Actress Pauline Quirke returns to Islington to launch academy for young performers

PUBLISHED: 16:21 19 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:21 19 April 2018

Pauline Quirke. Photo by Pauline Quirke Academy

Pauline Quirke. Photo by Pauline Quirke Academy


After over 50 years in the acting industry, and a decade of unprecedented success delivering outstanding part-time performing arts tuition at her weekend Academies across the country, Pauline Quirke returns to her roots to create even more opportunities for young performers in North London.

Pauline Quirke Academy IslingtonPauline Quirke Academy Islington

Pauline Quirke, a young girl growing up in Islington, discovered acting at the age of 9, when her teachers formed a couple of after-school clubs.

Not fancying country dancing, Pauline joined the drama club. That same drama club went on to produce some of the nation’s favourite actors including Kathy Burke, Martin Kemp, Patsy Palmer, Natalie Cassidy, and of course Pauline’s close friend and Birds of a Feather co-star, Linda Robson.

Years of professional work in award winning dramas followed, including a BAFTA-nominated performance as Olive Martin in The Sculptress, Maisie Raine, David Copperfield, Skins, Emmerdale, Broadchurch, and playing the role of Sharon in long-running comedy Birds of a Feather.

In 2007, Quirke opened her very first Academy of Performing Arts in Buckinghamshire. Since then, Pauline Quirke Academy (PQA) has grown to offer their unique style of performing arts training at over 150 locations across the UK.

Pauline Quirke Academy IslingtonPauline Quirke Academy Islington

More than 10,000 young performers now receive tuition in Musical Theatre, Comedy & Drama, and Film & Television every weekend.

2017 marks 10 years of PQA, and Pauline Quirke’s 50th year in the industry.

Artistic Director Adam Davenport says “we were looking for ways to celebrate our 10th anniversary. One discussion led to another, and we are now hugely excited for the next chapter of PQA. Our newly renovated building on Pentonville Road will house our Full-Time Academy offering Diploma level and Foundation training in Performing Arts and our part-time training programme for children aged 4-18, PQA Islington.”

The new academy will be situated in the heart of Quirke’s childhood home, Islington, only a short walk from King’s Cross Station. PQA Studios London will benefit from a fully equipped in-house theatre, and several large, high spec studio spaces.

Pauline Quirke Academy IslingtonPauline Quirke Academy Islington

Quirke reflects on the journey she has had. “It feels right to be coming home to where it all began for me, and to offer the opportunities I had to the next generation of young performers.

“Drama school training is almost unrecognisable now to when I was young, and we hope that we have created a training experience that is fresh, current, and reflects the demands of today’s performing arts industry, whilst retaining the traditional values and approaches that got me hooked.”

PQA Islington students will enjoy regular performance opportunities which include the West End, their own private red-carpet cinema screening of films made during Film & Television classes, free group Trinity examinations and an opportunity to be represented by Quirky Kidz, PQA’s highly successful children’s professional agency.

Most important however, is the atmosphere and culture that is created to foster positivity, teamwork, and well-rounded individuals.

For more information please visit pqacademy.com.

Latest Hampstead Education News

People in Hampstead Garden Suburb are up in arms about the proposed expansion of the historic Henrietta Barnett School – six years after the last one.

Fears there wouldn’t be enough school places in Tufnell Park for the number of kids in the area have been allayed by a primary school expansion project – costing £14million.

Channing School has backed down after a row broke out over a plans to turn its sports field into a car park.

The mayor of London announced plans to extend London’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) during a visit to Netley Primary School in Euston this morning (Friday).

An independent girls’ school is looking to upgrade the Victorian buildings housing its younger students.

A headteacher has vowed to keep the arts “alive and kicking” in his school despite creative subjects being squeezed out of curriculums across the country.

It was a star-studded speech day at UCS Hampstead with actress Helen McCrory taking to the stage to hand out prizes.

A catholic school is looking to triple the size of its sixth form as its new building nears completion.

A West Hampstead nursery has been given three weeks to improve after it was today given the worst possible Ofsted rating.

Cally man Dan Storey gave up art at 15 despite loving it. Now 42, he tells the Gazette about his first exhibition, which is running until June.

Swiss Cottage School has ditched plans to convert into an academy after being told another school would need to be included in the deal.

Preparing your child in advance for school will go a long way towards ensuring the very best start for your child.

After over 50 years in the acting industry, and a decade of unprecedented success delivering outstanding part-time performing arts tuition at her weekend Academies across the country, Pauline Quirke returns to her roots to create even more opportunities for young performers in North London.

A new survey has revealed the often “extraordinary” lengths parents have gone to get their children into their preferred primary school.

Camden Market’s array of stalls come in all shapes and sizes, but according to one trader “we are like a family who are always defending each other”.

Our Student Takeover 2018 drew to a close on Friday with an awards ceremony, but the story is not over for one budding journalist.

College of North West London student Tadhg Ormond delves into the history of a school which has been serving the community since before the First World War

A school has pulled out all the stops to champion all things scientific.

A group of 15 budding politicians have launched their campaigns to become Camden’s next youth MP.

South Hampstead High School’s bursary scheme has been championed by a former student who grasped the opportunity with both hands.

A team of media-hungry teenagers have arrived at the Ham&High for the Student Takeover 2018.

The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama has backed the Mayor of London’s commitment to calling out sexist and misogynistic attitudes.

Plans for a raft of Catholic schools to form an academy trust have been kicked into the long grass due to a lack of interest from those consulted.

Camden and Haringey schoolchildren have been celebrating the magic of fiction on World Book Day.

The Ham&High’s student takeover team has been decided following a Dragons’ Den-style pitching session at the City of Westminster College.

Placard-bearing staff at UCL have entered their second week of strikes in response to a dispute over pensions.

A consultation has been launched on plans to bring a specialist school for young people with autism to Haringey.

A Hampstead school table tennis team is going for glory after getting through to the finals of the table tennis national school team championships.

An Archway children’s centre has been rated “outstanding” across the board in its latest Ofsted report.

Fortismere School has appointed two permanent headteachers following a “rigorous selection process”.

A Camden super group has been formed to ensure that “no child gets left behind in Camden”.

The decision to admit girls into UCS Hampstead 10 years ago has been described as “ground-breaking”.

Former La Sainte Union student Eden Lunghy, 18, speaks to the Ham&High about her role as a Camden deputy youth mayor.

“Promoting equality and empowerment” remains at the forefront for an independent school celebrating 100 years since women were first able to exercise their right to vote.

The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has said the care a school has shown in hosting a play about their ordeal has made a great difference to his jailed wife.

Children at Our Lady of Muswell Primary School were left “stunned” by a surprise visit of Britain’s tallest man.

Pupils are being warned of the dangers of being mugged at home time as they continue to be targeted by teenage gangs.

Hornsey School for Girls has been named as the best performing school for progress in Haringey.

Camden School for Girls has been recognised as the top performing schools for progress in the borough.

The headteacher of St Aloysius College in Archway has been suspended from his post after being arrested on suspicion of fraud.

Highgate Primary School has received a donation of 100 trees to help transform the site into a greener and healthier space.

The future is bright for Hawley Primary School following the official opening of its new building.

Students from Portland Place School have demonstrated their support for anti-bullying by winning first place in the ‘odd socks day challenge’.

A Golders Green school is celebrating after receiving an “outstanding” Ofsted report.

Our Lady of Muswell Hill Primary School is on the up after receiving an upgrade in its Ofsted rating.

Most Read