Razzamataz Theatre School Is Investing In The Health Of The Next Generation

April 25, 2022

The effects of school closures and lockdowns have been widely spoken about in terms of children’s health and development. In a recent interview, Chief Medical Officer Sir Chris Whitty describes potential for substantial impact on children’s health with mental welfare and childhood obesity significantly worse.

What all the experts agree on is the importance of getting young people moving and away from screens. To help working parents and provide inspiration for all families, Razzamataz Theatre Schools offer fun holiday activities throughout the UK, where children can make new friends, keep active and learn important life skills.

Razzamataz Theatre Schools is a Dragons’ Den backed franchise. Many of the schools have recently held Easter workshops, where children get to experience everything from street dance through to pop singing, acting for camera and traditional West End and Broadway musical theatre.

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Performing arts has many benefits including increased fitness and a chance to allow young people to express themselves and work through any emotional difficulties, leading to improved wellbeing and mental health.

“During the school holidays, finding things to keep children entertained day in and day out is not easy, which is why many parents look to holiday clubs, so children can be interactive with others, have fun and keep off technology,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “The last couple of years have meant that many children have missed out on crucial early interactions and are still finding the impact of lockdowns challenging. We build relationships with each student and their family, which helps them to improve their confidence and self-belief. Many children start out on day one so shy and timid, but by the end of the week, they have really come out of their shell and parents are shocked by the positive change.”

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There are Razzamataz schools up and down the country and there have been a range of Easter activities taking place before term time classes commence. One of the most important elements of the sessions is the chance to perform, an area that is often overlooked but is crucial to building children’s confidence. The themes are often inspired by popular films or shows so children really feel like they have stepped into the shoes of their favourite characters.

“Our teachers and staff are highly skilled in working with young people, which can transform the way they feel about themselves,” adds Denise. “The performing arts is incredibly beneficial to help young people build up positive communication skills that will enhance every area of their lives at home, school and beyond. It is a privilege to be in the position to help ensure the health and wellbeing of the next generation.”

Related: Razzamataz Franchise

Source: Franchising

Award Win For Franchise Theatre School Community Champions

March 18, 2022

A theatre school franchise network has been rewarded for going above and beyond in their local communities during the exceptionally difficult days of the pandemic. Razzamataz Theatre Schools entered their Cumbrian schools for the Community Award in the FSB Awards and were delighted to be announced as winner.

The FSB is a non-profit organisation and the UK’s leading business campaigner. They have been helping small businesses and the self-employed achieve their ambitions for more than 45 years.

Razzamataz entered schools based in Carlisle, West Cumbria, and South Lakes for their dedicated work in the community. The judges were looking for evidence of businesses who get involved in initiatives that support their community and make a positive impact.

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The judges said: “The Razzamataz entry left the judges in no doubt that this is a business which goes above and beyond in its quest to make a real difference to the lives of all those people which it meets, and further than that to offer support to community activities and causes which will have a positive impact on young people and their families. We wish them every success in the UK Final and in their future endeavours.”

When schools closed during the first lockdown, the first response was for the wellbeing of the students, teachers, staff, and franchisees. Razzamataz knew that it was crucial to still provide a much-needed service for customers and maintain the businesses for franchisees. Razzamataz provided numerous Online Workshops/Masterclasses for students in addition to their weekly sessions. This was on top of many other activities such as bedtime stories, kitchen discos, Senior’s nights in and regularly checking in with students and families for a wellbeing chat.

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The impact of the work in the community has created a positive effect for the lives of families within the area, not just students who attend the schools. This has included several initiatives including:

  • Sponsoring a Football Sports Kit for Yanwath Primary School.
  • Holding a Baby Bundles Collection collecting hundreds of baby items to donate to Baby Bundles who distribute these to mothers and babies in need, within the local community.
  • Sponsoring The Reading Bus at Beaconside Primary School.
  • Supporting CFM Radio Cash for Kids appeal by donating toys to their mission Christmas campaign.
  • Delivered exciting Tots and Tiny Tots Sessions free of charge to many local playgroups as they reopened their doors after the pandemic.
  • Hosting a ‘Strictly Come Razzing’ event which brought together the Razzamataz families to raise over £8000 for local charities.
  • Raising money for CFM Cash for Kids, The Great North Air Ambulance and Razzamataz Future Fund.

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“The pandemic was difficult for so many, and it hit our industry particularly badly,” says Denise Huton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “I’m so proud of the franchisees across the network who went over and above for our customers and communities and used the performing arts to bring people together and achieve amazing results. Razzamataz allows for people’s passion and purpose to collide. Franchisees not only mentor their students, but also their teams of teachers which in turn have a positive impact on their communities. The discipline and self-belief we instill in children build their confidence and allow them to go on and achieve their dreams, whatever they may be.”

Competition for the entry was tough but the Cumbrian Razzamataz franchisees impressed the judges with their commitment on several levels. They will now be entered into the prestigious UK final on Thursday 19th May in Glasgow, with a chance to be crowned the UK Small Business of the Year.

The FSB Award win topped off an exciting week for the network. Earlier on, some of the Razzamataz Head Office team and franchisees celebrated at the Elite Franchise Top 100 (EF100) event after being named as one of the UK’s top franchise opportunities from hundreds of entries across every sector.

Established in 2017 in association with HSBC, it recognises the sector’s brightest businesses and ranks them according to a broad range of criteria; from the financial performance and heritage, to their contribution to the community and the way they embrace innovation.

Source: Franchising

Franchise Theatre School Congratulates Scholarship Winners

July 7, 2021

The world may have been put on hold but that hasn’t stopped children and young people dreaming of their futures. For those with a passion for performing arts, Razzamataz, a national theatre school network has helped keep those dreams alive with a prestigious scholarship worth up to £855 per student.

Over the last few months, all of the part-time franchises in the Razzamataz Theatre School network have worked alongside the prestigious newspaper for the performing arts industry The Stage. Together, they have created an exciting scholarship opportunity for children and young people across the UK. The network are offering thousands of pounds worth of free tuition, something which means a great deal to many families trying to support their kids.

“We are so proud to once again offer these prestigious scholarships in association with The Stage newspaper,” says Denise Hutton Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz Theatre Schools. “It’s been particularly challenging for business with all the lockdowns but we were all determined that our students and young people in the community would not miss out on this wonderful opportunity. Although the impact of Covid has hit small businesses like ours very hard, we collectively felt that it was important to continue to offer as many opportunities as possible to support young people who have had to show incredible resilience over the last year and a half. A huge congratulations to all of our scholarship winners and we are delighted to welcome lots of new students to the Razzamataz Family.”

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The scholarships were open to all young people between the ages of 6-18. Both current Razzamataz students and those that haven’t had any formal training were eligible to apply. For young people who have had to continue their practice at home while in lockdown or isolating, they have shown a huge amount of drive and determination.

“The performing arts is wonderful but competitive career but our students have proved that they have the resilience to work their way through the difficult times,” adds Denise. “For children who have never had any training before, we are so delighted to welcome them to Razzamataz and the excellent training that our schools offer. We know what a positive impact that the performing arts can offer all children so we are so pleased that our franchisees have continued this exceptional offer.”

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Former Razzamataz scholarship students have gone on to be successful in many West End shows including Hamilton, &Juliet, Matilda, School of Rock and many TV shows as well as a starring in a Disney movie.

As well as the financial incentives, the auditions gave students something positive to look forward to. Performing arts professionals across the UK helped to make the difficult judging decisions, giving students the opportunity to stretch themselves and aim high.

Razzamataz Theatre Schools teach thousands of children. With more than 20 years’ experience, the Principals have seen first-hand how performing arts can transform young people’s lives. With the focus now firmly on children’s physical and mental health, there is more demand than ever before for the Razzamataz classes.

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“We have talked for years about how important the arts are for children,” adds Denise. “Our classes help to develop confidence, teamwork, resilience and can help with both physical and mental health. The lockdowns have really shined a light on the fact that more needs to be done in these areas so we are really delighted to be part of the movement to promote the arts.”

Although for much of the last 18 months, the schools have been closed or operating with restrictions, that hasn’t stopped new franchisees from joining the network. So far in 2021, five new schools have joined the Dragons’ Den backed franchise with many existing franchisees growing their original territory.

The new franchisees join the ten new Principals who joined the network in 2020. Even during the pandemic, Razzamataz was able to continue to grow the network and continue the high level of support and training.

Source: Franchising

Applause for Razzamataz scoring top marks in franchisee satisfaction survey

June 2, 2021

Razzamataz Theatre Schools is delighted to announce that for the fourth time it has been awarded a 5 Star Franchisee Satisfaction rating on feedback from its franchisees in a survey conducted by WorkBuzz, a leading independent franchise consultancy.

The Franchise Satisfaction Benchmark (FSB) from WorkBuzz, invites franchisees to participate in an anonymous online survey about their franchise experience. Using a consistent methodology, the franchise is assigned an overall FSB score and the highest performing franchisors are recognised in the Best Franchise Awards.

Razzamataz saw a response rate that gave an overall FSB score of 87%, with several broken down results rating higher than the industry average said the franchisor. This is in addition to being named as Best Franchise (£2m to £10m network turnover) in the WorkBuzz Best Franchise Awards 2020/21 sponsored by Lloyds Bank.

Some of the standout areas that Razzamataz highlights include scoring 100% on products and services (19% higher than industry average), 94% on marketing support (17% higher) and 95% on training and support (23% higher).

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Razzamataz said comments from franchisees resulting from the survey included: “Our service supports children and their families. This is always needed but now it is absolutely essential … Great branding and always willing to invest in our marketing … Initial training was excellent, and support has been continuous.”

An area that the franchisor repeatedly saw comments on was how it has been supporting franchisees during the pandemic, with the following opinion typical from one of its many franchisees said the company:

“The support during lockdowns has been absolutely outstanding and I think it was so good it is worth mentioning as a standalone comment. Head office were there for us every step of the way, providing us with not only ways in which to adapt so quickly that not even a single session was missed, but they also helped retain students and gain new ones.”

Although many franchisees said the biggest challenge facing their business was Covid-19, Razzamataz said it is very proud of how its theatre schools are getting back to and beyond pre-pandemic numbers. This optimism is shared by the majority of its franchisees when asked about the next 12 months, with 88% of franchisees expecting profitability to improve.

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Denise Hutton-Gosney, managing director and founder of Razzamataz, said: “We are delighted to once again receive the 5 Star rating from WorkBuzz’s Franchise Satisfaction Benchmark in what has been the most difficult year for the children’s activity sector. I would like to say a huge thank you to my head office team and all of my amazing franchisees for showing their commitment to the brand and the continued support they showed to all of our young customers and their families.

“When I think back to the start of the first lockdown and everything we have achieved since then, I’m so proud of the way that we pulled together as one big team in an extremely ethical and responsible way, keeping everyone’s best interests at heart. Receiving this positive feedback at the end of this challenging 12 months has been very heart-warming.”

WorkBuzz added: “Franchisee satisfaction is a powerful concept in franchising. Positive levels of franchisee satisfaction can contribute to strong network growth and development. This is achieved not only from the franchisor, but also the wider community. Razzamataz franchisees scored 100% (29% higher than industry average) when asked about peer support, stating that head office and the community of franchisees are incredibly helpful.”

As Razzamataz emerges from the restrictions of the pandemic, the network is looking to the future, as Hutton-Gosney explains: “We have been researching and talking to suppliers to improve the administrative process, saving franchisees time and allowing them to focus on other areas. Head office is also looking at a new merchandise range and different options for an e-commerce site so we can best serve our customers.”

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Razzamataz said that to be a successful franchisor, it is important to give a voice to everyone in the network. With its Franchise Advisory Council and a recently introduced Mastermind Group, every franchisee has access to a representative to get their voice heard. A further new initiative by the franchisor is the introduction of ‘Wellness and Collaboration’ calls, where franchisees are given the opportunity to speak directly to Hutton-Gosney and Support Manager, Charlotte Young.

Summing up the survey, Matty Aitchison-Rayson, the franchisee for West Cumbria, said he was blown away by how much the numbers have grown following the support from Denise, Charlotte, head office and the network.

Here Aitchison-Rayson shares the best things about being a franchisee with Razzamataz:

  • Support from head office and fellow franchisees
  • Being part of a family
  • Ever growing – student numbers are increasing which means profits are too
  • Brand awareness
  • Flexibility around family life
  • Great branding and always willing to invest in our marketing
  • Head office and the community of franchisees is incredibly helpful. They are welcoming and truly believe that one franchise doing well helps everyone
  • Opportunities and cost saving I wouldn’t get on my own
  • Our high expectations and quality of training provided
  • Our service is inclusive and differs to the competition in every way, including price, meaning we can help more people
  • Reactive to all government guidelines
  • Head office have gone above and beyond to support us through the pandemic
  • Retaining stature in the performing arts industry
  • The profitability
  • Willing to invest in professionals to train us in marketing

Razzamataz is looking to launch more theatre schools across the UK and overseas, and currently has franchise resales available for the territories of Berkshire, High Wycombe, Horsham, Paisley, Renfrewshire and West Sussex.

Source: Franchise World

Razzamataz Theatre School Bringing Back Opportunities For Talented Kids

April 20, 2021

Razzamataz Theatre Schools is once again working with The Stage newspaper to offer youngsters the chance to win thousands of pounds worth of training in dance, drama and singing.

During lockdown, the franchise theatre schools remained active and held many online classes for children up and down the country. The Principals and teachers have been in awe of the dedication of children to continue to participate in their performing arts training from their living rooms, bedrooms and gardens.

“Our students have shown a huge amount of resilience during the last twelve months and have proved their dedication to the performing arts,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Principal of Razzamataz. “We are delighted to be able to offer them this opportunity to give them something exciting and challenging to aim for.” In fact, Denise started her own journey in the performing arts by responding to an advert her mum had seen in the local paper for auditions looking for local raw talent.

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For young people with the drive and determination to make it in the world of performing arts, but who don’t have the training behind them, this is a fantastic opportunity to win a year’s worth of tuition, worth up to £855, at their local Razzamataz. Former students have gone on to be successful in many West End shows including Hamilton, &Juliet, Matilda, School of Rock and many TV shows as well as a starring in a Disney movie.

Many past students have also shown how performing arts has made a positive impact on their lives and given them the belief that through hard work and dedication, they can go on and achieve their dreams be it becoming a doctor, lawyer or teacher.

Razzamataz is passionate about the power of performing arts and the positive impact that it makes on young people. With the many missed events for children that has occurred during the lockdowns, Razzamataz is delighted to be able to open up the audition to both current students and those that have never had any performing arts training before.

As well as the financial assistance, the scholarship offers a huge boost in confidence with many past winners explaining that it gave them the belief to go on and follow their dreams.

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“With so many activities suspended over this past year, it’s has been tough on many children who live for the thing they are most passionate about,” adds Denise. “We teach thousands of children across the UK and we know through feedback from parents just how performing arts can transform young lives. Although we have many children who go on to perform as professionals, we also have many students who come to us to build their confidence and learn valuable life skills. We urge all children to give the audition process a go and we applaud them all for stepping out of their comfort zone and trying something new.”

To ensure as many children from the age of 6-18 can enter, Razzamataz has created a scholarship system where students and young people in the local area film a short demo of no more than two minutes long showing them performing either a musical theatre song and dance, commercial dance (hip hop or street), pop song, drama improvisation or scripted drama piece. The demo does not have to be professionally filmed. Applicants will also complete a short application form detailing why they would like to take this opportunity.

“There will be teams of judges throughout the UK helping Principals select a winning candidate,” adds Denise. “We are not looking for a fully polished performance, it is the potential that we want to see. In fact, natural talent and a willingness to learn are what we are really looking for. Our teams of teachers will be able to take this raw talent and nurture it to give the young person an all-round theatre arts training.”

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Past winners within the Razzamataz network include Robson Broad, current cast member of Hamilton in the West End. Robson was a scholarship winner when he was 12 and said at the time: “I was thrilled to win the scholarship. Seeing my picture in The Stage newspaper, being interviewed, going to a proper photo shoot has been amazing. I have much more confidence and ambition because Razzamataz and The Stage have shown their belief in me. One day I hope I will get the chance to go to The Stage party wearing a RED badge (cast member!) The biggest advice I got from the day is work hard and keep trying, because what at first seems impossible can become possible. Dreams can come true…so fingers crossed!”

To apply to The Stage scholarship, contact your local Razzamataz school.

Source: Franchising

Razzamataz Theatre School scoop top accolades

March 3, 2021

WorkBuzz has announced the winners of the 2020/2021 Best Franchise Awards, sponsored by Llyods Bank, at a virtual ceremony that was held earlier this month.

Multi-award winning Razzamataz Theatre School, in which Razzamataz West Cumbria and Carlisle are part of, is delighted to be named as Best Franchise in one of the categories at this year’s event, as well as scooping two other awards.

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During the presentation, the Razzamataz team spoke about how they lead their team with trust, integrity and kindness to leave a positive legacy for students, franchisees and the franchising sector.

“Our franchisees took on the task of supporting their teams and customers, resulting in some overwhelmingly positive testimonials,” explained Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz.

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By Sam Smedley

Source: News and Star

Theatre School Franchise Helps To Boost Confidence In Children With Competition Launch

February 11, 2021

With more reports emerging about the crushing effect that Covid has had on children, one theatre school franchise is helping to bring back confidence. More than 62,000 pupils in England have been tracked from May to December by ImpactEd, with some worrying results.

This has been the largest review of schoolchildren in the Covid era and the report warns of the potential for a lost generation. Anxiety levels are rising and wellbeing has tumbled according to the report, with those in their exam years feeling the pressure of trying to catch up.

The most alarming research uncovered that the closure of schools has not just impacted education, but on mental health too. Multi-award winning Razzamataz Theatre Schools has listened to thousands of children across the UK discuss their concerns during online performing arts classes as well as dedicated wellness sessions.

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The impact of the pandemic can be summed up by student Libbi who attends Razzamataz Maidstone: “To highlight children’s mental health week, I thought I would drop a message to say that Razzamataz has saved me. When I had a rough patch with my mental health Razzamataz picked me up and made me feel like there was a place I belong. Whenever it was Saturday I was always at my happiest. The Razzamataz team support is brilliant and I really am grateful for that. Now I would say my mental health has never been better.”

To reach out to even more young people, all of the schools within the network will be launching Razz’s Got Talent, a competition that aims to give young people something positive to aspire to. Unlike some TV competitions, there will be no Mr Nasty or negative comments, the schools will be working with a judging panel of professional performers who can give positive support to every competitor.

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Children from the age of 6 to 17 can enter for a chance to win a year’s scholarship to attend their local Razzamataz school. The competition is open to current students as well as those that have never had any formal training before. Supporting local talent and giving back to the community to help young people with their performing arts training is high on the agenda for the theatre school franchise, especially now when confidence is at an all-time low.

“Razz’s Got Talent is a really fun way for children to enter a talent contest in a safe and caring environment,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz Theatre Schools. “We only give really constructive and positive feedback because we know it takes a lot of courage and determination to enter a talent competition and we want this experience to be a really positive one that they can learn from.

“This is also a great opportunity to see what undiscovered talent we can find and for existing students, it gives them the chance to hone their skills and shine individually in front of a panel of industry judges.”

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The judges are looking for raw talent and will talk to the children to understand where their passion for performing arts can take them. “We know children have had a lot of challenges over the last year; for some, it has really knocked their confidence and will impact their mental health,” adds Denise. “Our Principals and teams of teachers have worked so hard to help students and the feedback we have had from families has been so wonderful. This is another opportunity for us to give back again to local communities by nurturing young performers.”

Razzamataz teaches all three disciplines of dance, drama and singing, to create ‘triple threat performers.’ Children taking part in Razz’s Got Talent can showcase one or all of these skills. Applicants should prepare either a song, dance or drama piece or a mixture of all three that lasts no longer than three minutes. Children and young people should apply directly to their local school to find out closing dates and any other details. All auditions will be held remotely online to keep within government guidelines.

Source: Franchising

Theatre schools in West Cumbria and Carlisle prepare to re-open

September 9, 2020

Two theatre schools in Cumbria are preparing to open their doors to performers and welcome back budding actors, dancers and singers once again.

Razzamataz West Cumbria and Razzamataz Carlisle say they have been thoroughly briefed by their head office, have passed a new covid-secure health and safety audit and are following all Government guidelines and Children’s Activities Association (CAA) best practice in order to re-open safely.

Matty Aitchison-Rayson, principal of Razzamataz West Cumbria believes that the theatre school can help young people adjust back into social interaction. He said: “Through the performing arts, children learn many life lessons including building resilience, working as a team and emotional intelligence. We believe that these skills are more important now than ever before as children have missed many traditional milestones. More than ever, we can’t wait to get the buzz back of teaching a room of children and watching them learn and progress each week.”

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The theatre school franchise will be focussing on rebuilding children’s self-esteem and belief in themselves as well as getting youngsters fitter and healthier.

Razzamataz West Cumbria are due to re-open on September 5, with classes taking place at Summergrove Halls, Hensingham. Although there is now limited availability to join, the school will be holding taster sessions, where students can find out more. Contact Matty on 01946 848148/07940957894.

Razzamataz Carlisle are planning to re-open on September 12, with classes to be held at Harraby Community Centre. More information on both theatre schools can be found at their websites or Facebook pages.

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Steps to keep the students safe include sanitizer in each room, cleaning protocols, two metre safety distance between each student, plans to stagger classes, reduction of class sizes, no props and attendance at re-opening webinars.

When the pandemic hit the UK, Razzamataz Theatre Schools was just starting its 20 year birthday celebrations, and had many events planned.

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Matty said: “Sadly our large scale events had to be put on hold but we are busy making plans for Disney 2021 and looking into what else we can do for our students who have lost out on so much this year.”

He added: “During the pandemic, we were delighted that we could continue to offer scholarships with The Stage and also our own Future Fund charity to help even more young people experience the joys of performing arts. We are a school where children come to follow their passion in dance, drama and singing but we are also so much more than that. We have so many parents tell us that Razzamataz is the place where their child feels most accepted, it is where they have grown in confidence and it is where they have found lifelong friends.”

By Lynne Wild

Source: News & Star

Franchise Theatre School Extends Support To Families Over The Summer

July 1, 2020

Traditionally, the six-week summer holiday has provided a chance for children and their families to take a break from the routine. With the closure of schools and the disruptions to everyday life, the six-week break is leaving many parents feeling concerned about a further lack of structure.

When schools closed, Razzamataz Theatre Schools responded with a well-considered and researched strategy to take all their classes online, with small groups enabling the students to interact with their teachers and other classmates. Not only have there been regular classes, there’s been a host of special events including masterclasses with performers from West End shows, talks given by Felicity French, casting director for Cameron Mackintosh and former students who are appearing in shows such as &Juliet as well as former Razzamataz Barnet student Tamara Smart who is a young actress with leading roles in many TV shows and films including Artemis Fowl, which is soon to be shown on Disney+.

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In usual times, during the long six-week summer holiday, finding things to keep children entertained day in and day out is not easy. During the pandemic, finding things to keep children active and also interactive with others has been even more challenging, which is why Razzamataz has announced that schools throughout the UK will be offering summer holiday online classes.

“We have had so many testimonials from parents thanking us for continuing to provide classes, which has helped create a structure for family life,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “We have proved that through our small, interactive classes, we can keep the students having fun and maintain a high standard of performing arts training.”

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There are almost 50 Razzamataz schools throughout the UK with summer school classes that will welcome both current and non-Razzamataz students. Some of the typical testimonials from parents include: “Razzamataz Online meant that my daughter was able to interact with her teachers she knows and loves. She was so motivated knowing that they were watching her movement and the fact she was able to ask questions about specific moves was really beneficial. The high Razzamataz standard was maintained throughout.”

During the summer schools, students between the ages of 4-18, will be split into small age appropriate groups to work on either a musical theatre or commercial piece to create a short presentation that is performed at the end of the course. With more and more casting agents looking for performers to create ‘self-tape auditions’ this is a great way of understanding and preparing for the changes in the industry.

As well as the performance side, students will also get to participate in some of the backstage aspects of theatre and the arts. This will include prop making and set and costume design, all created with everyday objects that can be found in the home.

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“Although COVID-19 has changed the way we do things, it doesn’t have to stop us from being creative and engaging young people in a new and exciting way,” explains Denise. “Of course, this is new to us all but the power of our network means that we can collaborate and find the best ways of continuing to provide exciting opportunities for students. We know that parents are also exhausted and although everyone’s situation is unique, many are still reaching out to find activities for their children.”

Even during the pandemic, Razzamataz continues to expand and has recently welcomed five new franchisee Principals who have just completed a week-long training conducted via Zoom. To understand more about the flexible nature of running a Razzamataz Theatre School and learn more about franchising in general, the company are running a number of online Discovery Dens where you can meet the Head Office team and hear from franchise Principals.

Source Franchising

Franchise theatre school network continues to support talented youngsters with thousands of pounds worth of training

May 21, 2020

Despite the closure of schools across the UK, a Dragons’ Den backed theatre school franchise wanted to continue offering incredible opportunities to young people with a passion for the performing arts.

Razzamataz Theatre Schools has been working with children for the last twenty years and has offered in excess of one million pounds in scholarships and grants to help children participate in the theatre arts.

Even during this lockdown period, Razzamataz are digging deep to give children with the drive and determination to make it in the world of performing arts, a chance to achieve their dreams by attending professional performing arts training.

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Razzamataz Theatre Schools across the UK have joined forces with The Stage newspaper to offer scholarships to children and young people to attend their local Razzamataz free of charge for one year, worth up to £855. The scholarship audition process has been taken completely online to adhere to social distancing measures. The deadline for entries is 19th June 2020, so there is still time to get involved.

“We were the first part-time theatre school to work with The Stage newspaper to offer these scholarships and we have seen the amazing results across the UK,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “Now, more than ever, we want to continue to be there for our families and young people in our communities and give them something to look forward to. The pandemic has taken away such a lot for children and teenagers so we were determined to keep this exciting partnership for them.”

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When schools closed, Razzamataz laid out a very thorough plan to keep offering performing arts training online. Not only have the schools been able to continue to support families with regular classes, there have also been a host of special guest workshops and interviews. Over the last few weeks, Razzamataz students have been able to participate in interviews with West End stars Kerry Ellis (Wicked) and Jennifer Tierney (Come From Away) as well as join in commercial classes with Lizzie Gough (Strictly Come Dancing). There have also been special interviews on social media so students can learn more about the industry with Felicity French (casting agent with Cameron Mackintosh) and actress Danielle Fiamanya (&Juliet).

To ensure as many youngsters as possible can enter The Stage scholarships, Razzamataz has created a system that is easily accessible to all.

The competition is open to current and non Razzamataz students aged 6-18. Videos do not need to be professionally filmed and can be emailed, sent via dropbox or uploaded via wetransfer.com to the child’s local Principal.

They will simply need to create a short demo of no more than two minutes long showing them performing either a musical theatre song and dance, commercial dance (hip hop or street), pop song, drama improvisation or scripted drama piece. Applicants will also complete a short application form detailing why they would like to take this opportunity.

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Many former Razzamataz students have gone on to work professionally in West End shows including Hamilton, &Juliet, Matilda, School of Rock and many TV shows as well as a major film franchise. Past winners include Jess from the Seniors group at Razzamataz Medway who secured her scholarship on her seventh attempt.

“I started when I was eight because I loved to dance and I also wanted to make friends,” says Jess. “But I was so anxious and nervous that I almost quit. Throughout my time at Razzamataz, I’ve been extremely lucky playing some amazing roles. I think my biggest achievement was performing at Her Majesty’s Theatre and I remember the buzz I felt the whole day. I was amazed that I actually won the scholarship, it didn’t feel real because I had tried so hard each year but I’ve now learned that you shouldn’t give up because every year I came back stronger.”

Jess’s story echoes what many past scholarship winners say as Denise explains: “Many of our past scholarship winners have told us that winning gave them a boost of confidence and the belief that they could achieve if they set their mind to it. Offering children these life opportunities are part of the Razzamataz ethos and makes us all proud to be part of the network. Even during these very challenging times, we wanted to send out a very clear message to our students and their families that we are there for them, supporting and encouraging them to never give up on their dreams.”

Source: BM Magazine