Safe Halloween fun at StageScreen

Students enjoyed some safe, socially-distanced Hallowe’en fun today because spooky October 31 fell on a Saturday.

Here are our Starlets group, all aged four to six, at our Covid-secure venue, the Burton Albion Community Hub, doing their best Addams Family routine.

Halloween fun at StageScreen

Our staff members also joined the fancy dress fun. Here’s our Principal, Heather Gallagher, who also made sure she stayed in our #TeamPurple colours.

We thought you might also enjoy another look at this Addams Family music video, put together by students from all age group classes two years ago.

Centre Stage Door Performing Arts Competition

The Centre Stage Door Performing Arts Competition is open for entries.

Centre Stage Door Performing Arts competition heats

The competition is being organised by Heather Gallagher, founder of StageScreen and StageScreen Musical Theatre Associates. There will be two heats leading up to the world championship finals at Easter 2021.  All entries and judging will be done online.

There are more than 30 different sections in dance, vocal and drama with six age categories in each section and open and novice sections.

Entries for the first heat are open NOW. The closing date is November 7, 2020. Email for an information pack.

Katherine Jarowicki, Christina Modestou and Tom O'Brien

The judges for heat 1

A panel of three professional adjudicators will judge all the entries.

Katherine Jarowicki will adjudicate the dance categories. She is a professional dancer, teacher and choreographer. She has worked in fashion, television, cruise ships and theatre with some of the biggest brands and companies in the industry.

Christina Modestou will adjudicate the vocal categories. She is a Welsh singer and actress who originated the role of Anne Boleyn in Six, the musical about the wives of Henry VIII. Christina agreed to become Patron of StageScreen MTA after running online workshops for StageScreen and StageScreen MTA students earlier this year.

West End theatre director Tom O’Brien will adjudicate the drama categories. He has been the patron of StageScreen since September 2018. Tom worked as a professional actor for five years in plays, musicals, film and TV before turning to directing in 2010. He was resident director of the Cameron Mackintosh International Tour of Miss Saigon and directed Half A Sixpence at the Noel Coward Theatre, in London’s West End. He has also achieved success as a playwright.

How much does it cost to enter?

Entry fees are standard across all of the categories and age groups.

  • Solos – £4
  • Duets – £6
  • Trios – £9
  • Troupes/ensembles – £2 per performer.

What will entrants receive?

Every competitor will receive individual feedback and an e-certificate.

There will be medals for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place in all sections.

Anyone who receives 85 marks or above in either the November heats or the second heats to be held in February 2021, will qualify for the World Championship Final at Easter 2021!

Industry masterclass and private lessons will be the prizes for our final.

Email to receive an information pack.

You can also follow the competition on Facebook through the centrestagedoor page.

The Show Must Go Online

Finale of the Show Must Go Online

Our sister school, StageScreen Musical Theatre Associates, is thrilled to be among the first organisations in the UK to rehearse, perform and upload to YouTube the virtual musical The Show Must Go Online.

Show must go online detailsThis is the first musical of its kind – one written during lockdown to be rehearsed and performed remotely.

StageScreen MD Heather Gallagher said: “When lockdown started it soon became clear that we would be unable to put on any performances in person for a while. All our classes and workshops went online. Then we found out that Beat By Beat Press, a group of writers and arts educators in New York City who write children’s musicals, had created this special show where each performer could record their segment separately.

“When all the videos are edited together, they tell the story of a group of passionate students desperate to keep their annual musical alive online during the pandemic.”

“Schools in 40 different countries have so far acquired the rights to perform The Show Must Go Online, and we are thrilled to be among the first in the UK.”

You can watch The StageScreen production here:

StageScreen MTA is the elite performance arm of the StageScreen organisation and is an audition-only company for students aged from 8 to 21.

MTA classes run in South Derbyshireat Oakland Village, Swadlincote. We are delighted that we held our first in-person MTA classes on September 9 – one day ahead of our YouTube premiere of The Show Must Go Online.

Congratulations to all our virtual performers

The very first Centre Stage Virtual Performing Arts Competition was a huge success with more than 300 video entries emailed to us. Congratulations to all who took part in the classes for speech and drama; dance and vocal.

Each entry will receive an adjudicator’s report and certificate with trophies and medals for the highest marks.

Entries were submitted by video and watched and assessed by four professional adjudicators ahead of a live Zoom bursary final held on August 29. Twelve entrants from across the classes were invited to perform again by the adjudicators.

Virtual performing arts festival bursary finalists

Our 12 bursary finalists

Head adjudicator, and founder of StageScreen, Heather Gallagher said: “Wow! What a treat the Bursary final was! Well done to every single performer- we could have chosen any of the 12 as very worthy winners!”

After a difficult deliberation our junior bursary winner, who won £50, was seven-year-old dancer Bronte Ashmore for her entry to the lyrical class.

The senior bursary winner, who won £100, was 16-year-old singer Isabelle Byrne for her entry in the CCM pop solo class.

Our £25 StageScreen Musical Theatre Associates Vouchers (to be used against any of our workshop or fees) were awarded to: Laila Parry (modern dance class) and Amelia Nixon (musical theatre vocal).

The other eight bursary finalists were: Rose Dawson (contemporary monologue); Freddie Dawson (Shakespeare monologue); Kiya Sanwalka (ballet); Jenna Stephenson (contemporary comedy monologue); Aimee Rowe (own choreography); Ethan Shimwell (unaccompanied vocal); Effie Lennon Ballard (unaccompanied vocal) and Maisie Axton (lyrical).

The virtual award winners in the three sections are listed below.

Speech and Drama

Overall Junior Aggregate Winner – Libby Falkingham

Overall Inter Aggregate Winner – Rose Dawson/Jenna Stephenson

Overall Senior Aggregate Winner – Freddie Dawson

Overall Open Aggregate Winner – Jo Kingman

Endeavour Award – Maia Violet Holmes


Overall Junior Aggregate Winner – Ethan Shimwell

Overall Inter Aggregate Winner – Georgia Barley

Overall Senior Aggregate Winner – Isabelle Byrne

Highest mark Junior – Ethan Shimwell

Highest mark Inter – Ruby Stewart/Amelia Nixon

Highest mark Senior – Isabelle Byrne

Endeavour Award – Hannah Minness


Overall Junior Aggregate Winner – Kiya Sanwalka

Overall Inter Aggregate Winner – Aimee Rowe

Overall Senior Aggregate Winner – Maisie Axton

Highest mark Junior – Bronte Ashmore

Highest mark Inter – Aimee Rowe

Highest mark Senior – Maisie Axton

Highest mark Lyrical – Maisie Axton

Highest mark Contemporary – Aimee Rowe

Highest mark Ballet – Kiya Sanwalka

Highest mark Modern – Maisie Axton/Aimee Rowe

Highest mark Tap – Emily Stebbeds

Highest mark Musical Theatre (with or without song) – Eleni Bott

Endeavour Award – Lily Cockram

Centre Stage Virtual Performing Arts Festival trophies and medals

Some of the awards that will be posted out to winners

Winners of each class were as follows:

Speech and Drama

Screen Acting

Junior – Libby Falkingham

Inter – Hazel Proud

Senior – Dan O’Neil

Own Humorous Verse

Open – Logan Powell

Harry Potter Prose

Junior – Libby Falkingham

Open – Jo Kingman

David Walliams Prose

Inter – Brandon Lawson

Open – Jo Kingman

Contemporary Comedy Monologue

Junior – Zoe Cross

Inter – Jenna Stephenson

Shakespeare Monologue

Inter – Amelia May Jones

Senior – Freddie Dawson

Open – Jo Kingman

Acting, Contemporary Monologue

Junior – Grace Rees

Inter – Rose Dawson/Jenna Stephenson

Senior – Isabelle Byrne

Open – Jo Kingman

Speech Solo

Junior – Lily Sharples

Inter – Maia Violet Holmes


CCM Pop Solo

Junior 1 – Lucie Anna Ward

Junior 2 – Ethan Shimwell

Inter 1 – Imogen Burton

Inter 2 – Georgia Barley

Senior – Isabelle Byrne

Musical Theatre (post-1960)

Junior 1 – Lucie Anna Ward

Junior 2 – Ethan Shimwell

Inter 1 – Amelia Nixon

Inter 2 – Ruby Stewart

Senior – Isabelle Byrne

Open – Leah Springham

Musical Theatre (pre-1960)

Junior –  Ethan Shimwell

Inter 1 – Caitlin Cole

Inter 2 – Olivia Carroll-Walsh

Senior – Georgia King

Open – Emily Hyde

Unaccompanied Vocal

Junior – Ethan Shimwell

Inter 1 – Effie Lennon Ballard

Senior – Hannah Minness

Musical Theatre Duet

Senior – Anna Milne and Emily Haywood

Vocal Solo

Junior 1 – Lucie Anna Ward

Junior 2 – Sophia Affleck

Inter 1 – Amelia Nixon

Inter 2 – Liberty Skye Woodhead

Senior – Isabelle Byrne



Junior 1 – Sophia Reid

Junior 2 – Bronte Ashmore

Inter 1 – Zahara Monfries

Inter 2 – Lily Wheeler

Senior – Maisie Axton


Junior – Lily Clarke

Inter 1 – Keeley Byrne

Inter 2 – Aimee Rowe

Senior – Kira Caple


Junior 1 – Sophia Reid

Junior 2 – Kiya Sanwalka

Inter 1 – Isobel Hanson

Inter 2 – Ellie Preston

Senior – Katie Dale


Junior 1 – Sophia Reid

Junior 2 – Laila Parry

Inter 1 – Keeley Byrne

Inter 2 – Aimee Rowe

Senior – Maisie Axton

Musical Theatre Dance only

Junior 1 – Lilly Hendrick

Inter – Rebecca Harrison


Junior 1 – Emma Willey

Junior 2 – Bronte Ashmore

Inter 1 – Maria Bott

Inter 2 – Emily Stebbeds

Senior – Reece Lilley

Musical Theatre Song with Dance

Junior 1 – Emma Willey

Junior 2 – Eleni Bott

Inter 1 – Lily Cockram

Inter 2 – Liberty Skye Woodhead/Isabel Mead

Senior – Hannah Minness

Classical Duet

Inter – Natasha Harper & Hannah Stephenson

Classical Duet With or Without Song

Junior – Olivia Crawford & Nicola King

Inter – Jodie Thorpe & Scarlett Pratt

Senior – Lilly Griffiths & Melissa James

Own Choreography

Junior 1 – Molly Bowes

Junior 2 – Florence Burt

Inter 1 – Isabella Hammond

Inter 2 – Aimee Rowe

Senior – Nicola Freeman



Special Tshirt gift for all students

Today saw our Principal drive to the homes of more than 50 students to deliver a special gift as a thank-you – their own specially-designed Quaranteampurple t-shirts!

Tshirts delivered to students during lockdown

It was so lovely to see so many smiling faces – from a safe distance! 💜

While lockdown continues, students have been doing lessons via Zoom. They miss each other, and our teachers miss them. But, we are so grateful to all our students and parents for being so supportive during lockdown and enabling us to continue to teach the children week in and week out.

We can’t wait to see you all again, once it is safe to do so.

Quaranteampurple tshirts

Heather Gallagher scoops prestigious award

Heather Gallagher, principal and founder of StageScreen and StageScreen Musical Theatre Associates, scooped the prestigious Woman Who solopreneur award in the Creative World category today.

Heather Gallagher receives award

Ian O’Donnell, MBE, from the Federation of Small Businesses presents Heather with her Solopreneur award in October 2019

At an awards ceremony at The Warwickshire Golf and Country Club, Heather was announced as the winner. The judges said they felt that StageScreen and StageScreen MTA had a vision and a purpose and unlike similar businesses, it addresses self-development.

The awards were delivered in partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses and recognise women who have set up a business on their own.

Heather, of course, receives great support from her team of tutors, the youngsters who attend classes and workshops and their supportive parents and she dedicated the award to them.

She said: “I am delighted that we can now forever be known as  ‘The Award-Winning Performing Arts and Film School’. It’s a wonderful achievement for StageScreen.”

Heather Gallagher Solopreneur award

Heather and the other finalists enjoyed an afternoon of inspiration, celebration and networking with keynote speakers who included actor, vlogger and self-development coach Holly Matthews (pictured below, left, with Heather), who shot to fame in the BBC series Byker Grove before taking on roles in Waterloo Road, Doctors, Casualty and The Bill.

Holly Matthew and Heather Gallagher pictured with their awardsShe also runs The Happy Me Project, which she launched following the death of her young husband, Ross. She raised £11,000 for the Warwickshire hospice that cared for Ross in his final days.

After speaking, Holly was also presented with a Special Award by WomanWho founder Sandra Garlick.

Heather said: “It was a privilege and an inspiration to hear Holly’s story and to meet her and enjoy a chat.”

StageScreen students make their West End debut

After three months of exciting rehearsals, students from StageScreen and our sister school StageScreen Musical Theatre Associates performed at Her Majesty’s Theatre yesterday.

Thirty five excited youngsters travelled to London’s West End to step on to the stage that is home to The Phantom of the Opera.

Here we are outside the stage door waiting to go in. StageScreen on the West End

We performed four numbers: One Night, One Moment, Sparkle and Shine; What’s Inside; ’13’ and The Schuyler Sisters.

It was thrilling to walk in the footsteps of so many great performers.

Backstage at Her Majesty's Theatre

Principal Heather Gallagher said: “I want to just say how immensely proud I am of each and every single student! Their work ethic over the last 12 weeks has been phenomenal.

Heather Gallagher and students outside Her Majesty's Theatre

“I would say to them, your teachers and I have been strict with you and have pushed you and that showed last night up on that stage! You all performed the best you ever have. 100% energy, 100% character, 100% focus and lots of patience while your teachers and chaperones tried to make everything run smoothly and calmly for you.

“There were some very special moments for me as Principal taking my first school to perform in the West End, which included:

💜 Watching our seven & eight-year-olds perform strongly without a scrap of nerves.

💜 Witnessing a perfect backstage moment during rehearsal as a nine-year-old stood, entirely focussed and ready to step into stage and then turned around with wonder in her eyes saying ‘This is my dream!’ Then turning back and taking her first steps into that huge stage.

💜 Seeing an eight-year-old melt adults hearts as she left the stage and wished members of the next group (strangers) good luck for their performance.

💜 Seeing my 16 MTA students ROCK the stage with their Hamilton number and then, after a second round of applause started by other schools, ALL individually and collectively spontaneously shouted ‘Thank you’ before exiting stage right.

💜 Seeing the 11-year-old who had got so worried during rehearsal that she had a nosebleed take the microphone and sing her solo line and then come off saying ‘I did it!!’

💜 Seeing how respectful and in awe some of the StageScreen students were of our MTA group and their performance and harmonies.

West End stage debut

💜 Witty banter and great behaviour in the dressing rooms.

💜 The best backstage etiquette as they had been told to respect all other performers and remained silent until out of the backstage area.

💜 A 14-year-old use her head and collect props from stage that had been left- when it wasn’t her assigned job.

💜 The sheer determination and level of committed performance each and every student brought to the stage. They are all at different stages in their journey but each one took a massive step up last night and performed at a different level.

💜 The joy in the faces when they came off having done well.

💜 The anticipation in their faces as they waited for the principal and teacher feedback.

💜 The undying loyalty and support of all my teachers and chaperones who have  supported the student’s dreams and worked INCREDIBLY hard all day.

“It’s a day I’ll never forget.”

The Greatest Showman – our Summer Intensive 2018

Greatest Showman summer intensive

What a fantastic work ethic we saw from the students who joined our 2018 Summer Intensive based on The Greatest Showman.

In just three and a half days they worked with songs and scenes from the popular film musical. During intensive workshop sessions, the group of eight to 18-year-olds developed their skills in singing, acting and dancing.  They also learned about video production and had the experience of recording vocal tracks in a recording studio.

The result of all this hard work was a 10-minute music video medley, posted on the StageScreen You Tube channel.


Choreography was by Heather Grace Gallagher & Viki Wilkinson.

Musical direction was by Megan-Louise Daniels.

Music video direction was by Heather Grace Gallagher.

Vocal recording: Chris Baldwin and Arch 16 Studio.

Location shoot: and Star Foundation.

Camera: Jo-Anne Foster.

Edited and produced by Lumina Studios and StageScreenUK.

The Greatest Showman is composed by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

Red Carpet Annual Film Festival and Awards 2018

Our 2018 film festival and awards ceremony took place in the marquee at The National Brewery Centre, Burton-on-Trent.

Everyone had the chance to walk the red carpet into the venue last night and be photographed as we celebrated another year of achievements.

Red carpet at StageScreen 2018 festival

An audience of students, family members, friends and supporters watched films made by students during the year. Awards were presented for performance and progress but also for traits such as helpfulness and kindness, passion and spirit.

Eryn Baldwin receives the 2018 StageScreen Principal's AwardThe Principal’s Award went to Eryn Baldwin. Principal Heather Gallagher said: “This year the Principal’s Award was an easy decision. This student, to an audience, comes across as extremely confident and talented. Behind the scenes, I know how hard she works to achieve the level of performance we ask of her and the level she asks of herself. Like some of the best actors out there, Eryn questions her own ability constantly. She has delivered OUTSTANDING performances this year and is a pleasure to have around. Eryn spreads joy constantly and, in my opinion, has a very bright future in performing arts. I’m very much looking forward to seeing Eryn continue to grow and impress audiences as she has done this year.”

This was our second annual film festival, and the audience loved every second of our music videos and short films made by students.

2018 StageScreen film 1 StageScreen film 2018 2


2018 stagescreen film 4    stagescreen 2018 film 4

All the films are on the StageScreen YouTube channel and it’s easy to subscribe to see new films as they are added.

Here are three of the videos shown last night.

Students of all ages covered When You’re An Addams.

Our Starlets group, aged four to six, appeared on camera for the first time.

The annual blooper reel showed all the things that didn’t quite go to plan!


Our patron Tom O’Brien visits Saturday classes

Tom O'Brien visits the StageScreen students

Students at our Saturday morning classes were delighted to be visited by our patron, Tom O’Brien. 

He spent time working with the students at our base at the Burton Albion Community Trust Hub, in Grange Street, Burton and gave them valuable feedback.

Tom agreed to become our patron in September 2018. He said: “I am extremely proud to be a patron of StageScreen. I grew up in the Burton area and I’ve known Heather, the principal of the school, for many years. I’ve experienced at first hand her passion, knowledge, rigorous commitment and enthusiasm for training and development in performing arts.

StageScreen patron Tom O'Brien

Tom pictured during his morning at StageScreen.

“It will give me great pleasure to see the growth of the students and the school. It is extremely important for young people to understand the hard work and dedication needed to benefit from the enjoyment and deep fulfilment that performing can bring.”

Tom worked as an actor for five years before turning to directing. He was resident director of the Cameron Mackintosh International Tour of Miss Saigon and directed Half A Sixpence at the Noel Coward Theatre, West End. He has also achieved success as a playwright.

Principal Heather Gallagher says that Tom’s passion and work ethic will inspire the pupils at the school.

She said: “Tom works on the same principles that StageScreen does – that it’s really important to enjoy what you do and also to enjoy learning and working together.”