College offers home to TV star’s popular performing arts academy

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Aspiring West End and TV stars are invited to develop their talents at City College Plymouth after the College stepped in to offer a new home to a much-valued children’s performing arts academy.

A team of lecturers, students and local performing arts specialists will deliver high-quality training to children aged four to 18 as part of the Pauline Quirke Academy (PQA) of Performing Arts, which allows children to develop their skills in musical theatre, film and TV, and acting for comedy and drama.

By training at PQA Plymouth, students will get the opportunity to entertain family and friends with at least two performances a year, gain access to the Quirky Kidz talent agency, and get the chance to perform at London’s Shaftesbury Theatre. The academy has a special focus on building confidence and self-esteem, preparing the youngsters for life both in and out of the world of show business.

Heading up the new Academy is the College’s very own Sam Pomeroy, who is the Programme Lead for Performing Arts Higher Education and has more than 15 years’ experience in performing, writing and directing.

Sam said: “City College is pleased to be able to offer the children of Plymouth, West Devon and South East Cornwall access to the superb training and opportunities offered by the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts.

“Not only does the academy help local children to develop their talents in acting, singing, dancing, filmmaking and more, we will hopefully be improving their mental health and wellbeing. There is scientific proof that taking part in performing arts activities can help with major life challenges and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.”

As Principal of PQA Plymouth, Sam has hand-picked the academy team to offer a variety of skills and training, and has recruited staff from the College and beyond.

“Joining me at the academy is City College film and media lecturer Tony Murphy-Jones, professional dancer and choreographer Jessica Emmett, and current PQA Plymouth teacher Fynn Roberts, who has experience in a variety of performing arts roles,” Sam said.

Also joining the PQA team are a number of students who have shown exceptional talent and dedication to their studies, allowing them the opportunity to further develop their own skills by taking on teaching and support roles.

The College is pleased to offer a new home to PQA Plymouth, with the aims of the academy closely linking to the College’s Strategic Action for Health and Wellbeing. Not only do the performing arts offer benefits for mental health, but it also encourages children to be more physically active.

PQA Academy classes will run on Saturdays from 9.45am to 1.00pm, with the children studying an hour of musical theatre, film and TV, and theatre skills for drama and comedy each week. For more information about the academy, please visit

On Saturday 18 September, PQA Academy is holding an open day at the College where children can try free tasters in all three of the classes to form part of the training. To book a place for your child, either call Sam on 07423 150802 or e-mail [email protected].