CELEBRATING THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DRAMA STUDIO
The following reflections were written by ex-Drama Studio students, now in their twenties as part of a book of memories and celebrations as The Drama Studio sees it's 20th Birthday this year. Within these stories there lies a fitting testimony to what Drama has to offer young people and how they feel it has affected their lives. Very often it is only after a period of time and on reflection then, that we really can appreciate how an experience has shaped us.
The Days Never Know What Only The Years Can Tell
With Very Special Thanks To Louise Arbuckle For Putting This Amazing Book Together.
Presentations At The Drama Studio Awards Ceremony
|Kirsty McAdam's Speech||
Flowers From The Drama Teachers
Presented By Kimberley Bowman
Julie Receives "The Book" From
|OR SCOLL DOWN TO READ THEM ONE AFTER THE OTHER|
Louise Gaw Cris Ortega Neil Christy Katherine Croan Craig Hughes
Anna Darling John Cooper Patrick Orr Alex Duthie Kate Farrar
Keith Ramsay Annie McKinnon Amy Drysdale Joanna Haden Natalie Holt and Dayna Sherlow
Andrew Girvan Julia Sergent Alex Booth Laura Cruickshank Natalie McKay
Eleanor Good Morgan Griffiths Michaela Turner Lyndsey Blythe David Jack
Shaun Miller Sophie Horrocks Struan Murray Rosa Franklin Rebecca Agnew
Rachel Johnson Scott Cruickshank Alasdair Grahame Rory Hand Steven Turner
Alastair Wales Connor Mckay Jessica Brodie
I can't believe the drama studio has been around for 20 years! I remember when I first joined, I was 5 and my mum signed me and my sister Madaleine up for the junior club at Davidson's Mains. I was a shy and very quiet young girl who liked to hide behind my outgoing, confident sister (who could talk the back legs of a donkey!). It was through the drama studio that I found my feet as a young performer and my confidence grew. If it hadn't been for the drama studio I would never have done all the wonderful things I have done through my love of acting which was first instilled in me by Julie and Louise 15 years ago. Its true to say that the drama studio has indeed had a massive influence on my life, so much so that I have gone on to university to study drama. It has shaped the person that I am today and taught me that you don't need to be brilliant, you just have to love what you're doing and you will go far. I am so grateful for all the wonderful years I had at the drama studio. It opened doors to me that I never thought possible. I just want to thank Julie and Louise for giving me the confidence and the skills to pursue my passion and my dream. Here's to the next 20 years!
Katherine is studying Drama and Performance at Queen Margaret University
I cannot believe that I first met Julie back in 2003, a whole 10 years ago, 7 of which I spent at the Drama Studio. When I was younger I seemed to have a bit of trouble finding a hobby that I was actually interested in and after attending classes and groups for various things, drama was the one that stuck. Even now, after just finishing my second year of University I have spent a lot of time producing shows up here in St. Andrews, touring them over to Dundee and have even been elected onto the committee which funds all the student productions. It is for these reasons that I was lucky to find Julie, discover something that I was really fascinated by and have been able to make so many friends through. Without Julie’s passion and determination to get young people involved in theatre I definitely would not be the individual that I am today as it has given me so many opportunities to develop as a person, throughout my Drama Studio years and beyond.
There were so many ideas thrown about during the shows that we did together it is impossible to recollect them all, however I shall always remember a few as clear as day: reading my poetry at the funeral in the Death of Jimmy Brown; getting the chance to perform the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, such a famous and interesting piece; being the real villain, Pierre the pirate, who seemed so unassuming throughout the show; putting on the pantomime one year as the ugly step-sister (for which I still have a pair of purple and pink striped tights which I was wearing); and of course all the fantastic musical numbers from throughout the years.
For these memories and so much more I am thankful for Julie McDonald and her passion and creativity. Thank you Julie, you have done so much for me over the years and I really wish you all the best. It is amazing the Drama Studio has reached its 20th birthday and you deserve the recognition for its tremendous successes. Thank you Julie, you were and still are a star!
Neil is studying Maths at The University of St Andrews
I'd just like to thank you for introducing me to performance through the Drama Studio. I absolutely loved my time there and I still use what I learned about myself and about performing now. I went on to study theatre, still perform loads and am planning a career in theatrical arts - and it's all thanks to the seven-year-old me's decision to join the Drama Studio! I hope you're well and wish you all the best and keep doing what you're doing - it changes lives!
Love Jessica Brodie x
Jessica studied Theatre and Performing Arts
'A Wednesday afternoon at Dreghorn Loan Church Hall, a painfully shy and weepy 6 year old is thrust into a hall of kids his own age and above. From then on, he encounters boozy vampires, to dinner ladies, to gangsters, to ghosts, fairies and everything else in between, and encounters some of the most cherished memories, experiences and characters of his childhood! The Drama Studio will ALWAYS have an amazingly special place in my heart. It has provided me and my family with a lifetime's worth of entertainment and memories that we will cherish forever. The sense of community and family was immense and it gave me a confidence to pursue something I love very much. Thank you Drama Studio!! I love you all very much and thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything. Long may you prosper!!
Love 'Wee Keith' xxxxx
Keith studied Drama at Mountview Academy and is currently playing the lead role of Billy in Billy Liar at the Union Theatre in London
Julie always had faith in me, even when I lost faith in my own abilities! I remember her smiling at me as I took a lead role in Mr Mump's Surprise, my first show with the Saturday group, and this alone helped me to take on the part. As I became an older member of the group, I really enjoyed watching Julie with the younger drama students. After running around like animals she was able to completely catch the children's attention and they would gather round her fascinated as to what she would say next. The Drama Studio gave me confidence and dared me to do things I would never have done without it; it has played a huge part in my life.
Louise studied at The University of Glasgow and is about to graduate with a joint Honours degree in Theatre Studies and Sociology.
Congratulations on reaching this incredible milestone for you and for The Drama Studio. From my very first class at Balerno Church Hall (circa 1995 if my maths is right!) through so many years of classes all across Edinburgh, I know I am just one of the thousands of young people that you have helped become their true selves.
Thank you so much to Louise for pulling this together. It's made me remember years of afternoons, Saturday mornings and school holidays spent in Balerno, Colinton, Fairmilehead, Viewforth and so many more church halls; our now shared love of Cat Stevens, sparked by the wonderful Millennium Concert; friendships forged in rehearsals and backstage in theatres across Edinburgh; and - having lost my voice the weekend of an Adam House show - you once telling me "you'd make a good stage manager" as I scrabbled around in the wings.
It was encouragement like that which led me to chose the degree that I did, the profession I've now entered and the life I now lead. I'm lucky enough to live in London, to work in the West End and to make my living from theatre, but I'm just the exception - it's the young actors, singers, dancers, comedians and musicians who you encourage every week and who don't necessarily go into theatre, but go on to tackle everything they do with the confidence you give them that are the real successes of The Drama Studio.
Congratulations again to you, to your team past and present, to all of your students and to everyone at The Drama Studio - 20 years on.
All the best,
Andrew studied Music, Theatre and Entertainment at LIPA and is now Sales and Marketing Manager at Digital Theatre
They say that memory's greatest trigger is smell, however for me it must be music: the way that a song can whisk you back to a moment you have gone very long without remembering. It has been nearly five years since I was last involved with the Drama Studio yet still, maybe once or twice a week even, I am instantly and vividly taken to one of a thousand memories by a song that we once used. Adverts, films, lift music: anything can do it. I can be anywhere, in a situation utterly removed from that church hall in Viewforth far too early on a Saturday morning, and be briefly and completely transported to James Bond, or The Mystery of Loch Ness, or to any other one of the many productions I participated in. But although the shows seem to loom largest in my memory, I think the really lasting impression of what the Drama Studio does is everything but.
I was lucky enough to see a little of the process from the other side, helping out with running the classes, and what I saw was often nothing short of miracles. Kids who arrived and would not speak a word would, within three months, be performing in front of friends and family on a stage. Julie, I hope that nothing at all has changed because what you did with us was brilliant and I have no doubt that many kids are still enjoying, and many more will go on to enjoy, the same boostt to their self-confidence, the same skills for the future and the same good fun that we had. And in years time, maybe those kids will hear a song in some far-away place and be briefly taken back to the stage in Adam House theatre.
Patrick is studying French and Spanish at The University of Glasgow and is currently on an exchange to Argentina.
It makes me feel very special to have been a part of the ‘early days’ of the Drama Studio. Some of my favourite memories of growing up revolve around Saturday mornings at Viewforth Church hall with Julie and Louise. Rehearsing scenes, learning songs, dancing... I loved making up dance routines with Amy and Michaela! Weekends spent preparing for the show at the Adam House theatre were always amazing– if a little hectic, but the show always came together. Measles Revenge and The Fairy Pond were two of my favourites.
My early experiences at the Drama Studio have been a huge influence on me and drama has continued to be a big part of my life. I have fond memories of Julie with her guitar – she is an inspiration not only to me, but to so many young people. I am now a primary school teacher and drama is one of my favourite subjects to teach, using many ideas which I learned from my time with you all.
Long many the success continue and I hope to see you all soon. Lots of love xxx
Kate studied Primary Teaching at The University of Glasgow and is currently teaching in Edinburgh
Drama Studio memories...where to start
Fairmilehead hall, and the excitement of the refit. Many summer holidays (and others) spent playing with parachutes and paper plates. Experiments with shaving cream (for pies) and the year or two where smoke machines and smoke pellets were used. The two racks of lights, the excitement of Gobos and the occasional niff of burning gel. Short plays (trouble in the toilet), improvised plays, Scottish folk tales, grand take offs of Disney plays (Aladdin). Shows bursting with songs, showing bursting with song lovingly ripped off from other shows (Mr Mumps Surprise and other favourite things). The purchase of the van. The decoration of the van. The piles of CDs ready for every sound effect and provision of Ground Force backing music. The slow growth and evolution from a Tuesday evening at FMH to a Saturday morning, holiday clubs, birthday parties and more. And of course, the endless patience as I first lost scripts then forgot my lines.
Then of course
Investing in me and other young people. Working with young people to bring out their take on characters and stories. . Trusting our passions, letting us lead sessions. Travelling round for weeks and afternoons to enthuse and engage other young people in the life changing work of community based drama education.
While not forgetting
The leather jacket, tie die shirt(s?), peace necklace and guitar... always ready for a song or three. Forget group work, public speaking, creative writing and more. The key skill I most regularly use at the moment, is a good knowledge of the back catalogue of The Seekers and Cat Stevens to send my new son to sleep. Can you hear it? Train whistle blowing...
John studied International Relations and now works at International Development Charity in Birmingham
I remember when my mother first suggested that my brother and I attend a drama club after school on Fridays. "Guhh...do I have to?" I said. Little did I know it would become a huge part of my life for the next 10 years, introduce me to some lifelong friends and introduce me to my future wife! Not bad, I hear you say.
I started at Wardie Church with such greats as Ben McKinstrie, Sean Adams and that guy who pretended to be a dog and fell off the stage through the curtain during a show. The shows ranged from 'Joseph', to 'The Rice Girls', to 'Hook', to 'The Baffie Shuffle' (a classic). It was around this time I met my future wife Louisa for the first time, but I didn't get to know her for many years... Gradually I moved up the ranks and acquired my first main role as Tam O'Shanter. With main roles came a life of excess and debauchery. The parties were wild, the girls numerous, the champagne lifestyle suited me to a tee. And all of this at the tender age of 9.
Shortly after, Julie invited a few of us to join a Saturday morning drama group for some of the more experienced members. The mornings spent there were among the greatest Saturdays of my life, certainly a vast improvement on my previous Saturday morning commitment of playing for the worst football team in Edinburgh.
Some highlights for me included Peer Gynt, Mr Mump 1 and 2 and best of all...FRANKENTONGS! There was a definite great energy for these shows and everyone knew that they were surrounded by a lot of talented young folk. Some names that stick out in my memory- Keith, Amy, Steven, Andrew, Patrick, Struan, Michael Goodwin, Cristian, Kate, David and of course, John Cooper. Oh and Rebecca, Alex, Michaela, Daisy, Dayna, Joanna, Jess, Louise, Natalie x2, Anna....gah too many, I'm sure I've forgotten loads...
And of course- the geniuses behind the shows- writers, directors, producers, costume designers, set designers, sound and lighting engineers...the ever-brilliant Julie and Louise. Congratulations on a brilliant 20 year reign and long may it continue. You've inspired a generation of young people. If you ever need any help whatsoever, give me a shout!
Congratulations again and thank you!
Craig did an HNC in Journalism and is now Team Leader of Student Admissions at Edinburgh College
Some of the earliest memories from my life are actually from going to Drama Studio. As a young boy going to a small scout hall dressing up in berets and pretending probably in a very stereotypical manner, to be French and playing very fast and furious variations on the game tig, or putting on a show of James Bond which were the greatest films ever made in my childish mind. I find the thought hilarious that my Mother was just happy to find a way of letting a hyperactive child run wild on a Wednesday afternoon for a few hours and yet almost two decades later I am now pursuing a career as an actor. Without a doubt part of the inspiration to chase this obscure crazy path was the openness and fact we were constantly encouraged to play and explore (and have fun!) .The Drama studio was the first domino to fall and create a chain of events that has now led me to being in my first professional play in Dundee. It is incredible. So cheers very much. The excitement as a young boy being able to perform in a real theatre at Adam House with the Saturday morning group is still palpable to me today. And I don’t think I can thank you enough Julie for being given the opportunities to record voice-overs for the Radio. It has been an odd journey with twists and turns but I don’t think I can ever underestimate the effect that The Drama Studio has made on my life as whole. I thank you. I thank you one thousand times. Congratulations for creating something that has lasted so long and given so much joy to young people.
Cris is a graduate of The Royal Conservatoire Of Scotland in Glasgow.
He has just completed a fantastic show in New York "Let The Right One In" taking a lead role alongside former Drama Studio student Rebecca Benson(Smith)
I first started at the drama studio in 1997 at an Easter holiday programme in Stockbridge. I had decided some four years prior that I was going to be an actress, a dream I have carried for twenty years thanks to the drama studio. It all started in 97 at Stockbridge but things got serious in 2000. All groups across Edinburgh got together for a big show. I still remember the feeling I got as the audience began laughing to my recital of the reply to the wee malkies. And that was only the beginning. When the Viewforth Saturday group was put together I was excited. But I had no idea just how many amazing memories, friends and life lessons I would get from this small drama group. Those first few shows were a golden time in my childhood. We really felt like we were putting together great productions and the group was so tight.
In Frankentongs I broke my foot. In Mr Mump’s Surprise I found my voice. In Caked in Duels I got to play the lead I always wanted. As well as all the great stage experience, the improvisation, the songs, and the dance moves, were the friendships. I lived my week for Saturdays (and then Fridays) I loved show time and even when I outgrew the group I stayed for as long as possible.
And now I'm 24, I have a degree and I currently live in Australia. But I can be 13 and back in Viewforth hall in a heartbeat. Thank you Drama Studio, and here's to the next 20 years.
Joanna studied Philosophy and Theology at The University of Glasgow and is currently living in Melbourne Australia
Hi Julie. First of all, congratulations for reaching 20 years of The Drama Studio! What an achievement! We have lots of very fond memories of our time in the Drama Studio and have made many lasting friendships. We often find ourselves in fits of giggles thinking about all the good times we had and singing all the different songs...'Reach for the Jar' is our favourite! We had a ball during all our shows in Adam house and we can't believe 'Mr Mump's Surprise' hasn't been made into a feature film yet! Thanks for all the great memories and here's to another 20 years!
Love from Dayna Sherlow and Natalie Stewart Holt xx
Dayna studied at The university of Strathclyde and is now teaching for West Lothian Council
Natalie studied Accounting and Finance at Napier University
20 years of the Drama Studio. Who'd have thought it? Certainly between the ages of eight and sixteen, Friday afternoons were something I really looked forward to, spending time up in Fairmilehead or in the church at Viewforth. The ability of Julie McDonald to control chaos is without a doubt unrivalled. At the Drama Studio we were allowed to form our own pieces, often with interesting results. From Sweeny Todd to tales of gangs of rogue cowboys. These shows still take pride of place in my parents VHS collection! Through it all Julie was (and I imagine still is) ever encouraging and enthusiastic, helping young people gain confidence and passing on a love of theatre. Here's to 20 more years!
Alex is studying History at St Andrews University
The drama studio has had an enormous contribution towards my growing up. I owe a great deal of gratitude for the 10 years of happy memories provided. From the early days of Stockbridge to the happy Saturday drama times at fountain park, from Cleopatra and the Egyptians (standing on top of furniture) to the bright lights of Frankentongs at the Netherbow, I always look back with a smile. I think one of the most brilliant things is that even now, in my last year of uni, I meet people who I find I knew when we were younger at drama. We look back at old photos and videos: the friendships created really will last lifetimes! From Mr Mumps Surprise to Loch Ness, to the singing and dancing performances we put on, I don't even know where to start on my favourite show! So Julie, from all of us who spent the best part of our childhood as part of The Drama Studio, thank you! And I really hope there is a New generation of young people who can share the happy experience that we all did!
Anna Darling x
Anna has just completed a degree in politics at The University of Glasgow and is heading to London to do a Masters
I was in primary 3 and all I wanted to do was go outside and play football, until I was convinced to go to the drama studio for a class. That one class was followed by over 7 years of essential experience, provided by you and others within the drama studio. For this I am very grateful and say thank you! The shows are still fresh in my mind, whether it was singing, dancing, comedy or tragedy! My desire to work in this crazy industry is stronger than ever, and I'm delighted I can say it started on a high note! I am thankful for what the drama studio has given me and wish it even more success
Shaun has studied at Telford College and is heading to the Royal Welsh College Of Music And Drama in Cardiff to gain a BA in Acting
During my time at the Drama Studio I got to play a VERY wide variety of characters; one show I was a wild west Sheriff and another I was the Devil himself. (I got to own a funfair in that one too which was strange....) That was partly what was so fun about it; we were always able to try out something new. We were often heavily involved in the plot too - plenty of times we would come up with new ideas and characters that would end up in the show. Most importantly a great time was had by all.
Many thanks to Julie for giving me these great opportunities, and I wish her and the Drama Studio another 20 years of success - I am sure future students will have just as much fun as I did .
Rory studied at Telford and is going to Napier to do Electrical Engineering
Julie and Louise scouted me out at a Halloween party, of all places, when I was around 8 and from there I haven't looked back. Drama took over my life when I was at school and it led me to do what I am doing now, filmmaking. I got so much more than just acting skills out of every week; friendships, confidence, encouragement, motivation and most importantly fun. Without the Drama Studio, I definitely wouldn't be the person I am today. I'm now filming my own dramas at Edinburgh College of Art and to have such a great institution as the Drama Studio behind me is reassuring, as well as being a fantastic resource of upcoming local talent!
David is currently studying Film at Edinburgh College
The drama studio was such a huge part of my childhood and I made so many friends and lasting memories there! The creative spirit which is fostered through devising and improvising in classes is really great, as well as the opportunities for staged shows: some of my best memories have been the Ancient Mariner show which really pushed us in new directions, and was an exciting project to be a part of, as well as the ever popular 'Freeze' game, which always produced hilarious consequences. In the past few years, as I've been able to help with teaching groups and helping in shows I'm also so thankful for this opportunity because I've loved these roles - birthday parties are always fun (once trying to incorporate lego atlantis with star wars, plus Louise's excellent names for story characters - Basmatigo the dragon) and helping with groups and shows has been so enjoyable. Thanks for everything!
Sophie is currently studying Music at Cambridge
My favourite memories of my time at the drama studio were all the final performances - from my very first one at the Netherbow theatre to all the years at Adam house. The effort and enthusiasm put in by everyone made the whole experience so exciting and fun. The drama studio unlocked my passion for the theatre and since leaving I have gone on to direct and produce myself. All of us were given the opportunity to be as creative as we wanted but at the same time learning skills and techniques that would make us better performers.
Natalie is working with The Theatre Royal in Newcastle outreaching to schools. She also runs her own Drama Class.
There are so many happy memories from my days with the Drama Studio.
However the time spent at the "Saturday Club" was fantastic.
The Mr Mump musicals with Craig and Keith (singing bushel and a peck) were so much fun. When we re wrote the lyrics to the sound of music's "favourite things".I loved the excitement of Adam House and the wee pep talk before our opening show.
I really appreciated the opportunity Julie gave me to help out with the classes on a Tuesday at Fairmilehead. I felt very privileged.
Without you both and the Drama Studio I would never have had the confidence to do many of the things I went on to do. It has always meant a lot to me.
Sorry if I have wittered on. There are a kit of good times
Rebecca Agnew x
Rebecca is working as a Secretary for a Surveying Company in Edinburgh
I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, just didn't quite know what to say. It's hard to sum up 12 years!
Quite simply the Drama studio was one of the best parts of my childhood! When I look back on my time there I have a million and one memories. Kat and I can still send each other into tears of laughter talking about different things that happened at drama (Susan, ssshhhh!). I was never the most confident person but the Drama Studio definitely brought me out of my shell! Congratulations on 20 years of the Drama Studio Julie! I for one am unbelievably glad you started it all those years ago!!
Lynsey is studying History at Aberdeen University
Thank you for starting it all. Thank you for Mr Mump and Blue Finger Lou. Thank you for Peer Gynt's talking trees and Salon de Bouff's fabulous gays. Thank you for Guantanamera and Dream a Little Dream. Thank you for giving us a stage on a cold wet saturday morning, where we could laugh, cry, argue, step on each other's toes, and spend time with like-minded individuals. I hope you had as much fun making these stories as we did. Many happy returns!
Alisdair is working for the RBS in Sydney, Australia
Hi Julie, I just want to thank you for the opportunities you gave me, not only to create plays together but also the professional opportunities such as the High School Musical promotion. I am grateful for everything you did and on behalf of every pupil past, present and future at the Drama Studio I want to thank you for providing some of the happiest memories of creating theatre and giving an experience to an audience. Be it funny, touching or unexpected.
Thank you for everything,
Alistair is studying French at University
I’ll never forget my first day at The Drama Studio. I walked into Viewforth Church as a timid 7 year old who wanted to have fun and make some friends. My first role was as the 'Aslan's second leopard' in 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' and from then on you couldn't get rid of me! As soon as the week began I couldn't wait until Friday at 4.30 when I could get to drama. 'Hyper Fridays' I believe we called it.. Leaving The Drama Studio was hard but it has set me on to bigger things! I'm now training to be a professional musical theatre performer and I have you to thank for that Julie! You set me on my way and ill always be grateful for that.
Morgan is studying at MGA
I remember the Drama Studio like it was yesterday, Tuesday's at Fairmilehead Church to which I was introduced by a friend and so I took an interest in acting and getting involved with plays/shows. I remember my first play was in a twist play with Oliver and Annie staying in the same orphanage.
I then became interested in improvising and comedy which lead to script writing sessions and singing and dancing.
Next thing I was with the Saturday group at Viewforth rehearsing for a shows which were to be performed at Adam House.
I really enjoyed my time with the drama studio and it gave me a lot of confidence in performing which I then took on with music and now have a Music degree and regularly play gigs/shows and have even toured round Scotland with.
All the best
Steven Turner x
Steven studied Music at Newcastle University. He now plays in a band called Campbell's Wild
Some of my best childhood memories are from The Drama Studio and having the pleasure of being taught by Louise and Julie. I remember always laughing whilst being there and I know it must have been difficult to keep us all quiet at times! It was always a highlight of the week to have drama on a Friday, even from when I was around 10 years old and we were performing The Wizard of Oz and resorted to using a wig to represent Toto the dog! Thanks to The Drama Studio I was able to gain the courage to sing on stage for the first time and make a group of wonderful lifelong friends. I miss all the times at Viewforth church and its only ever fond memories that any of us can remember from being there. I really appreciate everything that Julie and The Drama Studio has done for me over the years, thank you so much and I hope the drama studio carries on for many more years!
Laura is studying Film and Media at The University of Glasgow
Where do I start ? Well I loved how I started in the Saturday class by managing to be part of Mr Mump’s Surprise :) that was a brilliant experience. I went on to join an amateur theatre company and have been a member of it since 2004. The drama studio really helped me with my confidence and made my dreams come true because I always wanted to sing and dance and for that time on stage I loved every second of it :) I have some of the shows on tape and have watched them back a few times just to remember what we were all like and how much we all enjoyed being part of The Drama Studio. Julie, you worked so hard every term to bring the show together but you also helped us by giving us the space to create are own show! Thank you for letting me be part of it.
Michaela is working as a Beauty Therapist
I was part of the Drama Studio for 10 years, and it really was some of the best times of my life. It speaks volumes that when all other things fell by the wayside as we became teenagers, I never wanted to miss a single Saturday morning at Viewforth Parish Church!! My best memories involve playing a Welsh Cinderella and running around with one shoe and singing "(He) Just Can't Wait To Be King", learning to do a bridge while practicing the dance for Peer Gynt, my first ever play with Saturday drama playing a boy because Steven Turner couldn't make it, and I will never forget my first real line "She was Louisa Jane Star, known to her friends as Blue Fingered Lou expertise on the piano, and other things requiring swiftness of hand, but not quite so lawful.
Thank you for all the brilliant memories.
All my love,
Amy is currently working for Virgin Money in their Customer Lounge
I started The Drama Studio from a very young age at Murrayfield Church. I remember this time to be when I found my love for acting and musical theatre. I moved to Viewforth Church and performed in many shows at Adam House theatre such as “Sweet Revenge" and one of my personal favourites “Elements" in which I played the 'evil fire creature thing" where I wore a crazy costume. When I began high school I was still going strong at drama studio and moved to Holy Corner church where I remember performing in lots of amazing shows at the Music Box such as “The Bewitching of Christie Shaw" and “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner". I made some very valuable friends at Drama Studio that I am still in touch with now. I would like to majorly thank Louise and Julie for helping me to learn so much and find my passion. I wouldn't be pursuing my course in musical theatre and performing arts now if it wasn't for them. The Drama Studio taught me so much about myself and also a lot about singing and dancing at the musical theatre club too. I had some of the best times of my life at the drama studio and will always remember them as I hopefully go on to perform in the west end.
Lots of love Alex Booth xxx
Alex is studying at MGA, Performing Arts
Every single moment I spent at The Drama Studio was fun no matter what. The atmosphere was so relaxed and everyone worked so well as a team. My time with The Drama Studio started when I was 8 years old, going every Wednesday evening and performing a show every half term. I left at the age of 15 when we were doing much more challenging classes every Friday night at Viewforth Church. I went through the whole journey with Laura, Annie, Julia and Rachel having some of the most hilarious times of my life. We have all stayed very close friends and constantly talk about our time at The Drama Studio and how much fun it was. Even since I left the company, I have still been helping out with lighting for some of the shows. I know I will never forget the amazing times I had at The Drama Studio and want to thank Louise and Julie for giving me and my friends such wonderful memories.
Scott is studying Film and Media at Edinburgh College
I first joined The Drama Studios as a member of the Singing and Dancing class when I was around 7 years old, where we would all meet in the church on Dreghorn Loan at 4.30 every Wednesday. It was easily my favourite day of the week, I adored it and I joined the drama class shortly after. The first drama show I was in was a western version of Cinderella, complete with a 'saloon bar' made up of stacked chairs. Five years on, I joined the drama club at Viewforth, in which embarrassingly me and my friends would discuss which outfits we would wear there every Friday. I remember that performing at the Adam House theatre made us feel so professional, along with being 'employed by Disney' to promote High School Musical 2 on DVD on Princes Street. One of my favourite shows were our first Singing and Dancing performances from the Viewforth classes, such as 'Send-Up from Stage and Screen' where we used yoga balls and skipping ropes on stage to dance to 'Fame', and 'Divas, Dames and Dudes' where Scott and Alex dolled up in curly wigs and sang a rendition of 'Mambo Number 5'.? I sadly left the Drama Studios when I began my higher exams in S5, and have now graduated from high school. However, I have kept my creative roots in attending Edinburgh College of Art, where I am about to begin my 2nd year studying Painting. I really appreciate and value all of what The Drama Studios taught me. It played a large part in my childhood and I am still in touch with many of my Drama friends.xx
Rachel is studying painting at Edinburgh College of Art
One of my favourite shows at the drama studio has to be Sweet Revenge. I really enjoyed the songs and dancing which we did and the humour which would just be randomly added during rehearsals. Drama was always the best end to the week and we always looked forward to Fridays. I have so many hilarious memories which Laura, Scott, Julia, Alex and I still reminisce about to this day. Thank you so much for giving us such a great opportunity to perform and do what we enjoy. Also thank you for putting up with our antics!
Annie is studying Pharmacy at Robert Gordon University
Julie, I will never forget my many years at The Drama Studio. They were some of the funniest years of my life. I used to look forward to Fridays so much, it was the best day of my week. I loved playing things like the 'bench game' and freeze before we started rehearsing. I really enjoyed doing Masquerade and The Bewitching of Christie Shaw. My favourite quote from that being 'THIS IS A CHRISTIAN TOWN WITH CHRISTIAN VALUES' - I still quote this on a daily basis haha. My favourite show however was definitely our last one, Send ups from Stage and Screen as it was hilarious and utterly mad (like Scott, Annie, Laura, Rachel, Alex and I). "I lost our only needle in an 'aystack." "The baby got caught in the mangle." I will never forget my time at The Drama Studio and wish I could come back. Thank you for so many years of fun and hilarity, I miss it so much. And thank you for putting up with our insanity, we must have been a right pain in the bum haha! Wish you all the best in the future and remember - no more coupons on the back of cereal packets.
Love, Julia Sergent xxx
Julia is studying Film And Media at Edinburgh College
Where to begin? I remember playing the suave, womanizing Salvatore in ‘Caked in Duels’ before my voice had even broken! Jumping out of a plane as a ginger James Bond after wrestling with Steven for the parachute, shooting Andrew Girvan (sorry Andrew), screaming as a golden finger was pushed into my head and the unforgettable car chase scene with Craig and Cristian. Flushing heads down toilets in ‘Mump’s Surprise’, stealing Amy from her wedding in ‘Peer Gynt’ and trying my hardest not to laugh offstage whilst watching Craig in ‘Frankentongs’. For years the Drama Studio was the most exciting part of my week, and I’m so glad I got to be involved in it.
Struan studied Biology Systems at Oxford University
I'd be honored if I could say a few words as some of my favourite childhood memories are with the Drama Studio 20 years? Wow! So proud to have been a part of such a successful, and talented group of people! When I think back to my time at the Drama Studio I think of nothing but fond memories! I'll never forget improvising my own lines during the play "the giant jam sandwich" when I was about 6, coming out with "this tastes hellish" in the middle of a Church! The looks on those Grannies faces! Or the time I played Cruella De Vil complete with dress and gloves! And who could forget the western hit “Sweet Revenge?" Oh what a laugh we had! Without the drama studio I know I wouldn't be where I am now, training for the professional industry, so I just want to say a massive thank you to both Julie and Louise for helping me to pursue my dreams and encouraging my craziness!
Lots of love!
Connor McKay Xo
Connor is studying at MGA, Performing Arts
From a young age Tuesday evenings were spent with the drama studio at Fairmilehead Church and were filled with fun games and exciting original productions. I always looked forward to going. Everyone was always so friendly and Julie, Louise and Amanda were such great teachers. Getting to perform was one of my favourite things to do and is something I've continued to do at University. I'd like to thank the Drama Studio for being a fantastic place to express yourself whilst having fun with friends.
Eleanor is studying English Literature at The University Of Glasgow
Drama Studio was undoubtedly one of the best things I chose to join when I was younger. Me and Alex's seaweed interpretive dancing really added to the Ancient Mariner, as well as managing to take about 20 minutes to get onstage with the boat that broke halfway through but nonetheless caused extreme amusement. Everyone there had such character which meant I could unashamedly reveal mine and I am still in contact with most of them today. Not to mention the spectacle that was MasquerAAAADDEEE (I think Mrs Crabbit was a role I was destined to perform hah.)
Rosa is studying English Literature at The University Of Glasgow