Actress Pauline Quirke returns to Islington to launch academy for young performers
- Credit: Archant
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, 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.
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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.
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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.
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.