Our small act of thoughtfulness goes viral!

A Best mum’s tweet about her son’s experience with us has gone viral. This is the tweet that caused the excitement from @naomi_rovnick said:- “My boy is autistic and his drama group have adapted Twelfth Night to write a part for him where he runs on stage and interrupts the dialogue to reel off lists of facts about the play. Knowing loads of facts is his superpower. He loves his part.”

Review from a Parent at Best Theatre Arts | Drama and Singing School in St Albans, Hertfordshire

At the time of writing, the tweet has gathered over 1 million views, 106K likes and 5k retweets, as well as hundreds of comments wishing Naomi’s son well and praising the school in question, Best Theatre Arts. One responder even said:-
“I read this after listening to the farce in Parliament and was wallowing in despair. This was a beam of sunlight. An affirmation of human decency. The confirmation that this is a country we can be proud to live in because of it’s people and despite its leadership” (@GlynGriffiths7)

The reaction has largely been praise for an act of creative inclusivity. So often the individual needs of children can be swamped by the need to conform, to follow syllabuses or to follow the herd. There are few opportunities to express individualism, especially for those with differing needs such as autistic children. By creating and adapting plays and classes to embrace differing casts, ages and needs over the years, Best Theatre Arts has tried to open up just these kinds of opportunities for its students.

We are so pleased Naomi’s son is so happy. The creation of this role is a small act of thoughtfulness by our wonderful teacher, Dawn Hudson, but it totally affirms everything we believe in – that all children should have the chance to find their light. Best was founded on that principle 24 years ago and it remains our central tenet today. Every child is different and special and it is that diversity that makes each of our groups unique and rich.

Our proudest moments have largely gone unnoticed by the audience – often a child doing something that might have seemed impossible, or at least unlikely. For example, one of our students when aged 4 spent much of his time hiding under a table. Eleven years later he was leading our cast at the National Theatre. But everywhere there are small steps, little victories, meaningful moments. And these are positive, confidence-building experiences the students take with them into the rest of their lives.

Find a Partner poster released

Barbie Vetruvian 1David writes…

It is nice when something you’ve created is described as ‘brilliant’ by the National Theatre marketing people. Such was the praise for our ‘Find A Partner’ poster. The evolution of the poster is quite interesting:- we wanted to show a young person trapped in a format expected of them – so we picked Barbie as the Vetruvian Man.

Find A Partner draft poster 2

We added a splash of Love Island and a more diverse team of Barbie dolls……

Find AS Partner draft poster 3And then a heart but that just looked weird…

Until Lisa found the spray heart and we added a pool of blood and voila! A poster that we think accurately reflects the mood and themes of the play together with a huge amount of gore! What’s not to like?

 

 

Best makes Connections with the National Theatre

Best has been selected to take part in the 2022 National Theatre Connections programme. This is hugely exciting, following on from our participation in 2015 where we were selected to appear at the National Theatre itself with ‘The Boy Preference’, and our amazing production of ‘These Bridges’ in 2018 at ArtsDepot, Finchley.

Our chosen play is ‘Find a Partner!’ by Miriam Battye – a ‘Black Mirror’ tale of reality TV with ultimate jeopardy.

Following our production in our home venue, The Maltings Theatre, on 7 & 8 March 2022 we’ll be touring the show to the fantastic Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton – we can’t wait.

Best welcomes Eden Lole as Musical Director

Eden Lole - Head of Music | Best Theatre Arts | Theatre School | Hertford & St Albans | HertfordshireWe are thrilled to introduce you to our new Musical Director, Eden Lole.

Eden is a singer, musical director, songwriter, performer and pianist, who began teaching at just 17-years old to her younger peers at school. She continued to teach her throughout her University years, where she graduated with a first-class honour in Music Performance at the British Institute of Modern Music (BIMM).

During and after her studies, Eden performed at prestigious music venues across London, including O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, Omeara and Notting Hill Arts Club. She has fronted and directed her band for the past 4 years, whilst recording and co-producing her own music for her solo project Eden Lole, so she’s really excited at the prospect of the brand-new Company on Fridays!

Eden also studied Acting up until her degree, so she has a real passion for performing through song, telling a story and teaching students to connect with their audience. She believes everyone has a singing voice, so she is guaranteed to bring even the shyest of singers out of their shell!

Eden will also be offering private 1-2-1 lessons and will be able to take singers through the Rock School gradings which, like LAMDA certification, offer UCAS points at the higher levels. If you’d be interested in training individually with Eden, please let us know.

We’re delighted to welcome Eden andthank Isobel R, Dominic W and Livia T for their help in the interview process!

Best Hertford moves to Heath Mount

Heath Mount School | Acting workshops | Musical Theatre | Best Theatre Arts | Hertford | HertfordshireWe are delighted to announce that our Hertford classes are moving to Heath Mount School near Watton-at-Stone. It is a fantastic venue – beautiful buildings and grounds and super facilities, inclding a brand new Performing Arts Centre.

There’s more news here, and there’s a free workshop session on 11th September where prospective parents and students can get a good feel for what will be happening.

We couldn’t be more excited!

Heath Mount School | Acting workshops | Musical Theatre | Best Theatre Arts | Hertford | Hertfordshire

David on the radio

My dulcet tones rang forth across the airwaves last night on 92.6FM Radio Verulam Parents’ Show with Lydia El Khouri and Seema Barker.
By the end I felt quite humbled by their support for what Best has done over lockdown! I am genuinely proud of what we have achieved but now there is so much to do!
I guess the main take-away I wanted to leave, aside from encouraging people to bok for BestFest, Olympiaganza and our summer courses, was a message to all parents that it’s OK to bring your kids out again and that activities like Best, sports clubs etc running COVID safe all help enormously in reconnecting the children with the world post-lockdown.
Here’s the interview:-

In the meantime, to book for BestFest please go to ticketsource.co.uk/bestfest

for Olympiaganza (which is selling extremely quickly) it’s https://maltingstheatre.co.uk/whats-on/olympiaganza/book

and for all our summer courses it’s https://besttheatrearts.com/book-classes/

We’re back this summer!

The great news is that we are BACK this summer term face-to-face and working towards an amazing end of term celebration – BestFest. Additionally we can now confirm that our summer courses will run 26-30 July, 2-6 August and 9-13 August.

LOCKDOWN 3 – WE’VE GOT THIS, FOLKS!

So we are back in full lockdown but fear not, for Best has it all under control.

For our musical theatres students (and anyone else who wants to join in aged 6 to 16) we have Maskerade – a 6 week online filmed project.

For our younger students aged 3 to 6 we have James and the Giant Peach

And for our Best Schol of SActing, Byete and feelgood Factor studnets it’s business as usual, just online!

We’re back again after Lockdown 2

Best, Best School of Acting, TheBYTE and First Class are BACK this week following our enforced lockdown break. Well done to all those who took part in our online classes – you made the lockdown fly past!

Halloween Spooktacular!

It has been an amazing term so far with our students showing just how adaptable and positive they are, coping effortlessly with all the new ways of doing things…

And we ended the half term with a brilliant Halloween Spooktacular where the costumes were creative and hugely entertaining, and the classes laced with weird spookiness too.