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Nick Furlong & Gemma Hextall

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Nick Furlong and Gemma Hextall are delighted to be the proud joint Principals and Franchisee’s of Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield.

 

Joint Principal & Owner & Head of Acting

Nick Furlong BA (Hons) Applied Performance (Community & Education)

Nick trained at Birmingham School of Acting (now Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) studying Applied Performance (community and education), graduating with a First Class BA (Hons) degree. He originally trained at The Melton Academy of Arts, completing a National Diploma in Acting followed by a HNC in Performing Arts, specialising in acting technique, professional practice, theatre marketing and scriptwriting; having originally trained in acting from the age of 7 for a number of years at the Haymarket Theatre, Leicester. Having been performing from a very early age Nick has also built up a wealth of experience teaching drama, including time spent teaching in the U.S.A. He has taught in various schools and ran workshops for a number of clients; as well as vast experience formerly as Drama teacher and Head of Drama and acting in many well established performing arts and dance schools across the Midlands.
Nick has experience of acting for both stage and screen. He has applied his trade as a Performer, Director, Writer and Musician to notable success.
Nick began his career taking over the running of a long established youth theatre and also managed children's holiday activity clubs, on top of practiced child safeguarding experience as a professional children’s chaperone, including time as head chaperone and children’s coordinator for an award winning theatre company.
Nick also has experience as a project manager, as well as a number of technical theatre roles.
Nick’s Theatre management experience also includes business development work, hire and special events and duty management work as a key holder and fire marshal at a large regional theatre.
Nick also proudly works for Razzamataz Ltd Head office, focussing on brand developments, compliance, national training and coaching, marketing and partner campaigns; and design work.
Nick is proud to have been runner up (jointly with Gemma) as a finalist for UK’s most outstanding young franchisee of the year 2019 in the AFA Awards (Approved Franchise Association).

Joint Principal & Owner & Head of Singing

Gemma Hextall BA (Hons) Applied Performance (Community & Education)

Gemma is a graduate of Birmingham school of acting (now Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) having studied BA (Hons) Applied Performance (community and education). She originally trained at The Melton Academy of Arts, completing a National Diploma in Musical Theatre, specialising in Singing, Musical Theatre and arts business. Gemma is passionate about educating and working with, to improve the lives of the community; Having worked creatively with Birmingham Headway brain injury unit and a number of elderly care homes in Birmingham specialising in arts therapies for Dementia care. Gemma has also worked as site manager leading young people’s activities for a holiday club provider. Gemma also has experience as a project administrator and lead facilitator across multiple disciplines and age groups, including drama teaching for the National Citizen Service. She has also worked as a music teacher and singing teacher on freelance and long term projects and lessons in a number of primary schools across the Midlands; as well as having been singing teacher and Musical Director at some of the most well established theatre schools in the East Midlands in the past.
Gemma is also a professional musician and singer, who pursues a solo career as a singer / songwriter and has worked professionally as a guitarist and singer, performing live regularly at both private and corporate events and functions. Gemma has also great management and sales and box office experience, having managed operations and teams at the box office of a large tier one theatre and concert venue.
Outside of the arts is a keen sportsperson having previously competed in a range of team sports and having represented England in the GKR Karate world cup as a multiple gold medal winner at national level; a sport she has achieved her 1st Dan black belt in and has experience as a teacher and coach of.
Gemma is proud to have been awarded runner up (jointly with Nick) as a finalist for UK’s most outstanding young franchisee of the year 2019 in the AFA Awards (Approved Franchise Association).

Duty Manager & Minis, Juniors & Inters class Teacher, across Singing, Dance and Drama

Georgia Gilby

Georgia is currently training at the prestigious Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on the three year BA (Hons) Applied Theatre course. Georgia first joined Razz Sutton in 2006 as a student so has been a part of the Razz Sutton family for over 15 years now! Having been a student from an early age, she is now proud to be a member of the teaching team, with vast experience. Georgia has experience having worked her way up from assisting Minis and Juniors classes originally, through to becoming part of our teaching team in February 2017! Georgia now teaches many different classes a week with us from Minis through to Inters as well as admin and marketing experience in the team as Office Assistant on top of her role as Razz Parties lead and deputising as cover for the running of school operations and her current role as a Duty Manager at the school. She has a wealth of performing experience from Razz and outside including Ballet training up to Grade 6 and has also attended the young leaders training day with Razz in her early training phase. During her time training at Razz she was selected as dance captain on numerous occasions as well as playing lead roles within shows and winning Student of the year in 2015 & student of the decade and outstanding contribution in 2017. Georgia was also a winner of funding awarded from the national registered charity, the Razzamataz Future Fund, in 2019, following an audition in front of an industry panel, which is contributing towards her current professional drama school training. Georgia is always excited to pass on all of her experience and knowledge to the next generation of young performers!
Georgia also has experience working as a Senior Mentor for the National Citizen Service across a number of years, as well as previous experience in the children’s education sector as an academic tutor.

Duty Manager & Minis & Juniors class Teacher, across Singing, Dance and Drama

Jodie Hall

Jodie teaches and works with our Minis and Juniors across all three disciplines in the performing arts, having first begun her journey with Razz Sutton over 6 years ago, training as a student in our Seniors classes. During this time she was selected as dance captain on numerous occasions as well as playing lead roles within shows and winning Senior student of the year in 2016. Jodie was also a winner of funding awarded from the national registered charity, the Razzamataz Future Fund, in 2017, following an audition in front of an industry panel, which contributed towards her musical theatre training. She now holds a Diploma in Musical Theatre, that she completed with a Triple Distinction. Jodie’s work within the Razz Sutton team has grown from classroom assistant, to advanced assistant and mentoring, training and coaching new team members, along with office, promotional and marketing work as well as her classroom teaching role and current role as a Duty Manager at the school and Assistant Principal at Razz Derby.
Jodie is passionate about helping young people within the arts and also attended the young leaders training day with Razz in summer 2016. Jodie loves to pass on her skills and knowledge to our younger Razz students and next generation of performers. Jodie has also spent time training towards further childcare qualifications and also holds experience working in an early years day setting.

Singing Teacher

Alexandria Wright BA (Hons) Musical Theatre

Alexandria graduated from London College of Music with a First Class BA (Hons) Degree in Musical Theatre. She is now working towards an MA in creative writing. Alexandria is an experienced, working professional actor and singer, with credits including stage (plays and musical theatre), television, commercials and voiceover work. Alexandria has also spent a number of years teaching singing along with all musical theatre disciplines and has a passion for improving vocal health.

Dance Teacher

Rebecca Edwards BA (Hons) Dance & QTS

Rebecca has been dancing since the age of 2 years old, originally training Walsall Academy of Dance where she studied a wide range of dance styles. She then went on to study a BA Hons in Dance. Since graduating, Rebecca has forged an extensive career of musical theatre performance credits. She has also spent a number of contracts as dance captain and dancer for Paul Holman Associates. Rebecca has been teaching for many years and furthered her study with Livingston Academy of Dance and Drama where she gained even more experience. This then lead her to joining Royal Caribbean cruise line over the last 5 years as part of the Entertainment team singing and dancing as a performer in many production shows across the world.
Rebecca is also a qualified primary school teacher.

Minis Teacher & Juniors & Inters Drama Teacher & School Assistant

Kwame Kandekore

Kwame has been training in dance, drama and singing since the age of just 3 and has completed training at the prestigious Emil Dale Academy on the intensive full time 2 year professional musical theatre course; now moving onto Guildford School of Acting to complete his degree in Musical Theatre. He has forged an impressive career as a professional performer having worked extensively in theatre, film, tv and modelling as a child. His professional Theatre credits include, young Michael Jackson &; Stevie Wonder in Motown the Musical &; Fletcher in the Bodyguard; both original West End casts. Young Michael Jackson in Thriller Live Japan tour. Other professional theatre credits include Dodger in Oliver and Nigel in the world premier of the Secret Diary of Adrian Mole the Musical. He has also worked extensively in modelling and screen acting, including BBC’s Line of Duty. Kwame also holds LAMDA Acting qualifications.

Juniors Singing Teacher & Classroom / School Assistant

Lucia Cantone

Lucia Joined Razz Sutton as a student in 2016, having won a full years scholarship at the school following an impressive audition. During this time she has played lead roles in Summer Showcases and won Senior student of the year in 2018. She has been working as an assistant with the school since the beginning 2019 and is delighted be a part of the Razz Sutton team. She has worked professionally as a singer and is passionate about pursuing a career in theatre and singing, continually furthering her own performing arts training. Lucia has performed at many high profile corporate events solo and as part of a specialist vocal performance trio as well as in larger group ensemble performances. Lucia has also performed at Indigo at Her Majesty's Theatre in London's West End with Razzamataz, singing solo.

Classroom / School Assistant

Lily Clements

Lily Joined Razz Sutton as a student in 2017, having won a full years scholarship at the school for that year following an impressive audition. During this time she has played lead roles in Summer Showcases and won Student of the year in 2018. She has been working as an assistant with the Tuesday school Minis and Juniors since 2019 and is delighted be a part of the Razz Sutton team.
Lily holds an impressive set of A Levels, including Media. She is currently training further in the world of admin and accounts, while continuing her passion for a career in theatre, media and production, utilising everything she is passionate about that she has learnt from Razzamataz following her training. Lily has represented Razz Sutton at many high profile external events as part of a specialist vocal performance trio as well as in larger group ensemble performances. Lily has also performed at Indigo at the o2 Arena and Her Majesty's Theatre with Razzamataz, singing solo on both of these occasions.

Classroom Assistant

Adele Maguire

Adele brings a wealth of Razz experience to the team having first joined Razz Sutton as a student in 2012. During this time she has played lead roles in Summer Showcases and won Senior student of the year in 2018. Having first joined the teaching team during Summer School 2018, she is now delighted be a part of the Razz Sutton Saturday team.
Adele is currently studying at University to become a Lawyer. Adele has also been working through the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme.

Classroom Assistant

Sophie Jones

Sophie has been a student at Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield for over 8 years, progressing through the classes, into our Seniors class.
As well as being a talented triple threat performer (dancer, singer, actor), Sophie is also an experienced competitive gymnast. Sophie has taken on many previous roles of responsibility during her time at Razzamataz including Dance Captain on showcases as well as performing lead roles with solo acrobatic and vocal performances at London's Indigo at the o2 Arena and Her Majesty's Theatre in the West End.
Sophie also is a keen pianist and is currently working towards her Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award.