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Stone's PSSA Head Of Drama Pens Panto For 2012 Show

Stone's PSSA Head Of Drama Pens Panto For 2012 Show

On behalf of: Rooftop Studios

Issued: 10th September 2012

Press contacts: Charlotte Eglington on 07504 340934 or Elaine Bird, 07870 249 220

Local professional actor pens Panto for Staffordshire performance

An original take on the classic tale Robin Hood, written by a Stafford born-and-bred actor, is set to debut on the stage at Hanley’s Mitchell Arts Centre this autumn. 31 year-old former Walton High School pupil, Nick Earnshaw, has written ‘Robin Hood and His Merry Crew, The Panto’ and will also direct its performance by pupils at the Stone branch of London-based performing arts school PSSA (Pop School and Stage Academy), where Nick is Head of Drama.

In addition to honing the dramatic skills of the school’s talented youngsters, Nick has a busy acting career in his own right; regularly treading the boards in professional productions across the country. Acting has been Nick’s lifelong passion; growing up he built an impressive CV including roles in productions at Stafford’s Gatehouse Theatre and the open-air Shakespeare performances at Stafford Castle; acting alongside the likes of Matthew Kelly and Toyah Wilcox.

Since completing a degree in Documentary Making at King Alfred's University, Winchester, Nick has gone on to carve a diverse professional acting career - indeed, once the PSSA Panto’s run in Hanley has come to a close, he will head off to take the role of the dame in a professional company for the 2012/2013 Panto season.

Despite his diverse acting career, Nick has always had a soft spot for Panto and, when as his idea for the modern take on the legend of Robin Hood was taking shape, he realised it would make a great topic for Panto. Nick says:

“I’ve loved Panto since I was really young – the anarchic atmosphere and interaction with the crowd is unlike any other performance. It’s also a unique opportunity in that a Panto will probably be most people’s first experience of theatre; so it’s essential that they are done well and are thoroughly enjoyable. I’ve always wanted to do more writing for the stage and the idea to do a contemporary take on the Robin Hood story was inspired by the global financial crisis - headlines relating to David Cameron’s opposition to ‘Robin Hood Tax’, the crippling effect of the supermarket giants over small businesses and their subsequent monopoly all have their part to play.

“In ‘Robin Hood and His Merry Crew’ the Sheriff role represents the corporate giant, whilst Robin and his Crew are fighting the corner of the independents. There are also plenty of contemporary cultural references – we’ve got henchmen called Simon & Cowell and there will be some hi-hop performances from Robin’s ‘Crew’ – but everyone will still recognise the story as the one that they know and love. It’s genuinely a show for the whole family, that parents and older teenagers will enjoy just as much as the youngsters.”

With rehearsals in full swing, Nick is confident that his young cast will do his play justice:

“We’ve got some very talented youngsters in the cast and the Panto has been written with everyone in mind to enable them to showcase their particular talents. The Sheriff and his henchmen are going to be especially entertaining – they have a fantastic sense of comic timing and real chemistry. We’re also including a wide range of ages in the production – right through from our ‘Little Luvvies’ who start at just 3 years old to 18 year-olds, a number of whom are destined for professional careers on the stage.”

‘Robin Hood & his Merry Crew, The Panto’ will run at the Mitchell Arts Centre in Hanley from 7th – 9th November with evening performances and a Saturday matinee. Tickets will be £12.50 for adults and £10.00 for concessions, with discounts available on group bookings – to book call 01785 761233 or email info@rooftopstudios.co.uk.

For more information on PSSA, Little Luvvies and the other classes based at Stone’s Rooftop Studios, visit www.rooftopstudios.co.uk



Image Caption: Stafford born actor Nick Earnshaw’s take on the traditional story of ‘Robin Hood’ will debut this November at the Mitchell Arts Centre

About Rooftop Studios:
Located in the historic Staffordshire town of Stone and founded in 1990 by Principal Elaine Bird, Rooftop Studios offers a host of opportunities for young people to develop skills in dance and the performing arts.

With its exceptional teaching standards, specially designed studio space and annual productions Rooftop Studios has developed a reputation for excellence and attracts students from across Staffordshire. Three schools operate at Rooftop Studios; offering students the choice of participating in a broad range of disciplines:

Stagecraft Performing Arts School offers structured, individual age-group sessions from 3yrs to 18yrs in dance and drama and allows students to develop their skills to meet their individual goals; whether to perform, pass Drama (LAMDA - London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art), Ballet (RAD - Royal Academy of Dance) or other dance (BTDA - British Theatre Dance Association) examinations - or simply have fun. Stagecraft’s qualified teachers are among the best in their field and the school has a history of high grades in all dance and drama examinations. Classes include Ballet, Disco, Drama, Hip Hop, Modern, Tap and LAMDA exam classes.

PSSA (Pop School and Stage Academy) Presently the only Midlands branch of this renowned London-based performing arts school, Rooftop Studios PSSA provides youngsters aged 8-18 the opportunity to develop their talents in Dance, Drama and Singing. With a strong focus on performance and developing confidence, classes take place on Saturdays throughout the academic year; the highlight being end of term shows that offer students the chance to shine in front of family and friends.

Little Luvvies Offers children aged 3-5yrs and 6-8yrs to get a head start in the fields of dance, drama and singing – along with the chance to perform in their very own mini annual show!

For more information on all the activities and classes available at Rooftop Studios visit www.rooftopstudios.co.uk