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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, along with theatre Venue Management and wedding and Events Management.
Nick has also worked 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).

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

Georgia Gilby BA (Hons) Applied Theatre (Community & Education)

Georgia graduated from the prestigious Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on the three year BA (Hons) Applied Theatre course with a First Class BA Honours Degree. Georgia first joined Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield in 2006 as a student so has been a part of the Razz Sutton family for over 17 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. Georgia is also part of the management team at Razzamataz Derby.
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.

School 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 8 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 Owner and 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, Student recognition lead & Access, inclusion & diversity champion

Alexandria Wright MA Professional Creative Writing, BA (Hons) Musical Theatre

Alexandria graduated from London College of Music with a First Class BA (Hons) Degree in Musical Theatre. She has now also completed 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

Rachel Tarbox

Rachel has undergone comprehensive training in various dance disciplines starting from the age of 2. Presently, she is in her third year of training at Performers College, pursuing a BA Hons degree in Musical Theatre and Dance. Rachel has had the privilege of being featured in television shows and films produced by esteemed companies such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. Additionally, she has participated in music videos for artists such as Connor Maynard, performing at the Formula One Grand Prix held at Silverstone and singing for events associated with the Paralympics. Furthermore, she has collaborated with Dance Aid, a charitable organization, in order to generate financial support and raise awareness, with the iD Company owned by Ryan Jenkins.

Minis Teacher & School Assistant, , Student transition lead & Access, inclusion & diversity champion

Ellie Johnstone

Ellie has been dancing since the age of 3 at various dance schools and started training in musical theatre not long after, Ellie has performed in lead roles such as Paulette in Legally Blonde and Miranda in Return the Forbidden Planet whilst in training. Ellie also performed in pantomimes at the Birmingham Hippodrome from 2013-2016 alongside the likes of Matt Slack, Lee Mead Duncan James and Jane McDonald. Ellie studied Btec level 3 Musical Theatre at Birmingham Ormiston Academy for sixth form and is now training on the BA hons degree in musical theatre and dance at Performers College.

Drama Teacher & Tots Teacher

McKenzie Barwick BA (Hons) Theatre Arts & Psychology

McKenzie is a performer, with great experience regionally, having performed at Derby Theatre, the Crescent Theatre and more. She has graduated with a First Class degree from Derby University, studying a combined joint honours of Theatre Arts and Psychology and is now studying for her Masters degree in Dramatherapy. Prior to this, McKenzie holds an A* in Drama & Theatre Arts at A level.
Since the age of 6, McKenzie has been training as an actor, including at a different Razzamataz school herself when she was much younger. McKenzie has gone on to achieve her Gold DofE award, meeting Prince Charles in the process. Her career also includes having worked as a Zumba Instructor and she is also a keen Musician.

Dance Teacher

Coedy Bromley BA (Hons) Dance

Coedy holds a first class BA (Hons) degree in dance. She trained at Addict Dance Academy on their professional degree programme. Before that, training at BOA.
Since, Coedy has worked professionally as a dancer and also taught dance across the Midlands for a number of years.

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 to have been a part of the Razz Sutton team for many years.
Adele is currently studying at University to become a Lawyer. Adele has also been working through the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme.

Classroom Assistant

Grace Evans

Grace began her Razzamataz journey as a student. During her time as a student, Grace has performed with us at Shaftesbury Theatre in the West End!
Grace is currently studying Musical Theatre at college full time.

Classroom Assistant

Abi Rawson

Abi has been a student at Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield since 2016.
During her time as a student, Abi has performed with us at London's Indigo at the o2 Arena.

Classroom Assistant

Molly Lewis

Molly been dancing since the age of two, specialising in ballet. Molly is currently studying drama at A-Level. Molly has a passion for musical theatre and is working towards a carer in the teaching and education of performing arts.