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

Franchise Theatre School Students Show Support For NHS And Community

May 5, 2020

We may be living in strange times but that hasn’t stopped a franchise theatre school network of students, families and staff from reaching out and doing some wonderful things to help their communities and the heroes in the NHS and keyworker roles.

 
There are almost 50 Razzamataz Theatre Schools across the UK and Ireland and each school plays an important part in their communities, with the children using their performing arts skills to bring cheer and help their neighbours through the lockdown.

“We are so proud of our whole Razzamataz community and how the children have responded to the situation they find themselves in,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “As a network, we have always worked hard to raise money for local charities and the children are used to using their talents to do this but it has been absolutely heart-warming to see how they have used their own initiative to bring smiles to people’s faces.”

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Millie, an Inters student from Razzamataz York wrote a song which was performed by York District Hospital’s Maternity Unity. Millie wrote a Fighting Covid-19 song, which was performed by midwife mum Nicky Wasawo and her amazing co-workers. Not only are they fighting hard, saving lives and delivering babies, but they also made time to create a wonderful uplifting video.

Over the Easter break, many of the students, their families and Principals and staff, did their bit to spread some cheer. Students Mia and Harry from Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield spent their time in lockdown making little Easter gifts for their local Care Home, Principal Jessica from Razzamataz Brentwood and Hornchurch arranged for Easter Eggs to be sent to the local doctor’s surgery from the whole team to say thank you and cheering up the community, Razzamataz Durham student Logan and family produced a fun Easter egg trail for the children in their village.

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Using their performing arts skills, Grace from Razzamataz Medway Seniors has been singing for the elderly outside so they can watch from their balcony, Luke from the Inters class at Maidstone has been singing for his neighbours on his driveway and Razamataz Maidstone students and team also put together a song, You Wil Be Found, to thank our NHS and keyworkers and to bring the Razz Family together.

To recognise all the lovely things that the students are doing, Razzamataz Medway has established a Razz Acts of Kindness Week, where students can win a prize for their amazing efforts. Cerys from Inters has been volunteering at Rochester Hygiene Bank and Gracie from Minis has shown tremendous empathy by baking scones and chocolate cakes to give to her 89 year old neighbour who recently lost his wife.

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Also going above and beyond are students at Razzamataz Tonbridge. Senior student, Lola Bromley, has been posting Razz Rainbows through all the front doors in her road and has taken it upon herself to deliver a weekly basket of vegetables from her family’s allotment to local vulnerable elderly residents. Junior student Callum Coleman, has also been posting Razz Rainbows through every single door in his area and has also started a dog walking rota for his elderly neighbours.

Principals are also doing their bit to help in their communities. Four Principals have taken on keyworker roles, Michael French, Principal Razzamataz Barnet, Georgia Davies Principal Razzamataz Bristol North, Caroline Kavanagh, Principal Razzamataz Horsham and Michaela Crumpton, Principal Bristol South.

Marc Kelly, Principal of Razzamataz Hackney will be taking on a challenge to raise money for the NHS and our own charity Future Fund. Marc started his Razzamataz journey as a teacher in the Carlisle school before having his own school in Hackney so he will be travelling the distance of 467km over twenty days with the help of his mum and dad. Marc will be running, dad will be cycling and mum will be walking with the aim of doing a combined 22.5km per day.

To celebrate our community of keyworkers, every week students are asked to Nominate a Hero via the Razzamataz social media channels. There will be different gifts every week, from a champagne high tea, massage, pedicure, spa day and beer keg. It’s our small way of saying a heartfelt thank you for everything they are doing.

“Like every business, we wanted to show our gratitude to our keyworkers and NHS staff and this is just one small way in which we can do our bit,” adds Denise. “The resilience that our children and teams have shown in this difficult time has been incredible and we could not be prouder of them all.”

With more than twenty years’ experience in the theatre school industry, Razzamataz were quick to respond to school closures and have rolled out Razzamataz Online classes to offer continuity in training for students and a lifeline for families. “I don’t think any of us realised just how isolated we had become and how much we truly missed our Saturday sessions until we were able to join in today,” one of the many parent testimonials.

For people looking to open up their own theatre school or just find out more about the franchise industry in general, Razzamataz is running a series of online Discovery Dens where you can meet the team and some of the franchisees and find out about the benefits of running a flexible business, which provides so much happiness to so many people in your community.

Source: Franchising

Razzamataz Supporting New Parents Through The Pandemic

April 25, 2020

Having a baby and toddler is a blessing but it of course comes with its challenges. Through this pandemic, the difficulties have manifested for everyone so it’s no wonder parents are stressed and anxious.

It is common to feel overwhelmed trying to care for a baby and a toddler and what gets most people through, is being part of a community of other new parents so you can discuss sleeping, feeding and any worries as well as laugh at all the shared funny experiences that you have.

 
The impact that Covid-19 will have on mental health is still to be discussed but what is known is that there is a lack of support through interaction with others. This combined with parents having to juggle work and other commitments, it truly is a difficult time for many.

The Dragons’ Den backed franchise Razzamataz Theatre Schools launched its Early Years classes as a result of the demand for more activities for younger children and their parents to do together. Classes start at just six months and are aligned to early years social and emotional development. This means that during the classes, the children get involved in sensory play, creative learning and interactive experiences, which will help to support their individual milestones. But as well as the benefits to the child, the classes have provided a sanctuary for parents to meet up to share experiences and create memories.

With the closure of schools, nurseries and play centres, Razzamataz made the decision to take their classes online, to provide the social interaction that has been missing. In order to do this, the classes have been kept to limited numbers to allow teachers to give one to one time and a respite for busy parents.

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“In much the same way in which you would go to a class with your baby and young child, these classes have been structured so the teacher can engage with each student so the parent can be confident that we will keep the child’s attention,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “The aim of the class is to give parents a respite and a chance to have quality time with their child. We won’t be asking them to buy in lots of additional toys or equipment, everything that we use in the class are just common household items because we understand that parents don’t have the time to be prepping for each class.”
As well as enjoying the activities where the children are brought into an exciting adventure in performing arts, there will be time at the end of the session for parents to interact and feel less alone. The classes have only just rolled out and already the feedback has been hugely positive as a parent at Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield explains: “Thank you and can’t express the gratitude I have for you and Razzamataz and being so ‘on it’ at this time. As a single mum in a one-bedroom flat you’ve been an absolute life saver of Isiah’s and mine’s mental health.”

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To keep families going through the week, the teacher will set little activities that they can work on and show in class, giving the children a strong focus and provide some structure, which is very much missing at the moment for many people. “We really miss our Tiny Tots classes with Tara, I am looking forward to breaking up the week, having some fun and being a part of a group again,” says mum from Razzamataz Tyrone. “Sharing our experiences with each other now being at home with young children will be a nice change during these strange times.”

For some parents, taking the classes online has given them the flexibility to be part of their child’s exciting performing arts journey as a Razzamataz Tots mum in Omagh, Northern Ireland explains: “As a teacher, I haven’t had the opportunity to attend classes with my daughter as she normally goes with her granny. I am looking forward to experiencing the class with her myself now with the new online classes, she can’t wait to see Tara and Razz Ted again.”

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As well as the regular classes, there will be some special additional opportunities including fitness classes that parents can join in with too. Many of the schools are also going live on Facebook with fun activities such as quizzes, drama games and bedtime reading.

The online classes will replicate a real class as much as possible, with dedicated time throughout so children and their parents can ask questions to teachers, connect with their classmates and become confident performers on screen. For parents, there is a pay as you go option, with no monthly commitment or direct debit so families can dip in and out depending on their circumstances. The classes are open to existing and new students.

Source: Franchising

Meet Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield: a franchise success story

January 20, 2020

For 20 years, Razzamataz Theatre Schools have been providing young people across the country with exceptional training in dance, drama and singing, as well as exciting opportunities to perform.

While Razzamataz itself is a brilliant success story – an appearance on Dragons’ Den in 2007 and an investment from Duncan Bannatyne propelled the business into the limelight – there are many similar success stories among the hundreds of franchisees across the UK.

 
One of those stories is that of Nick Furlong and Gemma Hextall. The pair took over Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield in Birmingham in 2015, and since then it has become not only a multi-award-winning franchise, but an important part of the local community.

Furlong and Hextall had always wanted to run a theatre school, but they didn’t think it would happen so quickly. The pair first met at college, where Furlong was training in acting and Hextall in musical theatre. After working professionally in the industry for a while, they decided to study for degrees at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. In 2015, at the start of their third year, the pair spotted the opportunity to take over the Sutton Coldfield school on a mailing list that had popped into Furlong’s inbox.

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“We originally ignored the email,” Furlong explains, “because we were still finishing our degrees. But then a couple of days later we looked at it and thought it was worth a call. So we called Razzamataz head office and it sounded like an opportunity we couldn’t refuse. It just went from there.”

Although they trained as performers, and had taken a number of other roles in the industry, it was when the couple started teaching that Furlong and Hextall realised how rewarding it was. They had worked at other theatre schools, but when they made their first call to Razzamataz head office it became clear for Furlong that “Razzamataz ticked so many boxes for things that were missing in other places we had worked at”.

“It has a strong ethos, its curriculum is modern and up to date, it covers commercial and musical theatre, it splits the age groups into sensible ranges from four to 18, there is great support from head office and there are plenty of opportunities for training to help schools succeed.”

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The ethos throughout Razzamataz classes is about having fun, making new friends and enjoying being active, which leads to happy and healthy children. Students have also gained professional performing work from the West End to major television programmes.

With 20 years’ experience, Razzamataz has perfected the way it trains people to run their own franchises. It offers comprehensive training on how to run a business, from marketing to keeping the office in order, and provides a support mentor to be a source of advice whenever it’s needed. There are regular webinars and training opportunities so that anyone can run a Razzamataz school, even if they have no business experience.

When Furlong and Hextall took over their franchise in the summer of 2015 there were 38 students. By the end of the first term there were 80. That soared into triple figures when they added a Saturday school in 2016, and now there are about 330 students attending classes at Sutton Coldfield. Hextall says it was “a pretty crazy time”, as the two of them began the process of taking over the school while finishing off their degrees.

Related: Razzamataz Franchise

Furlong says: “Both mine and Gemma’s families have their own businesses so we both had the desire, but neither of us had any real experience and certainly no formal qualifications. Franchising opened our eyes to what can be achieved and was a complete contrast to my own schooling experience, where I was told I was unlikely to reach my goals. We met other young franchisees so there was a very clear route to success. We have support mentors who remind us that we are on the right track and the whole system is there to take away any doubts. Without franchising, we would have got a few weeks in and been overwhelmed and thought we were too young, and it wasn’t realistic for us.”

For Hextall, seeing the way Razzamataz transforms the lives of young people is one of the biggest rewards. “You see people come in on their first day barely able to speak, almost shivering in a corner, and over the year they develop until they’re singing solo on a stage. We had one student who was particularly nervous. It took her weeks to even speak to anybody. Two years later she joined our cast at Her Majesty’s Theatre and sang on a West End stage. It’s immensely emotional.”

“A highlight for me,” Furlong says, “is seeing our team grow around us. When we started we employed three staff. Now we have a team of 15. Some of them were students, some joined as classroom assistants and now they’re teachers. I love developing them, seeing them grow as people.”

With so many other performers and teachers in the network, and a friendly head office always available to talk to, a Razzamataz franchise not only offers a flexible business, but one that is backed up by training and support whenever it’s needed.

Furlong’s advice? “Be prepared to put in the time, the effort, the commitment and the dedication. If you do that you will absolutely see the rewards and they are really worth it.”

As well as rewards, there have been awards, too. Furlong and Hextall’s success means that Sutton Coldfield Razzamataz has won a number of awards. Last year they were in the final three for most outstanding young franchisees at the Approved Franchise Association Awards, and ended up coming second. “We were really amazed. That was the whole of the UK in every sector, not just performing arts,” Furlong says.

In Razzamataz’s own awards, Sutton Coldfield has twice won best community spirit, an award that shows the school is not just succeeding as a business, but as a valued part of the community. “It’s the one we’re most proud of,” Furlong says.

In the course of almost five years, there have been some real highlights. Furlong says: “I remember our first showcase in Birmingham in 2016. It was the first show we’d put on, it was something we’d achieved together, and it was a really humbling moment.”

“But the highs happen every week,” Hextall points out. “I couldn’t just pick one, because every week when I go in there’s something new.”

That’s what makes it worth starting a franchise. You don’t need the business know-how – with 20 years of knowledge and experience, Razzamataz will help with that. All you need is the desire to build something successful and rewarding, and something that changes the lives of young people.

Source: The Stage

New part-time business – Razzamataz Early Years

July 11, 2018

Razzamataz, the theatre school, has launched a new low-cost franchise to appeal to those looking for a part-time, flexible opportunity in children’s performing arts.

The new offering, Razzamataz Early Years, is also suitable for those who do not have the relevant experience that is required for its theatre school franchise.

Denise Hutton-Gosney, managing director and founder of Razzamataz, explains: “We run regular Discovery Den sessions across the UK where we meet many different potential franchisees.

Related: Buying and Running A UK Children’s Franchises – What Does It Take?

“We can spot quite quickly who will make wonderful theatre school principals but we also felt that many had lots of enthusiasm and potential but just not enough experience or time commitment to launch their own Razzamataz Theatre School. This is why we launched our Early Years franchise, which doesn’t require the same time or performing arts experience as our regular theatre school.”

The new opportunity offers a brand new class, Razz Tiny Tots, which is especially designed for babies aged from six to 24 months along with their parent or carer. The franchise also includes its established products of Razz Tots for children age two and three and Razz Minis for those aged four and five.

Hutton-Gosney continues: “These classes will be run during the week rather than a Saturday and unlike the main school, there won’t be an end of year show to organise. This makes the franchise much more accessible to a wide range of people who can combine it with another part-time job or looking after children.”

Razzamataz says that another benefit to its Early Years franchise is that it only requires a minimal financial outlay compared to many other franchises. The franchise fee is £5,000 plus VAT and there is a £2,500 launch marketing budget.

Launch incentive
As a special launch incentive, the company has announced that it is looking for three dynamic franchisees to pilot its product in return for a 50 per cent discount. This reduces the franchise fee to only £2,500 plus VAT.

Hutton-Gosney adds: “Although the price of the franchise is less, each franchisee will receive full support and training. We are very excited about our new product because we will be able to welcome a much wider circle of franchisees to our friendly network.”

Source: Franchise World