RUNCORN is all set to join the elite of the theatrical world, with the introduction of a new acting school which will meet every Saturday at Brookvale Community Centre, Palacefields.
The course, run by national company The Paul Nicholas School of Acting, will be taught by experienced drama teachers, stage managers and agents as well as actors and actresses and will also be host to special workshops from leading industry figures.
The classes are open to all youngsters in the borough aged between four and 18 and will run for 46 weeks of the year.
There will be around 25 places available for each of the school's three classes, which are divided as follows:
* Four to seven-year-olds meet from 10am-11am
* Seven to 11-year-olds meet from 11am-1pm
* 11-18-year-olds meet from 1-3pm.
If the classes are successful, the school plans to hold additional lessons every Saturday morning.
Ex-stage manager to take helm for Paul
THE school will be run by principle and teacher Jane Eley, who was brought up in Runcorn but moved to London to seek a career in the theatre at the age of 21.
She became an actress at the age of 17, before pursuing a 10-year career as a stage manager in London's West End. She has also worked as an actor's agent.
Her husband, Chris, will also teach at the school. He has worked as a manager of Riverside Studios, as a drama teacher at Cavendish School and as an actor with a touring Shakespeare company.
Jane explained: 'I happened to notice an advert saying that the Paul Nicholas School were hoping to open up a new class in Run-corn and I jumped at the chance of coming back up here to run it.
'We've had a great deal of interest in the school already and I'm really excited to be doing it.
'If youngsters want to come along just to build up a bit of confidence then that's great, but if there are people out there who want to take up acting seriously then I believe we really do have the means to help and guide them.
'I truly think there's a lot of untapped talent out there in Halton that just gets missed and we really want to nurture that talent by passing on our knowledge of the industry.'
John Kemp, site supervisor at Brookvale Community Centre, said that around 35 pupils had already contacted the centre about joining before the open day had even been held.
He added: 'There certainly is a lot of talent out there and we know that from similar projects we've run in the past - everything from salsa dancing to tap and ballet.
'This new school looks like its going to be something really special.'
The classes will cost £4 per session for children aged from four to seven and £8 for youngsters above that age.
An open day for the course was held last Saturday, but if you want to register your child there may still be places available.
* For more information, contact Jane Eley on 01928 701998.