The Questors Theatre Joins Forces With The University of West London

A 'perfect partnership' says Dame Judy Dench

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The Questors Theatre has announced a significant new provision in theatre training by launching their Questors Academy.

The Ealing theatre is bringing together its existing training courses and adding a new BA Hons in Theatre Production, which it is providing jointly with the University of West London. The university is also accrediting two of The Questors' current actor training courses.

The theatre’s actor training consists of two part-time courses based on their innovative Student Group founded in 1946, along with evening classes for adult beginners, and a group for 17-20 year olds which bridges the gap between traditional youth theatre work and systematic actor training. The Questors also runs its youth theatre for 500 children and teenagers, which will be incorporated into the new Academy, and provides practical training for Kingston College’s BTEC Extended Diploma in Production Arts / Technical Theatre.

Andrea Bath, Executive Director of The Questors Theatre, says the launch of Questors Academy signals the company’s determination to expand its training provision even further. "Our two part-time acting courses provide a great progression to drama school, and the new degree in theatre production with the University of West London gives us more ways to use our facilities and expertise. We will be developing the Academy further with a range of short courses in performance and technical skills."

Sara Raybould of the University of West London is equally enthusiastic about the new degree venture. "This fantastic course gives students the special opportunity to be part of a working theatre, putting learning into practice daily in a realistic working situation."

Questors' president, Dame Judi Dench, says, "This is a perfect partnership with one of this country’s most ambitious local theatres."

Oliver Ford Davies, who has been a member of The Questors since 1956 and is now a vice president, says, "The exceptionally high and adventurous standards of The Questors over many decades and the quality of the facilities the theatre provides make it an ideal partner the University."

Amanda Redman, another vice president, says the scale of the theatre's operations shouldn't be overlooked. "Every time I visit The Questors I'm struck by the professional scale of the facilities - the Playhouse, the Studio, the workshops and technical expertise."

The Questors Theatre, which receives no regular outside funding from any source, has been enjoying a recent growth in its activities. In addition to a regular season of about 15 productions by the resident community company, it is also partnering the Royal Shakepeare Company as their regional partner in south-east England for the RSC's Open Stages project, and have also recently launched an ambitious campaign to raise £600,000 for refurbishing their venue. Their Playhouse, opened in 1964 by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, is thought to be the first purpose-built British theatre to be designed post-war.

29th June 2011