Carolyn Barrett – USA, Actress
"Guess who's a working actor!! I was checking out the website and missing you guys... as usual and wanted to say Thank you! I'm a member of the Screen Actor's Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. The education that I received at Redroofs prepared me to enter the industry with the confidence as well as the ability and training to work . It has a lot to do with the fact that you, your family and the staff at Redroofs believed in me! This year, I won my first acting award (Best Actress 2007 at the Paul Robeson Awards) forWoman in Man, Woman, Day, Night. I just filmed Mrs Bowman on 'The Wire', and I'm Jennifer Hudson's stand-in on the Sex and the City movie. Words can not express my gratitude."
Tara Williams - Bilingual Actress
I chose the Redroofs Course as it offered much more of a personal approach to it's students. Rather than aiming to churn out a load of identical 'stageschool dahlings', they encouraged us to embrace our individuality. The wide variety of lessons available (especially Carolyn's ACE tap classes!) were definitely an asset too. The more versatile you are,the more work there is out there for you! Being bilingual I am very fortunate to be in work 95% of the time,thanks to channel 4 Wales - S4C. Some of my work for them includes Lleucu in 'Caerdydd',Angharad Mair in 'Tri Tan y Manod', Nikki in 'Rownd a Rownd' and Charlotte in 'A470.' I also appeared as Kelly in Footballer's Wives which was lots of fun.
Dan Brocklebank- Actor
Now a regular in Coronation Street. Previous credits include The Hole, Shakespeare in Love, Emmerdale, RSC, 6th Form from 16 to 18. "I had the time of my life. I was lucky enough to work during this time and spent much of my second year away filming projects like Merlin for Hallmark and Shakespeare in Love for Miramax.The opportunity to work during my training was invaluable and gave me the chance to work with some of the most incredible actors of our time.
Since leaving Redroofs I have done another full season at the RSC, many films(both American and English) TV series for BBC and ITV and more recently worked at the Royal Exchange Theatre in manchester and did a two year stint in Emmerdale. I am in effect a jobbing, working actor and will always thank Redroofs and everyone there for the help support and advise that to this day I still receive. Its the sort of place that even though I graduated 10 years ago, if I turned up on the door step now there would be a welcoming smile and a cup of tea brewing to welcome me."
Matthew Cottle- Actor
“We seemed to cram so much into our day from ballet, tap, acting, movement and of course standard school lessons. A lot of what I learnt at Redroofs stood me in good stead in my career as a professional actor of 17 years. My first TV job was a lead in a BBC sitcom in which they required me to tap dance at the audition, a skill which I learnt at Redroofs. This sitcom led to other TV comedy series such as "Game On and Drop the Dead Donkey. I always look back on my time at Redroofs with happiness." Matthew is part of the Company at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
Zara Dawson - Actor
"Redroofs provided me with the professional training that I was after. A family run school means that you are cared for, personally as well as professionally, a real confidence-builder. I have no doubt that Redroofs prepared me well for what I now do." Zara played Juliet in Romeo and Juliet – the Musical in the West End very shortly after graduation, then Emma Murphy in Down to Earth alongside Ricky Tomlinson and Denise Welch; Eve O’Brien in Family Affairs; Holby City; and recently Jo in Little Women on a No 1 Tour.
Adrian Hansel - Musical Theatre Performer
"I’m playing Seaweed J. Stubbs in the Original London Cast of Hairspray. I was a part-timer, then joined the Day School at 11 and loved every minute. I worked loads and it was a great way to start my career! It was a refreshing school-life, and we had a lot of fun. It was like a family and I didn’t wanna leave! Now I have 9 West End credits to my name, including Leroy in Fame, plus an Australian tour, and I’m still going!!" Adrian is currently touring with Michael Ball.
Marc Hendrey - Rees in Footballers Wives - Extra Time
Marc joined us at Redroofs as a full scholar direct from his part time school "Swish of the Curtain" in Bournemouth.
We arranged for him to audition for a part in The Bill and then Footballers Wives. He was offered both within days of each other! "Being trained by professionals actually working in the industry was invaluable for me. Glad all is going so well at Redroofs."
Laura Hounsom - Part Time Pupil then Day School, Oxbridge Graduate
"I think my time at Redroofs was one of the most singularly influential factors in the development of my personal identity. The skills I learnt there through teaching and experience continue to be invaluable, but more than anything, it encouraged and nurtured my unshakable love-affair with theatre and provided an excellent platform from which to step into the world of the arts..."
Justin Isack - Part Time pupil then Day School pupil
"I'm living here in Orlando from where I now run my Production Company contracting big shows to the cruise ships. I also perform my own one hour Illusion show on one of the ships once a week. I fly to port, get on the ship, perform, then the next day, I fly back to the office! If it was not for Redroofs I would not have done anything with my life. I often think about those days. I owe everything to you guys. This is from the heart. Redroofs gave me self discipline and more than that, confidence in myself. Redroofs changed my life’s path and I am very grateful for it. I was a quiet young boy now making a good living in the business I love. What more can you ask of a school?"
Sophie Lamont - Day School Leaver 2006
First a Part Timer and 5 years as a Day School Pupil. I loved every minute of it. Redroofs prepared us for the toughness of the industry and I achieved good results at GCSE. It was homely, the student-teacher bond was close and that meant they got the best from everyone. I am now currently training at Laine Theatre Arts and I owe an awful lot to Redroofs.
Derek Lea - Student 1984-1987
With a childhood passion for motorbikes, Derek set his sights on joining the British Stunt Register when he was a young lad. Derek trained as a student at Redroofs, acquired his provisional equity card through stage management, and then went on to perform in a number of stage productions to obtain his full equity card. He continued to complete all the necessary disciplines to become a member of the British Stunt Register and TV and Film work soon followed. Derek is now in his twentieth year in the industry and has carved out a niche for himself for his ability to act and perform stunts; some of which you can see on his website! He has appeared in over 30 Feature Films, including Titanic which of course starred fellow Redroofian Kate Winslet and numerous TV Productions and commercials.
Looking back on his time at drama school Derek says "Without the solid foundation and acting experience gained only from my days at Redroofs, I would never have carved out this niche for myself. I can play the part and perform the Stunt."
Gina Murray - Day School Leaver 2006
"Redroofs Day School - the ultimate childhood experience! I was brought up on a diet of 'showbiz parents', mixed with Fame and Footloose at regular intervals on TV. Consequently, my expectations of the Stage School experience were very high. Redroofs met and surpassed all of them! Not only did I receive what I believe to be a terrific all round vocational training, but I had fantastic and inspirational teachers on both the vocational and academic fronts.
The main thing I left school with, apart from all my qualifications, the fun I'd had and the respect I'd learnt for the business and the people in it, was confidence. I feel this is the single most important thing a child can gain from a school career and I'm certain that I would not have as much of it now, had I not attended Redroofs.
Armed with my training and a desire to work, I excitedly embarked on my show business quest. I landed the role of young Patsy Cline in a West End musical about her life and from there went on to star in five other West End shows including Roy Orbison Story and Fame. (My dream came true with that one!) and most recently The Full Monty.
I have also been lucky enough to do a movie called Sorted with Jason Donovan, Tim Curry and Matthew Rhys, quite a bit of TV work and I'm now writing comedy with my sister for Endemol, as well as continuing with acting, singing and voice over work, in between being a mother of two."
Jason O'Brien - Day School Leaver 2006
"Something so special and something I will never forget!" What I gained from Redroofs is something so special and something I will never forget! At Redroofs I learned to believe in myself so strongly, I could have done anything. It gave me the confidence to go for it, but most of all, to never give up! During my time at Redroofs I was lucky enough to gain plenty of TV work including The Bill, Jeffery Archer - The Truth and Keen Eddie. I had a fantastic 2 years there, the best 2 years of my life and I am truly grateful for everything. Most recent Theatre credit was Fantastic Mr Fox at the Open Air Theatre, Regents Park, Summer 2007. Thank you for asking me to contribute to this page.
Gillian Oman- Owner of ITW Dublin
Starting Out while I was still a second year, graduated and returned to Ireland where I became a regular in an RTE soap. I now run my own theatre school in Dublin. I have remained in contact with Redroofs and have had the benefit of advice over the years for which I am truly thankful!!"
Louis Tamone - Actor. Part time, then Day School
"I'm currently working in the West End production ofThe Mousetrap. Before that, Alexander the Great, as Thessaly; Sam Owen in Hollyoaks for Mersey TV; Eddie in Blood Brothers (West End); Ruffian on the Stair/Greenwich/Wilson; Artie in Sunset Boulevard - No 1 Tour; Liam in Morning Glory at Watford Palace. Redroofs was the happiest time of my life and look forward to coming to talk to the students soon."
Craig Turner - Dancer, Redroofs Day School pupil
Mary Poppins - Prince Edward Theatre, My Fair Lady - Theatre Royal Drury Lane and Uk Tour, Mikado and Eugene Onegin at E.N.O. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers - UK Tour, Evita - UK tour, Singin in the Rain - UK Tour, Saturday Night Fever - Germany, Grease - Scandanavian Tour. See you soon. xxx"
Jarrah Venables - ex Day School
Jarrah applied to Goodwood, got the job and has forged ahead at a million miles an hour. He now is Motor Sports Competitions Secretary (with an enormous responsibility) to The Earl Of March. It's amazing how the theatre school background - working with all sorts of directors in TV, film, radio etc - opens up enormous opportunities in fields outside the entertainment business.
We as a family can only thank June and the Redroofs crew for taking him on board and educating him to the degree that he is confident in doing his job and working for perfection. He has to look after famous racing people from all over the world, including Sir Jackie Stewart, Sir Stirling Moss and Lewis Hamilton.
Val Weyland - Student 83-86
Commercial Theatre Producer -Winner of Society of London Theatre's New Producer's Award Writer - Barclays New Play Award & Westminster prize .Redroofs gave me a solid experience in many aspects of the business so I've been lucky enough to have a full and varied career performing in Dramas and Musicals. I have worked in Rep, internationally, in the West End (Mrs Lyons in Blood Brothers/The Mousetrap/Paris Match); on the radio (Regular on Five Live's After Hours) and on T.V. (Eastenders) and film - What more could any actor ask for! Alongside all this I worked as a writer and won the Barclays New Play Award and the Westminster Prize. Seven years ago I began producing Theatre (though not turning my back on Acting totally!) won the Society of London Theatre's New Producer's Award and have produced numerous Number One Commercial Tours. I was recently nominated for a number of awards including Best Touring Production. Looking back to my training, I honestly enjoyed every minute of the Redroofs experience and it gave me some lifelong friends. I still love coming 'home'