliver, UK Tour & Priscilla Queen of the Desert

His mum said: “Fabian appeared in the Oliver Uk Tour at the Bristol Hippodrome following his first ever audition just weeks after starting at BSPA. Straight afterwards, he successfully auditioned for Benji in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, also at the Hippodrome, where he played Jason Donovan's son and sang a duet with him. He was asked back for this role when the tour went to Cardiff Millenium Centre the following year. He reached the final five in a search for a Charlie Bucket in the West End's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when they had their first cast change and is looking forward to appearing in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at Bath Theatre Royal in March 2015.”

Fabian’s mum said about the audition process: “All the auditions have been quite different in the way they're done. Oliver was our first and I made sure Fabian understood we were just going for experience so he knew what to expect in the future. He's always had this outlook since which makes him more relaxed and doesn't put any pressure on. Being successful is then an exciting bonus.

Below are just some more students past and present who have appeared in professional productions:

Lucy Parry - Channel 5 - Milkshake Tour

Angus Harrison  - My Almost Famous Family

Lydia Baker, Ellie Simons - Les Miserables

Sophie Gigg- P & O Cruises

Oliver Harper, Lydia Baker, Ellie Simons   - Sound of Music,

Alice Flegg- Mr Selfridge

Sophie Thorne, Lydia Baker, Bryce Saunders - Casualty

Lucy Parry - Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix

Emille du Leslie - Oklahoma

Maddy du Leslie - Beauty & the Beast

Agatha Caneron Kettle - C'beebies Numbers

Ava May Llewellyn - Driver Dans Story Train

Alistair Cameron Kettle - Driver Dans Story Train

Ellie Simons - Matilda

Ellie Simons - Charlie & the Chocolate Factory

Duncan Harrison - Magic Grandad

Lucy Parry - Magic Grandad

Josie Cable - Grandpa in my pocket

Arthur Byrne - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Abigail Baker - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Maia Tamraker - Miss Saigon

Maia Tamraker- The Lion King

Lauren Hampton - Grandpa in my pocket

Lauren Hampton - Fashion Live

Amelia Landon - Wolfhall

Lydia Baker - Casualty

Ellie Barratt - Grandpa in my pocket

Sol Nicolson - Lord of the Flies

Ava May Llewellyn - Curious Detective

Jodie Kelly - Glee Club

Hannah Lloyd - Glee Club

Abigail Baker - Half a Sixpence

Lauren Hampton - Doctor Dolittle

Dominique Skinner - Fiddler on the Roof

Dominique Skinner - South Pacific

Erin Willerton - Fiddler on the roof

James Gray - The Producers

James Gray - Frankenstein

James Gray - Bullets over Broadway

Amy Hamlen - White Cliffs of Dover Tour

Santiago Weston - Les Miserables, Dubai 2017

Santiago worked in Dubai sharing the role of Gavroche with two other boys in Cameron Mackintosh’s International Tour of Les Miserables. The show was put on in the Dubai Opera, a brand new 2,000 seat theatre, set at the foot of the Burj Khalifa. Back in the UK, he then re-joined the cast of Mary Poppins to once again play the part of Michael Banks. The UK tour came to an end and then the show went off to Zurich, Switzerland for 7 weeks. Santiago went out to Zurich for alternate weeks during that time to perform in shows in Theatre 11 in Switzerland’s largest city. Following this, Mary Poppins then flew out to Dubai for 4 weeks, with Santiago getting to return to the Dubai Opera this time swapping the barricade in Paris for the rooftops of London. Santiago has been offered a part in the Kids of the West End show in Leicester Square on 2nd December 2017.

Madeleine Leslay - Mamma Mia,  2017

Madeleine has appered  in Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre, directed by Phyllida Lloyd. She is first cover for the role of Sophie & has already played the part many times. Her past theatre credits include the role of Desdemona in Othello at the Stafford Gatehouse Theatre, Maid Marion in Robin Hood at The Theatre Chipping Norton, the UK Tour of Much Ado About Nothing, Beauty in Beauty and the Beast at The Roses Theatre and Luciana in A Comedy of Errors.

Emilie du Leslay - Wind in the Willows 2017

Emilie recently played the part of Portia, the otter pup, in Wind in the Willows at the London Palladium. Before that she appeared in the International tour of Les Miserables & was also in the UK tour of Oklahoma. Emilie’s last pantomime was with Christopher Biggins & Simon Webbe playing the part of the Princess in Aladdin at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham. Next month she will be seen in the role of Wendy in Peter Pan at the Harlow Playhouse.

Karin Latham - Cruise performer 2017

Karin Latham has spent the past two years sailing the world as lead vocalist, dancer and comp compère on exclusive cruise liners.  Karin has also performed in numerous theatre productions.