SLIDESHOW: Welcome to Blackpool’s very own Fame Academy

Stage and screen stars of the future enrol at Scream Theatre and take first steps on the road to fame

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 21st January 2015, 9:00 am
Scream Theatre School open day.  Pictured are Summer Burton, Matthew Preston and Sophia Higgs.
Scream Theatre School open day. Pictured are Summer Burton, Matthew Preston and Sophia Higgs.

Would-be stars of stage and screen have taken their first steps towards fame at a Blackpool theatre school.

Scream Theatre Schools hosted its latest open day, welcoming 40 youngsters through its studio doors in Wareham Road.

And past and present students who are making their ways in the showbusiness world came back to host classes and meet the future students.

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Scream Theatre School open day. Pictured are Summer Burton, Matthew Preston and Sophia Higgs.

Ashley Luke Lloyd, who spent the summer season entertaining thousands of theatre-goers in the cast of Mamma Mia! at the Opera House, was back in his home town for the day, teaching a dance class as part of the workshops.

Also on hand were Jessica Bell, currently starring as Dora in CBBC’s Sparticle Mystery series, Fleetwood schoolboy Ryan Wilkinson, who stars in CBBC’s All At Sea, and 
Adam Mitchell who has just come back to the town after a stint in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory in London’s West End.

Scream vice-principal Jaymie Bell said: “Having Ashley back to teach dance was a real treat.

“To have someone who came through our doors aged seven come back when they’ve just finished a world tour with a show like Mamma Mia!, doing what they love, is so inspiring.

“Jessica is on screens now in Sparticle Mystery, Ryan’s just finished filming the third 
series of All At Sea and was nominated for the Royal Television Society North West awards, and Adam’s just come back to us for the term – hopefully we can get him right back on track and out there again soon.”

Scream Theatre Schools, which also has a base at Media City, Salford, operates in conjunction with its own talent management agency, seeking opportunities for its students as well as offering them training in the performing arts.

Forty youngsters attended Saturday’s open day, which was run by Jaymie and his fellow vice-principal Jacqui Mein.

“We met some really talented young people who we hope we can inspire,” Jaymie said.

“It’s always interesting when we have these days, and have people like Ryan come back. It’s quite odd for a 13-year-old to have other children and young people being star-struck around them, although he’s getting more used to it.

“But Ryan and Adam both came to us on open days so it shows we can find people this way.

“You can really see something in some of the children who came along; either they’re really keen, listen especially well, or are working hard to get the most out of the opportunity. There’s a spark of some kind.

“From there, it’s about bringing people out of their shells. We have a six-week rule we try to work to, where we break down a new student’s awkwardness and it’s great to see when they start to run into the studio for a class rather than clinging on to their parents’ legs.”

Jaymie added that Scream’s 16-year history in the resort meant it was well placed to work with young talents, with Jacqui using her 35-year career as a tutor, director and performer to help identify future stars, and that recruitment opportunities aren’t limited to open days.