It is probably the hottest ticket in town and boasts a stellar line up of extraordinary talent. Hamilton is the smash-hit musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda and has been a world-wide sensation.
Joining the cast and making his West End debut is Robson Broad, graduate from Razzamataz Medway who has been with the theatre school since 2011. He started with a love for hiphop and through the training of the theatre school where he studied dance, drama and singing, became the ‘triple-threat’ performer that the industry demands.
“Robson worked incredibly hard to become a versatile performer and during his time with us, he won a number of accolades,” explains his Principals Hayley Limpkin and Emily Miller. “He was one of the first Razzamataz scholarship winners in association The Stage newspaper and then went on to win funding to attend the Centre PAC thanks to our national charity Future Fund.”
Robson joins the other successful Razzamataz graduates including Brad Kavanagh, who was in the premier of Billy Elliott playing Michael and then went on to work with the Disney Channel. Peter Reid, is currently performing in Matilda and was also in the cast of We Will Rock You. It is not just in musical theatre where Razzamataz students are excelling; Cory Spedding appeared in Junior Eurovision and Sarah Story is currently enjoying success as a Capital Radio DJ.
As well as Razzamataz graduates, younger students are also making huge waves in the performing arts industry. Tamara Smart from Razzamataz Barnet beat off stiff competition to win a coveted role in the CBBC show, The Worst Witch, based on Jill Murphy’s books. Mildred Hubble is the heroine of the story and Tamara was cast as her best friend Enid Nightshade. The established group of actors features Clare Higgins from Doctor Who, Raquel Cassidy from Downton Abbey, Butterflies star Wendy Craig and EastEnder Kacey Ainsworth among others.
“The audition process was very long, over four months in total,” said Tamara. “It was nerve racking but at the same time very exciting. When I found out I had got the part I felt really excited. Being a student at Razzamataz has helped to build up my confidence and self-esteem and the lessons are really good fun.”
There is also a lot of excitement happening at Razzamataz Maidstone. Inters student Ashton Murphy is making his professional debut in Matilda and Inters student Jovy Domingos is in the West End production of Motown the Musical and is playing a young Berry Gordy, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.
“Each year, we are producing more and more talented performers within our network,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “We employ hugely committed and inspirational teachers to help shape the students and regularly offer special guest masterclasses with professionals to give students access and understanding to what it takes to make it in the industry.”
Recent workshops include those with Kerry Ellis who has starred in some of the most iconic shows on the West End and Broadway as well as achieving chart-topping success as a recording artist. To cover the range of performing arts styles, Razzamataz has also worked with street dance crew Diversity, winners of Britain’s Got Talent who have gone on to appear in their own shows across the UK and nationally.
“For students who want to go on and work in the industry, these are such valuable workshops and the professionals are always happy to chat to the students and answer all their questions,” adds Denise. “We always have lots of experiences planned to make our students time at Razzamataz the most rewarding it can be and these sorts of opportunities give them important life skills for whatever future they have planned.”
Razzamataz has many contacts with industry professionals so franchisees who run their own Razzamataz schools don’t necessarily have to have performing arts experience. Franchisees in each school come from a range of backgrounds including new parents who want a career to fit flexibly around their families, former teachers and young performers.
To celebrate 18 years of successful business, Razzamataz is giving more people the opportunity of joining the network. Until the end of 2018, there will be no up-front franchise fee of £7,995 plus VAT to pay. All that will be required is the £4,000 initial marketing launch and £5,000 working capital as opposed to circa £20,000 that would have included the franchise fee. Candidates who choose not to pay the upfront franchise fee, will pay 20% MMF instead of 10% over three years or nine terms.
With almost 50 schools up and down the country, now is an exciting time to become part of the network, which includes an award-winning franchisee. Known as the biggest and most influential event in the franchising world, Razzamataz was delighted to be among the winners at the British Franchise Association (bfa) Awards 2018.
To find out if franchising is the right option, Razzamataz holds regular Discovery Den days across the UK where potential franchisees get a chance to meet the Head Office team, find out more about franchising in general and discover what it is like to run a part-time theatre school.