Elizabeth Edmonds is an mum of two, an actor and screenwriter as well as the founder of children and teen acting school Drama Queens. As an actor she has played the murderess in “Vera” recently on telly opposite Brenda Blethyn and has just finished a part for the new series “Mrs Biggs” for ITV1. What makes Drama Queens unique is that all the teachers are working actors and can often be seen on stage or screen, when they aren’t teaching the future generation of thespians.
WLM recently caught up with Elizabeth to find out a little more about the benefits of drama:
What is Drama Queens?
Drama Queens is small acting school for children. There are six core teachers who teach in between our acting engagements. We are close knit unit and know all the children individually and constantly plan around them and discuss their needs and wishes. Children tend to stay with Drama Queens for years—not a term or two, which is great for us as we can see them progress and take them forward.
It is a constant source of joy to me that I work with other actors who are truly devoted to the children they teach, they care and this shows in their enthusiasm and thorough approach to the work. We follow the national Curriculum for English, but through drama instead of sitting in the class room. It is very locally based around Queens Park and as well as the children’s classes, we tutor from 0 to 100 whether it’s for school entrances or for a wedding speech and business presentations. And of course we do Drama Parties.
What inspired you to start teaching?
As an actor myself, naturally I wanted my children to benefit from the fun and education drama can provide, so I sent my children to drama classes. We tried quite a few, but I was very disappointed with the formulaic approach and poor quality of the teaching. It annoyed me and so inspired me to start my own drama classes. I had realised at home that I could teach my own children using drama, not just for school projects like “Ancient Egypt” (although bringing that to life was fun!) but also using drama games and exercises that I had been taught at drama school—made age appropriate of course. Drama teaches memory skills, eye contact, listening skills, focus, concentration—all of these can be learnt and honed through drama and are obviously of great value to our children as they move through society, enabling them to feel comfortable and at ease in it. The beauty of it is—they don’t realise all the hard work they’re doing because it’s so much fun.
What benefits do children get from taking your class?
They gain in self esteem hugely and become socially much more adept. Their spoken English improves considerably (we are very hot on this) and their grasp and knowledge of English is improved immeasurably, as we do the LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) syllabus every spring term. Last term 86 of our children took the LAMDA and half achieved merit the other half distinction. We are very proud of our students.
What advice do you have for parents looking for extra-curricular classes for children?
Try the classes that are available before you commit to them – don’t buy the outfit first! So many wasted tutus, karate suits etc! If you are paying for something demand good value. Word of mouth from other mums is the best recommendation. Our best advert is the parents whose children already attend.
What is your favourite place in west London?
What is your favourite kids’ shop in west London?
Kidsen and Their Nibs, Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise.
What is your favourite shop in west London?
Vintage mecca Rellik and Portobello Rd.
To find out more about Drama Queens, please visit: