November 13, 2023

A Success Story

Dive into the vibrant world of theatre magic with Kevin Dowsett, Theatretrain's Artistic Director. Today, he shares the incredible journey of Callum Balmforth, a former student turned professional performer, making waves on and offstage!

We meet many students who go for it, who step into the space and are completely at home in the imaginary world of the theatre. Today I want to talk about one of those students who is already making a mark as a professional performer.

On Saturday we went to see the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of The Box of Delights. Playing the lead role was Callum Balmforth who, until a couple of years ago, was a student at Waltham Forest Theatretrain. After Theatretrain he trained on the excellent two-year course at the Redbridge Drama and Dance College. 

He joined Theatretrain in 2016 and I remember him performing in the pouring rain in a production of Twelfth Night in Brixen in North Italy. I also remember working with him online in a one-to-one acting class during the pandemic. In 2019 we took students from all over the country into London to present Statuesque – a dance piece performed beside many theatre statues and Callum as usual, brought along his energy and enthusiasm.

I saw early on that he had something. If you asked me to define what it was, I’d say he is very focused on what he is doing. Nothing distracts him and he really listens on stage – he is connected. He also happens to be very humble; you couldn’t imagine him ever becoming big-headed. I’m so proud of him and I know Gemma, Erin and Owen at Waltham Forest TT feel the same way.

And his rise has already been fantastic. On graduating he played Peter Pan at the Leeds Playhouse and Dick Whittington in Cambridge. He also found time this year to be in the Netflix production of Queen Cleopatra. 

In this spectacular production at Stratford upon Avon, he was hardly ever offstage but he took everything in his stride and made a totally believable journey set in the 1930s. He also performed with a miniature puppet-sized version of himself.  I hope he gets to keep it.

Congratulations Callum. You are one of those people who show that hard work, focus combined with talent pay off.

Theatretrain, a nationwide provider of weekend theatre schools for young people aged 4-18, specialises in weekly classes in acting, singing, and dancing. An emphasis is placed on learning valuable life skills such as confidence, empathy, courage, and resilience. If you know a child who loves to dance, act and sing or could do with a little confidence boost why not visit to find out what our performing arts classes can offer your child at one of our 80 locations across the UK.

Related Articles

Summer Schools Make a Difference

Kevin Dowsett, Artistic Director of Theatretrain, highlights the transformative power of residential summer schools. These immersive experiences allow young people to step away from their daily routines and engage deeply in creative pursuits. At Theatretrain's summer school, participants form lasting friendships, hone their talents, and discover new dimensions of themselves through intensive workshops and collaborative activities.
Read more >

Company Call

Last Sunday, Theatretrain held the company call for their 102nd large-scale show. Artistic Director Kevin Dowsett witnessed seven Theatretrain companies, who had been rehearsing since February, come together for the first time. In just three hours, they transformed a school theatre into a hive of creativity and talent, setting the stage for an unforgettable performance. Read the full blog to dive into the details of this extraordinary day!
Read more >

Sometimes We’re All Empty Vessels

Dive into the captivating world of human behaviour and self-perception with Kevin Dowsett, Artistic Director of Theatretrain. From actors' veiled insecurities to the art of projecting confidence, Kevin explores the intricacies of the human condition. Discover how the stage becomes a training ground for courage, humility, and self-assurance, shaping tomorrow's resilient adults.
Read more >

The Best People Care

Enter the vibrant realm of Theatretrain alongside Artistic Director Kevin Dowsett, where character isn't measured by interactions with animals, but by how we treat children and young people. Join us as we explore the dichotomy of theatre technicians, from begrudging gatekeepers to enthusiastic allies, and the profound influence they have on the stage.
Read more >

Knock Knock Who’s there?

Join Kevin Dowsett, Artistic Director of Theatretrain, and his daughter Grace on a delightful journey through the whimsical world of knock-knock jokes. From Grace's infectious enthusiasm to Shakespearean echoes, each jest is a playful dance of control and delight that transcends generations.
Read more >

Going Mobile

Discover the impact of mobile phones on young minds in this insightful blog by Theatretrain's Artistic Director, Kevin Dowsett. With 25% of 5-7-year-olds owning phones, concerns arise. Yet, Theatretrain offers an escape, fostering a focus on arts and connection, free from distractions. Join the discussion on reclaiming youth in a smartphone-dominated world.
Read more >