The Stage Scholarships 2018: Razzamataz Theatre Schools
At schools across the UK, Razzamataz offers theatre training in a friendly atmosphere and also supports students beyond graduation, Paul Vale writes
Razzamataz Theatre Schools’ biggest advocates are often the students themselves. Caitlin Meadows, aged nine, won a scholarship in Cambridge in 2017. “I was so excited to hear that I had been chosen as the winner for The Stage Scholarship,” she says. “This is a huge privilege for me. I really appreciate how the Razzamataz staff have given me the confidence to perform.”
In the same year, Chantelle Daley, 10, won a scholarship in Hackney. “This scholarship means I can continue to work on my dancing and see all of my new friends every week. I can’t wait for more shows, I love performing and I love Razzamataz,” she says.
Allowing young people to develop their self-confidence, while learning performing arts skills, is a recurring theme among many of the students at Razzamataz. This is the eighth year that the franchise has partnered with The Stage, providing 12 months of study to a talented stream of six to 17-year-olds.
This year, 42 places are available in schools through the UK, including Carlisle, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Bristol. And new schools are poised to launch during the year. In total, that’s up to £36,000 of free training.
Razzamataz was founded in 2000 by former dancer Denise Hutton-Gosney and provides exceptional training in dance, drama and singing. In 2007, she secured backing from Dragons’ Den panellist Duncan Bannatyne, who remains a committed partner. There is a strong focus on performance and everybody gets their moment in the spotlight. The ethos is not simply based in training – it’s also about having fun, making friends and being active.
Hutton-Gosney explains: “Students experience a wide range of theatre arts, including singing, dance and drama in traditional West End musical theatre styles and commercial genres including street dance and pop singing. We also offer students incredible opportunities, such as taking masterclasses with Ashley Banjo from Diversity and many artists from West End musical theatre shows.”
Class sizes are dependent on age and younger age groups all have a classroom assistant. Generally, they boast a ratio of about 1:7. Classes for the main school are for students aged four to 18, but Hutton-Gosney has an eye on the future careers of Razzamataz students.
“We are delighted to have so many going on to train at prestigious performing arts colleges. We are also extremely proud to be able to offer financial assistance to those that apply for our Future Fund scholarship. This is our registered charity that has now offered scholarships to 10 of our students in the last three years. Past students are currently performing in Matilda in the West End and working as a radio DJ among many other things.”
Each school is encouraged to offer plenty of performance opportunities to the students. They will all mount a summer show and many arrange Christmas shows too. Schools often get involved in their local community and take part in charity performances. Large-scale events for the network include performing at Disneyland Paris, Her Majesty’s Theatre in the West End and the Indigo at the O2.
For a chance to win one of The Stage Scholarships, fill in the school’s online form online, stating why you want the scholarship, and demonstrate what you have to offer with a two-minute video of yourself performing. Don’t worry if the demo isn’t of a professional standard, as Hutton-Gosney advises: “Experience in performing arts is not necessary. We are looking for potential and a spark of talent that we can nurture. The judges are looking for a strong dedication to the performing arts, maturity and a real desire to learn.”
Course: One-year performing arts
Education level: School age
Number of scholarships offered: Up to 42 places in schools across the UK
Value of scholarship: Up to £855 each (£36,000 in total)
What costs are covered? Fees
Location: Various sites across UK
Audition dates: April to June 2018
How do I apply? Fill in the school’s online form, stating why you want The Stage Scholarship, and demonstrate your skills with a two-minute video of yourself performing