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Celebrated dance and theatre critic raises the curtain on Felsted’s new Performing Arts Studio

By June 25, 2024No Comments
A professional-style studio dedicated to the performing arts at Felsted School was declared open recently by a former pupil who has gone on to have a glittering career as a newspaper critic.   The sparkling creative space on the independent boarding and day school’s campus in north Essex, equipped with full-wall floor-to-ceiling mirrors and a sprung floor, was described as ‘superb’ when it was unveiled by Alastair Macaulay, who has been Chief Dance Critic for the New York Times, Chief Theatre Critic for The Financial Times and published a biography of legendary ballerina Margot Fonteyn.
Alastair Macaulay commented; “It is thrilling to see Felsted School investing so significantly in the performing arts. This studio is a superb addition to the campus – truly a professional environment that will inspire young talents to explore and develop their artistic abilities. How marvellous to find such real dedication to arts education here. There’s every reason to hope and believe that this will prove a nurturing ground for many future performers and creators.”  
Close to the school’s Hunt Theatre, Felsted’s contemporary performing arts studio is fitted with the latest technology, including an integrated sound system and 75-inch flat screen connected to wi-fi. As well as the large space for dance and drama rehearsals, the building has changing rooms and offices. The studio is for the use of the one thousand pupils at Felsted, where drama is on the curriculum up to Year 9 and GCSE Drama and A Level Drama and Theatre Studies are popular options. Many pupils from the age of 9 study for LAMDA speech and drama qualifications and technical backstage skills are also taught. The school stages productions all year round, including a spectacular annual Senior School musical or play and a Dance Show involving girls and boys aged four to 18, spanning ballet, street dance, tap, lyrical, jazz, modern and commercial.   ‘The performing arts at Felsted are a real delight and our drama and dance shows are highlights of the school calendar,’ said Carly Bartlett, Felsted’s Head of Drama. ‘By engaging with dance and drama our young people express themselves creatively, and at the same time develop the confidence and self-reliance to perform in front of an audience, standing them in good stead for their future careers, whichever path they may choose.’   Felsted offers its pupils an abundance of co-curricular opportunities to balance their academic careers; from, CCF and Duke of Edinburgh to Cookery, Debating and Creative Writing and many more besides. Felsted pupils are encouraged to develop as well-rounded individuals with wide interests and passions to take forward into their adult lives and make a positive difference in the world. “You won’t find many schools with a longer list of extracurricular options,” commented The Good Schools Guide. “There’s a great mix of opportunities in things such as music and sport – children have time to develop interests that they can take on with them later”.