Reading Time: 3 minutesIn 2007, four children entered BBC’s Dragons’ Den for the first time to help support a pitch for a theatre school franchise. Now, 13 years later, you won’t believe what those children are up to and how much the theatre school has grown.
The children attended one of a handful of Razzamataz Theatre Schools and were asked to perform a jingle for the Dragons to give a flavour of what the theatre school was all about. MD and Founder of Razzamataz who went with them and delivered the winning pitch explains: “Razzamataz is all about teaching performing arts to create confident young people and I realised that it was better to show the Dragons what this actually looked like rather than explaining it. The children were so enthusiastic and full of joy about performing arts that it was hard not to get swept up in their energy.”
After the children left the Den, Denise was then grilled by the Dragons into why the school was a good business proposition. After an intense series of questions, Duncan Bannatyne offered the full investment and Razzamataz gained national publicity putting them on a path to success and a huge array of exciting opportunities.
For the young students who went with Denise, the day is remembered with much fondness. Razzamataz has created a lasting legacy and continues to shape their lives.
Danielle attended Razzamataz Glasgow and clearly caught the bug of being in the limelight. After leaving Razzamataz, Danielle went on to study at Guildford School of Acting and has recently received the 2019 Stage Debut Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She has appeared in The Colour Purple and is currently starring in hit West End show & Juliet.
“Honestly it has been such a mad year but I’m so grateful,” says Danielle. “Razzamataz was the first theatre school I stepped into and I just wouldn’t be here without you and my scholarships at the school. Completely indebted to you.”
Myrren started at Razzamataz Paisley around the age of six. Denise launched a competition for students to write a jingle for Razzamataz and Myrren was the winner as she explains: “I didn’t really know much about Dragons’ Den at that age but I remember writing and recording the jingle as just a fun activity within Razzamataz. It was actually a bit of a last minute decision to perform the jingle I had created. The whole experience of travelling to London with my Razz friends and being in a live studio at such a young age was really cool.
“I loved attending Razzamataz when I was younger and some of the shows and performances I was a part of were really amazing including a fashion show at the Hilton and I was given my first solo performance.”
Myrren is currently in her final year at university, studying a BA Hons Journalism degree. she also writes for various Scottish music blogs as well as running her own and she is hoping to get into digital communications and PR once she graduates.
“Razzamataz gave me the chance to perform to such big audiences at such a young age, which definitely gave me confidence throughout my musical theatre career. I left Razzamataz to go on to perform in multiple dramatic performances up until the age of 17.”
Michael was around the age of 12 when he started at Razzamataz Edinburgh. Now aged 25, Michael is a primary school teacher and dad to his baby daughter.
“I was approached to be part of the Dragons’ Den team after I won a scholarship to attend the school. I went down to London on a plane with my mum and was really excited because it was the first or perhaps second time I had been. I really enjoyed being part of the performances such as High School Musical and the summer workshops.
“Razzamataz helped to build my confidence and it taught me to express myself. As a teacher and dad, I know how to jump from character to character to keep children’s interest so it has definitely helped out in everyday life. For a lot of young people, performing arts allows them to come out of their shell and become the person they were meant to be.”
Ellis joined Razzamataz Paisley around the age of ten and enjoyed every single minute of it. She now lives in Sydney, Australia, working as a health and safety manager on a construction site in Bondi.
“I was lucky enough to be part of the Dragons’ Den journey and to this day it is one of the proudest moments in my life,” says Ellis. “I still remember the feeling waiting outside the Den before we went in to perform and I had never been so nervous before but at the same time super excited. I was a big fan of the show before we were part of it so for me it was an absolute dream
“Razzamataz was a place to have fun, sing, dance and push yourself to the limit. It taught me a lot about myself and I am very grateful I was part of Razzamataz. My other favourite memory was when I sang “Castle on a Cloud” on my own, on stage for one of our shows and I’ll never forget it. I was so terrified before the show but afterwards I just wanted to get back on the stage and do it again! At the weekends I sing and play guitar at my local pub and singing is still my passion and I thank Razzamataz for helping me grow into the singer I am today.”
Since Razzamataz appeared on Dragons’ Den, the network has grown to almost 50 schools nationwide. As well as the theatre schools, there are also numerous additional Razzamataz classes including a new franchise offering called Razzamataz Early Years for the youngest students and parents.
To be part of our multi-award winning theatre school franchise, click the yellow button before to get in touch and find out more.