Well-known British actress looking for potential Sussex stars of the future

Pauline Quirke at one of her academies
Pauline Quirke at one of her academies

A well-known British actress has launched an initiative to find the next biggest TV, film and theatre stars in Sussex.

Pauline Quirke, best known for her role as Sharon in the hit BBC sitcom Birds of a Feather, is on the lookout for talented teenagers from Sussex, who have a passion for performing arts to take part in auditions to join The Pauline Quirke Full-time Academy of Performing Arts at the PQA Studios London in King’s Cross, London’s newest full-time drama school.

Pauline launched the school this September when the first class of students aged between 16 and 19 started studying for a two-year Diploma course, at the end of which they will be awarded an OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in Performing Arts (a Level 3 qualification), the equivalent to three A-levels.

The academy is based in the original Poor School building in Pentonville Road, King’s Cross, which closed last year after three decades, just a stone’s throw from where Pauline herself went to school, and discovered acting, at the age of nine.

Pauline’s team have completely renovated the building, which now has a fully equipped in-house theatre and several large, high spec studio spaces, and it re-opened as PQA Studios London in September.

Many of the teachers at the school have all performed in hugely successful West End shows.

One of the dance and musical teachers at the school is Bree Smith, currently in Book of Mormon in the West End, and the first cohort of students have already been working with professionals from the smash hit West End and Broadway musical Hamilton!.

Pauline is no stranger to running performing arts schools.

In fact, she launched her first weekend, non-selective performing arts school ten years ago with her husband Steve, and there are now 170 of these weekend stage schools across the UK, including schools in Brighton, Crawley and Eastbourne.

Talking about launching the school, Pauline said: “Over the years, we have had many requests for further training from students and parents. We are now thrilled and extremely excited about the next chapter of PQA, with the launch of our full-time academy at PQA Studios London, catering for those students (both students attending our weekend academies and further afield) who wish to take the next steps in furthering a career in the performing arts industry.”

“It feels like PQA is coming home, as Islington is where I grew up, and where I started my own training.”

Pauline is holding full-day auditions on Thursday (November 22) at the school in PQA Studios in Islington, London.

The audition day includes a full timetable of group and individual sessions.

Auditions next year are February 21, April 11 and June 27.

To find out more information, go to pqaacademy.com