Horsforth performing arts school is getting its pupils’ names in lights (October 30, 2008)
A performing arts school based in Horsforth has a great reputation for providing young stars for stage and screen but they are also rapidly gaining a reputation as star performers in charity fund raising.
Youngsters from Horsforth’s Scala have raised 6,600 pounds for Martin House Children’s Hospice with their show Born to Perform which was staged in Yeadon earlier this year.
The young artistes have received a big thank you for their ‘amazing’ efforts in a letter from Martin House.
Scala has expressed its own thanks to everyone who came along to watch the performance and who helped to make the show a success.
Director Lynne Walker said: “We would all like to say a huge thank you to everyone, especially Wharfedale Newspapers for publicising the event for us and all your readers who bought tickets and came along to see the children perform. Through your support the show was an astounding success with the final evening being a sell-out! “A cheque for an amazing 6,600 pounds has now been sent to Martin House Children’s Hospice as a result of the Scala show and various other fundraising events undertaken at Scala studios throughout the year.”
Lynne added: “We are aware of the huge amount of money that Martin House needs to find each year to provide their amazing services, free of charge, to children with life-limiting illnesses and their families. Scala will therefore continue our fundraising efforts with an aim to send further cheques to the children at Martin House in the future.”
The hospice needs to find 3.9m pounds each year to keep going – and only seven per cent of this comes from statutory sources.
l Children from Scala are involved in a number of projects for stage and screen. Two young actresses are shooting a dark three-parter for Revolution Films starring Sean Bean, Martin Shaw and Mark Addy – Red Riding Trilogy.
Nine-year-old Amber Freeman plays Claire Kemplay in 1974 for director Julian Jarrold while eight-year-old Tamsin Mitchell will be seen as Hazel Atkins in 1983, directed by Anand Tucker. These are debut roles for both girls.
Eight-year-old Sophie Downham has filmed Unforgiven playing the demanding role of Katy Slater, alongside former Coronation Street star Suranne Jones.
Holly Messenger, 13, had a scary time acting with a red-eyed monster playing the part of young Sophie in the new horror movie Splintered for Not a Number Productions.
BBC’s The Damned United provided a part for six-year-old Sydney Wade playing Brian Clough’s daughter Elizabeth.
Katie Pearson, who appeared in the last series of My Parents Are Aliens for Kindle Films, has been filming the role of Nadia for Nickelodeon in a pilot programme, The Franken Twins, about a Transylvanian school for vampires.
Nine-year-old Imani McLaren travelled to Dublin to film the role of Maya – daughter of the renowned actress Sophie Okenodo in BBC drama The Return.
Perhaps the most famous Scala Kid so far is Horsforth’s Matthew Lewis, 19, who has figured in and every one of the Harry Potter films, having recently finished filming in the fifth, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
Former Menston St Mary’s School pupil Matthew landed the role of Neville Longbottom seven years ago.
Other Scala kids hitting the headlines include six-year-old Annelise Manojlovic who is now in her third year as Gaby in TV soap Emmerdale in which fellow Scala kid Conner Lee, 4, plays Terry’s pride and joy TJ. Conner has been in the soap since birth.
Appearing in The Royal series seven are James Noble, 10, and Chloe Proctor, 13, who spent days under rubble in their roles as Simon and Louise, filming for an episode in the new series of the hospital drama.
Charlotte Thornton will be seen as Joanne Oatridge in series seven.
On stage 12 year-old Daniel Leach has been cast in the latest Opera North production of I Capuletti e I Montecchi. Other Scala children are appearing in Tosca.
Aaron Eastwood, 13, went straight from his double success with Opera North to play Peter in an episode of YTV series Heartbeat.
Sam Laurie, 11, and Jack Downham, seven, are currently filming a dramatic episode of the popular ITV favourite.
A number of children from the school have also been used in television commercials with Sam Laurie, 11, in a Co-op seeds commercial; Josh Coggill, 9, along with his pet caterpillar, Norman, in a series of adverts and point-of-sale material for Kingsmill bread; Joe Switalski, 16, in a Kellogg’s Wake up to Breakfast TV campaign (Joe can also be seen fighting an animated spot in a T-Zone commercial); and Max Lee Fowkes, 10, continues to be seen in a Kingsmill TV campaign.
l Scala Kids Casting, the schools agency has a reputation nation-wide for providing first-class, well-disciplined children for film and TV. Its children regularly appear in feature films, TV programmes and commercials, with several becoming regular members of some of the country’s top TV shows.
l Further details about the school can be found at scalakids.com.