Razzamataz is celebrating its ninth year offering scholarships with The Stage. This year it has a record number of 43 places for school-age performers across the country. Paul Vale finds out more
This year, The Stage is celebrating a nine-year partnership with Razzamataz Theatre Schools as they once again team up to offer scholarships to young people throughout the UK. This year, there are 43 places up for grabs, providing each winner with more than 100 hours of exceptional performing arts tuition. In total, the value of these scholarships is in excess of £34,000.
The hugely popular theatre school franchise was founded in 2000 by former dancer Denise Hutton-Gosney with the aim of training young people in all aspects of the performing arts. In 2007 she secured backing from Dragons’ Den panellist Duncan Bannatyne and he remains a committed partner to this day.
Classes focus on performance opportunities to help develop confidence and every child is allowed the chance to step into the spotlight. The ethos throughout all the classes is on having fun, making new friends and enjoying being active, which leads to happy and healthy children. Sometime it’s the winners themselves who are the best advocates for Razzamataz’s sense of family, fun and passion for performance.
Libby Cole, age 10, from Durham won a scholarship in 2018. “They have helped me to perform better. It means so much to me that I won the scholarship because I love coming to Razzamataz. I love all the friends I have made and the support from the teachers.” Lois Donaway, age nine, from Chester adds: “Being from a small village there isn’t a lot of opportunities for musical theatre, so I’m so happy to receive this scholarship and improve my skills and make new friends.”
Many of the graduates express their love of the atmosphere of friendship and support at Razzamataz and this has become key to the success of the school. It’s a defining quality that Hutton-Gosney is extremely proud of.
“We know that only a handful will go on to make careers out of the performing arts so it is important that the schools also focus on the life skills that theatre arts teaches. This includes making new friends, collaboration, making memories and above all, having a fun place to go to each week. We know many of our students talk about their time at Razzamataz as being part of a Razz family and that is what makes us most proud.”
So what qualities are the auditioning panels looking for in a Razzamataz student? Hutton-Gosney is very clear on this. “It is not just about talent, although we are looking for a spark of something that can be nurtured through the training our schools provide. The potential winner will have to show a strong dedication to the performing arts and applicants will need to demonstrate a maturity and desire to learn. We want to ensure the scholarship place goes to a candidate who will grab the opportunity with both hands and take full advantage of it.”
This year, The Stage Scholarships are being supported by Graeae Theatre Company, which specialises in training and creating theatre with D/deaf and disabled artists. It will be providing advice, support, guidance and a professional mentor for up to three students identifying as D/deaf and/or disabled who are recruited through the scheme. If you would like to be considered for this support, please indicate to Razzamataz on application.
Hutton-Gosney adds: “The care and attention to detail that Razzamataz offers students and their families has led to wonderful student success stories over the years. Razzamataz is committed to helping as many children as possible to have the chance to enjoy the performing arts and we celebrate their achievements rather than focusing on what they are not able to do.”
Course: One-year part-time Performing Arts
Educational level: School age (after-school/weekend)
Number of scholarships offered: Up to 43 across the UK
Value of scholarship: Across all 43 schools this is in the region of £34,000
What costs are covered? Fees
Where is the school? Various sites across UK
Audition date: Applications open on April 15 and close on June 21
How do I apply? Fill in the school’s form online, stating why you want The Stage Scholarship, and demonstrate what you have to offer with a two-minute video of yourself performing.