20 years of memories with Razzamataz
When Aleasha Wallace was just twelve years-old, little did she know that joining a local theatre school would have life-changing effects. Aleasha was one of the first ever students to attend Razzamataz, now a high-profile theatre school franchise with almost 50 schools nationwide and boasting students in award-winning West End shows, acclaimed films and starring in hit TV series.
Aleasha was one of about 25 other children who went along to the Penrith Players, a tiny little theatre in a backstreet of Penrith in Cumbria, to the opening of a theatre school run by Denise Hutton-Gosney, the Founder and MD of Razzamataz. Without any other theatre arts training, Aleasha fell in love with all that Razzamataz had to offer and has greatly benefitted from being part of the ‘Razz Family.’
“Thank you for the opportunities that Razzamataz gave me. My time at Razz set me up with skills for life as a person and as a performer. Being part of the school instilled confidence and self-belief so I could go out into the world of professional performance, with no qualifications, without it holding me back from achieving my dreams. Twenty years ago, my family couldn’t afford to send me to a big dance school and put me through intensive training, Razzamataz was all I had but it was enough because of all of the performance opportunities it gave me. One of the most important aspects was that it gave me the confidence to stand in front of a room full of professional performers and get jobs. I got to travel abroad and sing and dance, which was my dream job and if it wasn’t for Razzamataz then it would never have happened. I started out as a Thomas Cook entertainer and worked my way up to being part of the production cast at First Choice Holiday Villages. I then joined Disneyland Paris as a parade performer and dancer and then cruise ships for Thomson, which enabled me to see the world doing a job that I adored.
There is no doubt that attending Razzamataz were the best years of my life. I made friends who became family and I still speak to many of them to this day. I have such fond memories of the years I spent there, and it has been incredible to watch it grow to the nationally recognised brand that it is today.”
From the very beginning, Denise believed in the power of performance to give children the confidence to grow as individuals. Today, students get to experience a huge array of opportunities from guest workshops with industry experts, performing on a West End stage and London’s 02 through to international opportunities at Disneyland Paris and new for 2021, joining a cruise ship cast. But even in those very early days, Denise arranged many opportunities including performing at Her Majesty’s Theatre, which was the first time that many of the students had been to London through to joining the cast of professional shows, local performances at May Day parades and Christmas Light events and even extra work in kid’s favourite Byker Grove.
“Those early years were incredibly hard work but exciting too. I wanted to give my students every opportunity available, to open their eyes to what they could achieve and give them memories that would last a lifetime. It is wonderful to hear from Aleasha and know that Razzamataz had such a positive impact on her life.”