Say hello to...
Nick Furlong & Gemma Hextall0121 2850919 / 07505013160 email@example.com
Nick Furlong and Gemma Hextall are delighted to be the joint Principals and Franchisee’s of Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield.
Joint Principal & Franchisee & Drama Teacher
Nick Furlong BA (Hons) Applied Performance (Community & Education)
Nicholas trained at Birmingham School of Acting 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. This time also included freelance theatre marketing work, in which time Nicholas is proud to have broke some box office records. Having been acting and performing from a very early age Nicholas 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 in the region and ran workshops for a number of clients.
Nicholas has extensive experience of acting for both stage and screen in both an amateur and professional capacity. He has applied his trade as an Actor, Musical Theatre performer, Director, Writer and Musician to notable success, having previously ran a youth theatre and managed children's holiday activity clubs, on top of practiced child safeguarding experience as a professional children’s chaperone.
Nicholas also has vast experience formerly as Drama teacher for two part time performing arts schools in Leicestershire, as well as Head of Drama for a Dance and Theatre Academy in Derby. Nicholas also has experience as a project co-ordinator and administrator, as well as a number of technical theatre roles including production management, stage management, sound and LX operating and show calling. Nicholas' previous theatre management experience also includes business development work as hire and events officer as well as being a key holder at a large regional theatre.
Joint Principal & Franchisee
Gemma Hextall BA (Hons) Applied Performance (Community & Education)
Gemma is a graduate Birmingham school of acting 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, Theatre History. Gemma is a young practitioner who is passionate about educating the community. Having worked creatively with Birmingham Headway brain injury unit and a number of elderly care homes in Birmingham specializing 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.
Gemma is also a professional musician, who pursues a solo career as a singer / songwriter and has worked professionally as a guitarist and singer.
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 of.
Singing Teacher & Minis Teacher
Laura Spencer LTCL LLCM
Laura has trained professionally with the London College of Music and Trinity College London at Licentiate level and is continuing studying to achieve her fellowship. Having initially trained as a dancer from the age of 3 she has a passion for performing and thrives on bringing contrasting styles and genres of music to her lessons.
Laura's performance career has included numerous recording sessions and she has performed at prestigious venues all over the UK, such as the Nottingham Playhouse and Broadway Theatre in London. In addition to her current performing and teaching commitments, she also fronts two bands of professional musicians and can often be found on the local music scene.
Reiss Hinds BA (Hons) Dance Performance and Musical Theatre
Reiss graduated from the Urdang Academy in London in 2013 and has since been working as a performer on stage and screen. Most recently finishing in the triple Olivier award winning show ‘In the Heights’ of which he spent a massive 2 years as part of the cast, including during a transfer to a West End theatre, the show proudly winning three Olivier awards during Reiss’ time as part of the cast. Reiss has a wealth of experience and is delighted to be able to pass on his knowledge to Razzamataz students. He specialises in street dance and commercial styles as well as having professional experience in West End musical theatre. Reiss brings a fresh and contemporary feel to his teaching. He has also featured on Nickelodeon and Britain’s got talent on ITV as well as on Street dance 3D the film.
Juniors 2 dance, drama and singing teacher
Claire started dancing at the age of 4, training in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz in ISTD and disco freestyle, rock n roll, Latin/Ballroom and Street Dance in IDST, this all alongside musical theatre, singing and drama training.
Claire then went on to train at the D&B School of performing arts for 3 years where she was trained by top names in the business including Nicola Dawn (Original Lola in Copa Cabana) and Scott Marshell (Top commercial dancer). Claire Graduated with a Musical Theatre diploma after leaving College and began working in Disney Land Paris where she worked with Craig Revel-Horwood, Roger Wright (original Simba in the West End) and various other west end stars.
Claire has also worked as an entertainer abroad, in between teaching for a number of dance and performing arts schools back home in England, during which time, being the teacher of Marvin from JLS!
Claire is very excited to be a part of the teaching team at Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield. “Musical Theatre is my passion which I hope I can pass over to all of the students.”
Drama Teacher & Tots Teacher
Nicole Matthews BA (Hons) Acting
Nicole graduated from The University of Central Lancashire with a degree in Acting.
Nicole has toured Italy working on a Theatre In Education project, combining both her performance and education skills. Nicole also has experience teaching drama and dance across a number of childrens activity clubs across the midlands. Nicole is proud to bring to Razz her experience as a professional actor, having featured on stage and screen with credits including channel 4 and sky comedy. She has also recently become a qualified drama teacher in secondary education.
Nicole is passionate about working with young people and loves to sharing her experience.
Minis Teacher & Juniors Dance & Drama Teacher
Georgia has been a part of the Razz Sutton family for around eleven years now! Having been a student from a very early age, she is now proud to be a member of the teaching team as Minis Teacher. Georgia is also school assistant and classroom assistant for Juniors. Georgia has experienced assisting in the minis class for three years and is looking forward to leading her own class having demonstrated her abilities to be an excellent teacher. She has a wealth of performing experience and has also attended the young leaders training day with Razz recently and is excited to pass on all her experience and knowledge to the next generation of young performers!
Amy Willock BMus (Hons) Music
Amy is a composer and musician who started writing and playing music at a young age. She plays clarinet, piano, saxophone and steel pans. Singing classical, jazz, world and popular styles with various bands, choirs and orchestras in Leicestershire.
Amy studied classical composition at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, graduating with a First Class Honours degree. Amy has written for ensembles ranging from full orchestra to soloists, as well as pieces using music technology – these included the soundtrack for a short film aired on BBC Wales, an aria for a project with Music Theatre Wales, and a song for Bath Abbey's children's choir. Amy is a keen concert organiser, having co-created the Stretto New Music concert series that showcases new music in Cardiff. Amy composed, organised, marketed and hosted an hour-long theatre show that was performed in the Richard Burton Theatre, in which she enjoyed conducting a small orchestra, several singers, and live technology.
Amy works as a music teacher in the Midlands, both privately and with local music services, teaching in classical, pop, rock, jazz and contemporary styles. She also loves creative writing, portrait painting, jewellery making and walking.
Minis Teacher & Dance Teacher
Susie started dancing at a young age at the Orwell School of Dance and progressed to take her Advanced 1 Ballet and Modern, as well as studying other disciplines such as the Chantraine method in Paris, jazz, contemporary, singing and drama. She competed in the All England National Dance Finals and alongside her degree she has taken lead roles in University dance productions. She has performed in and choreographed for a variety of musical theatre shows including Fame! The Musical (Iris), Guys and Dolls and Kiss Me, Kate! in the Gala Theatre, Durham, the last of which was also chosen to perform at the National Student Drama Festival. She has taught Zumba fitness, baby ballet and now currently teaches Advanced Contemporary at the University of Birmingham alongside her Masters studies. Susie loves being part of the Razzamataz family and seeing the students grow in confidence and ability!
Jodie has been with Razz Sutton as a student for 2 years and has been selected as dance captain on numerous occasions as well as playing lead roles within shows. Jodie is passionate about helping young people within the arts and also attended the young leaders training day with Razz in summer 2016. Jodie cannot wait to assist our Minis and Juniors and pass on her skills and knowledge.
Classroom Assistant & Teaching Support
Naomi Cooper BA (Hons) Applied Performance
Naomi has recently graduated with first class honours from the BA Applied Performance course at Birmingham School of Acting with a special interest in theatre for young audiences. She is currently touring with the Play House, performing theatre in education to primary schools in Birmingham and the surrounding area.
After studying performing arts at college, Naomi realised her love of performing to little people and has since tailored her university studies around theatre in education, special educational needs and early years. Over the past two years she has singlehandedly founded her own drama company in Cumbria that delivers drama summer schools to primary age children.
As well as being trained to a high level in singing, dancing and acting, Naomi also has a very musical background playing various musical instruments that often come in handy during her children’s theatre performances.
Naomi is so excited to be part of the Razz family and enjoys being able to inspire and engage the next generation of young performers!
Bethany is currently studying both Performing Arts and Media Studies. She is a keen actor is has also developed and demonstrated strong leadership and community skills as Head girl at school as well as having participated in the National Citizen Service ‘Challenge’. Bethany is keen to help develop the talents of other young people in the arts.