liz_drama_queens_square_500x500

 

If you live locally and have a son or daughter aged between one and fifteen, the chances are you’ve heard of Drama Queens – and in turn, will know of their vivacious and energetic founder Elizabeth Edmonds.

Actor by trade (with a long list of credits to her name), Liz has been running Drama Queens in and around Queen’s Park for fifteen years now, and has has a wonderful range of classes to suit both toddlers and older children all the way up to teenage years.  The most recent addition to their offering is an interactive story-telling class for children aged eighteen months up to the pre-school year held on Wednesday mornings in the heart of Queen’s Park.

As well as being a local mother herself to two grown up children (often working alongside Liz and the Drama Queens team), Liz has expanded over the years to a team of  twelve teachers – all trained actors themselves.

With their new Queen’s Park class on the way for toddlers and pre-schoolers to shout about, we thought it the perfect time to talk to Liz about her time as both an actor and a teacher, her passion for Drama Queens, and as always with ‘QP Mums Meets’ – her love of Queen’s Park.

You’ve been treading the boards for more than 30 years, what made you want to expand your repertoire into drama coaching?

When my children reached school age I realised that they would maintain clear speech and good manners in spite of going to school – not because of it.

I knew that all the social skills I learnt as an actor would benefit them and I adapted games and exercises learnt at drama school for them.  They enjoyed it and so I opened a class for their friends and it just sort of grew from there.

After fifteen years of teaching, you must have seen a fair number of local children pass through your doors… what drives you to continue teaching? 

Fifteen years of teaching and the rewards just get better as time goes on. Little children I taught in primary school are teens now, towering over me in the park and stopping for a chat. I love that. And some from the drama teens class go on to be our assistant teachers. It’s a family really.

You have twelve trained actors teaching at Drama Queens with you – what, in your opinion, makes a good drama teacher?

A good drama teacher really likes people, small and big –  is energetic, enthusiastic and has a bag full of resources in their head which they can whip out at any moment!

They bring the buzz of the business to the classes.

As well as classes for children as young as 3, Drama Queens also caters for older children and even adults – with LAMDA exams an option.  How do you feel watching students progress through the stages and improve on their acting skills?

We teach from age 18 months to 80! And at every age their progress is a delight to see.
This year 120 of our pupils aged 5 upwards chose to do their Lamda exams with us.

They scored highly with 70 receiving distinctions and 50 achieving merits. I am so proud of them. But also credit must go to our wonderful teachers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What are the biggest changes you’ve noticed within both the acting and teaching worlds over the years?

Our teaching too has had to evolve to the changing times.  I started teaching under 5’s because habits in speech and focus are difficult to correct the later one leaves it. The earlier we can prevent “wif” instead of “with” and “arx” instead of “ask” the better. And of course focus is more difficult than ever to develop with children as young as 3 spending so much time on screens. But we have our methods!

My main joy outside acting,  is developing drama to successfully teach children all the social skills that are so helpful in life.

Do you think it’s harder for actors to make it in the industry today or are there perhaps more tools to help propel them to success?

It is more difficult now to get work as an actor than ever before. Partly because there is little funding to train, and a young actor can spend years just trying to get into drama school.  But also because of our society’s obsession with celebrity. It blurs the line between a working actor and fame seeking wannabe. The result is producers always going for a name to realise profits. A young actor can rarely get off the ground in these conditions.

If you could have your time again, would you do anything differently?

If I could have my time over again I would have gone into politics to campaign for the abolition of private schools and for all children to go to their nearest state school. Parents would necessarily demand higher standards and everyone would benefit and society would be more integrated.

You’ve lived locally for many years – what do you love most about our leafy corner of London?

I most love being so central. It’s a fifteen minute screech through Regent’s Park to the West End for auditions and shows. Also public transport here is plentiful – we are so connected!

Local favourite hangouts include Hugo’s great food and a great vibe at affordable prices! The Shop for lounging about and drinks.  And Taste Film at the Parlour for a special treat, not to be missed!

If you could have a day off without acting or teaching, what would you do?

If I had time off I would work with clay, building and sculpting figures.

What excites you most about the future?

Technology is amazing and has made us much more efficient in many ways.  But for quality of life it has had quite a negative impact.  In the not too distant future it would be great to see a backlash against so much tech and a realisation that we are killing our own communities with a lot of so called “progress”.  Oh yes! And the abolition of supermarkets! Bring back the high street shops!

https://dramaqueens.org

Classes & Workshops
Saturday classes:
Ages – 3-13 (taught in age categories)
Time – 10.30am – 12.30pm

Where – Malorees Infant School, Christchurch Avenue, NW6 7PB

Monday Class
Ages – 4-6
What – A fun group that develops confidence, creativity and communication skill.
Time – 3.45pm – 4.45pm

Where – Malorees Infant School, Christchurch Avenue, NW6 7PB

Wednesday Classes:
Ages – 18m – pre school
What – A fun, interactive storytelling class designinged to boost young children’s communication and concentration skills. Featuring their unique SMALL TALK programme. Parents sit in with children.
Time – 9.30am

Where – St. Anne & St. Andrews Church, 125 Salusbury Road, NW6 6RG

Ages – 11-17
What – Drama Teens for older children: working with classic and modern texts, improvisation and LAMDA exams
Time – 5.15pm – 6.15pm

Where – Malorees Infant School, Christchurch Avenue, NW6 7PB

Thursday Class:
Ages – 5-11
What – A mix of drama games, performances, singing, movement and fun!
Time – 3.45pm – 4.45pm & 5pm – 6pm

 Where – Malorees Infant School, Christchurch Avenue, NW6 7PB

This post contains sponsored content

DQBANNER_620_72

You can catch Queen’s Park Mums on FacebookTwitter and some general local musings on our Instagram page @queensparkmums.

For sign up to the Newsletter, click here / For sign up to the Membership Card, click here

Leave a Reply


*