Nick Hooton - Artistic Director
Nick is the Artistic Director of Centre Stage and UpStaged Theatre Company and has been with the school since we opened in 1999.
Nick trained as an actor at Hertfordshire Theatre School and graduated in 2004 with a Diploma in Acting and Musical Theatre, a BADC (Stage Combat) Honors and a L.A.M.D.A. Gold Award.
Nick's TV credits include My Parents Are Aliens, My Family, My Spy Family and he has also appeared in a number of television commercials over the years, including DFS, Heineken, Pringles, a BBC Three ident and Lay's Crisps. Nick has also appeared in several films, both short and feature length and has many theatre credits and is a resident actor with the Market Theatre Company.
Over the years, along with teaching drama at Centre Stage, Nick has also directed many productions for Centre Stage and UpStaged Theatre Company. These range from ‘in house’ productions on a weekend, to touring and transferring productions to places such as the Camden and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals. These credits include;
Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations, 2005
Oh What A Lovely War, 2006
Incidental Music, (Her Majesty’s Theatre) 2006
The Crucible, 2007
High School Musical, 2007
The Dumb Waiter, 2007
A Chorus Line, 2008
Haversham Hall, 2008
Centre Stage - The Musical, 2009
Encore, (Arts Depot) 2009
Daisy Pulls It Off, 2010
100, (Edinburgh Fringe Festival) 2010
Alice In Wonderland, 2011
Do You Take This Woman, 2011
Bugsy Malone, 2011
Les Miserables, 2011
Macbeth, (Camden & Edinburgh Fringe Festival) 2011
Robin Hood, 2011
Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations, 2012
Shooting Truth, 2012
Teechers, (Camden Fringe) 2012
As Artistic Director, it is Nick’s goal to develop the student’s understanding of the Arts, expand their performance ability and increase self-confidence through learning at Centre Stage. We want to push the boundaries of our own success and will always look to new and creative ways of generating and achieving the highest standard of theatre possible.
Fiona Reyes - Associate Director
Fiona graduated from Mountview Acamedy of Theatre Arts in 2006 with a first class honours degree in performing arts. Upon graduation, she was offered a role working with Michael Grandage and Jeremy Lloyd in the Really Useful Group’s 2006 revival of Evita. After covering and playing Eva Peron at The Adelphi Theatre for more than a year, Fiona went on to join the original cast of the 2007 West End revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She spent the next two years performing alongside both Lee Meade and Gareth Gates as alternate Narrator. Fiona was then chosen to join Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) on his 2009 Moonshadow UK arena tour.
Fiona has also been involved in workshop productions of Imagine This, Sister Act, Moonshadow, and Ghost The Musical, the latter with Dave Stewart.
Since joining Centre Stage, Fiona has directed productions of Two, Chatroom, DNA and Robin Hood, as well as assistant directing Killing Swine for the Camden Fringe festival.
Fiona has recently moved her attentions to teaching and directing, and is currently training to be a secondary school drama teacher.
She is passionate about working with children and young adults in performing arts, and is an advocate of the many benefits drama training has to offer, both on and off the stage.
Christopher Hogben - Drama Tutor
From his roots in productions at his local theatre in Yeovil, the HTV television workshops in Bristol and touring around the country with the National Youth Music Theatre, Chris went on to train as an actor at the Central School of Speech and Drama. After three years there and a stint training at the Moscow Arts Theatre in Russia, he graduated in 2007 and now balances his acting career with teaching and writing.
Theatre credits include: Steven Berkoff's Oedipus (Liverpool Playhouse, Nottingham Playhouse, Edinburgh Festival, Spoleto Festival North Carolina), The Butterfly Lion (Leicester Curve, Derby Theatre), The Roman Bath (Arcola, National Theatre of Bulgaria), Diary of a Football Nobody (Nottingham Playhouse), Medea (Steam Industry), Jason and the Argonauts (Steam Industry), Romeo and Juliet (Southwark Playhouse and UK tour), Perfect Sandcastle (Hampstead Theatre), A Christmas Carol (TNT European Tour), Hamlet (Central)
TV/Film includes: Casualty, How to become a Criminal Mastermind, Trojan, A Whispered Name, The Hardest Part. Commercials: Kia, Belvita.
Directing work includes: The Oresteia (Central), The Father, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Love Project, The Comedy of Errors (Centrestage)
Nicola Brunton - Dance Tutor
Nicola has been a member of the teaching staff since the school opened in 1999. Nicola focuses on Dance on the Saturday combined courses, along with The Centre Stage Dance Troupe. She also leads the team for Young Centre Stagers on Tuesdays. Nicola is proud to be a member of the team and enjoys watching the students' development and enjoyment for something she is also passionate about; the students' achievements are very rewarding. Nicola has been Head of Dance and Drama at Mill Hill County High School, Head of Drama at Alexandra Park School and Enfield Grammar School and is now teaching on a part time basis, sings with a function band 'Deja Vu', and tutors young actors on film sets whilst pursuing her own career in the Performing Arts. Her credits include:
Film: Harry Potter, Short Film: Dead Clean.
TV: Grange Hill, Dream Team, Celebrity Stories (Micheal Flatley's Dancer)
TV Commercial: DFS, The Observer
Pop Videos: Bryan Adams, Chocolate Puma
Her stage productions, as a Performer and/or choreographer include 'Fame' at the Millfield Theatre, 'A Chorus Line' (as 'Cassie') at The Intimate Theatre, and shows at venues such as The London Palladium, Wembley, Theatre Royal - Drury Lane and Her Majesty's Theatre.
Will Hammond - Visiting Drama Tutor / Director
Will trained as an actor at Rose Bruford College, and has worked in Theatre, TV and Film, before winning the High Sheriff Award for New Writing from the Stephen Joseph Theatre, judged by Sir Alan Ayckbourn.
As a writer & director, Will’s Theatre credits include: GRIM: A New Musical (book writer, for Mammoth Theatre Productions & ACT: scheduled for regional production 2011 prior to West End run) ; Lovestruck – Workshop (Etcetera Theatre, London); Midas By Anonymous (shortlisted for the Manchester Royal Exchange’s Bruntwood Prize 2008); Village Fate (co-written with Carri Munn: Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough); Auntie & Me (Turnmills, London); The Confessionals (NYT, London); Blister (Arts Council/West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds); The Barghest after William Hammond (Royal Court, London) Degeneration/Regeneration: A Micro Musical (Urdang Academy, London); Teenage Wildlife (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough); Pennies (Winner of the High Sheriff Award, judged by Sir Alan Ayckbourn & workshopped by Soho Theatre).
Radio: The Subterraneans (Urban Scrawl: Theatrevoice & Theatre 503).
Film & TV: Lovestruck (6 Part TV series, in development: Lime Pictures); The Host (Feature, in development: Film London); Oceans Between Us (Short).
Will’s first production with Centre Stage was The Royal Hunt of the Sun. He is thrilled to be working with such strong, passionate and talented young actors, and to be part of the dedicated teaching staff at Centre Stage. In early 2012, Will directed the Centre Stage, National Theatre 'Connections' entry JOURNEY to X which received outstanding reviews from the National Theatre Judges. In August 2012 Will re-wrote and directed the 2012 Upstaged production of 'Spring Awakening' (After Wedekind) which was awaded 4 star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe and the Tristan Bates theatre in Covent Garden.
Simon Payne - Singing Tutor
Simon first worked with Centre Stage as musical director for the school's production of ‘Fame’ in April 2008. He joined the Sunday morning tutor team shortly after this show and has since also musically directed a further four whole school productions including ‘Honk!’, ‘Hairspray’, ‘Les Miserables’ and ‘Bugsy Malone’.
Simon has been involved with performing arts in the local community from a very young age working first as a technician, then lighting designer, and more recently as a musical director. He has had a long involvement with Acorn Theatre Company who perform a pantomime and musical annually at the Intimate Theatre, with the profits being donated to local charities.
As well as his day job as Head of PSHE and Citizenship in a Secondary School in West London, Simon enjoys relaxing by working with many amateur dramatics groups in both North and West London. To date, he has musically directed over forty productions including ‘Oliver!’, ‘The Pajama Game’, ‘Just So’, ‘Seussical’, ‘Godspell’, ‘My Fair Lady’, ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’, ‘Curtains’ and ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ to name but a few.
Simon occasionally revisits his roots as a technician when he works at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden which he started to do whilst at university studying for a BSc in Government (2.1 - London School of Economics and Political Science). When not playing the keyboard or teaching singing, he also supports Centre Stage’s productions in a technical capacity and has recently worked on ‘Macbeth’ (Theatro Technis, Camden & Augustine’s, Edinburgh Festival), ‘One Night Only’ (Wyllyotts Theatre, Potters Bar) and ‘Teechers’ (Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Highgate).
Simon enjoys a varied style of music including pop, choral and musical theatre. In the past he has attended, and very much enjoyed, summer training courses with ‘Sing for Pleasure’ and is continually developing his conducting and musical skills. He is very much looking forward to the continued opportunities that working with Centre Stage has to offer.
Sarah Luke - Dance Troupe & Dance Tutor
Sarah has been a member of the teaching staff at Centre Stage since September 1999, teaching dance.
Sarah trained as a dance teacher at Harrison School of Dance and Drama, where she obtained all her teaching qualifications in tap, ballet, modern, disco and national dance, along with her L.A.M.D.A. Gold Medal in Acting.
Her first stage appearance was at the age of 3, leading on to annual performances, both amateur and professional, playing both ensemble and lead roles in several productions including Pepper in Annie, Velma in Chicago, Dick in Dick Whittington & Tzeital in Fiddler on the Roof
Sarah also appeared in several television commercials both in the UK and Abroad.
Since leaving college she has spent time dancing professionally as well as teaching all aspects of dance. Sarah worked in Greece for three years as a singer and dancer in many theatres and has toured the UK in cabaret shows. She enjoyed performing for three Summer Seasons before settling down to married life and having a family.
Sarah teaches dance on Sundays and runs the Centre Stage Dance Troupe on Saturdays. She also choreographs our shows, including 'Wizard of Oz', 'Fame', 'Honk', and 'Hairspray'.
Sarah spends much of her spare time choreographing shows for local companies and thoroughly enjoys passing on her skills and experience to the students of Centre Stage.
Danni McCormack - Singing - Assistant Tutor
Danni was a student of Centre Stage and the 1st ever Oscar Winner. She went on to train at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and graduated with a 1st Class BA (HON) Degree. Whilst training Danni played Mama Noah in Children of Eden, The Arbiter in Chess, and Woman 2 in Songs for A New World. Danni has performed in Puccini's Il Trittico with the English National Opera, for Sir Paul McCartney at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall and has featured as a soloist with Julia Mckenzie in a Sondheim master class. Since graduating in 2007 Danni has performed in the UK Tour of 'Ain't Misbehavin' including cast recording and the UK Tour of 'All You Need Is Love'. Danni is a voice over artiste, her work includes many commercials such as Canada's Next Top Model, MTV,America's Next Top Model, Restaurant in Our Living Room, Cougar Town, and is the voice for the launch of LIVING TV's Drop Dead Diva.
Carole O'Shea - Principal
Carole established the School in 1999 with 50 students attending Saturday morning classes. 14 years on and now with over 300 students, Centre Stage has established itself as one of the most vibrant and respected part-time performing arts schools in London. The School is also affiliated to CS Management, a theatrical agency established by Carole in 2001 to provide professional opportunities within the industry.
Carole first became involved in performing arts in the late 1970's, initially through her own children's attendance at local classes. The next 20 years were spent building experience in established drama schools and working as a theatrical agent before opening her own school in Potters Bar in 1995.
Despite a scholarship to the London College of Music as a teenager, Carole has never been one for public performance herself (other than the odd Irish Jig at a family occasion or at the annual Centre Stage Oscars evening!) and is much happier leaving it up to those at the school!