December 26, 2023

They Have Something in Common

Join Theatretrain's Artistic Director, Kevin Dowsett, on a reflective journey as he explores the notion of fame within the performing arts. From Sam Smith to emerging talents like Tyla Sharp, discover the true essence of success and dedication beyond the glitz of celebrity.

Over the years I’ve often been asked whether anyone famous has come out of Theatretrain. It’s a strange question because most people who work in any aspect of the performing arts industry are not household names and I’ve always thought we’re about the work that we do not the so-called value of fame. But in our business people don’t seem to rate what you do unless it’s attached to celebrity. 

If you were to push me, I’d say the most famous performer who went through Theatretrain was the singer, Sam Smith.

In the recent Royal Variety Performance at the Royal Albert Hall ex-student and now patron Simon Lipkin performed a magic routine from his latest west-end show Unbelievable. A few weeks ago, I visited ex-student Callum Balmforth currently a lead with the Royal Shakespeare Company. 

The other day I went to see Mr Apple the first short film produced by Tyla Sharp who was a student for 10 years at Northampton Theatretrain. The world premiere was held at the Cineworld Northampton where they rolled out the red carpet for it. 

This was a stunning film. It dealt with the passing of a young woman and how her young daughter and husband dealt with this tragic event. The film spoke to anyone who has suffered a bereavement and told a profound story. The image of a gradually decaying apple encapsulated the process beautifully. told its own story. 

We also saw a documentary that showed us the amount of work that went into its making. Every camera shot, piece of music, line of acting and especially the acting, particularly the young girl, came together to create a mini-masterpiece. 

I’m going to put my head out on this one and predict a blossoming future for Tyla who left film school only 18 months ago. He showed extraordinary dedication and care in the way he put this film together. I bet he learned valuable lessons. 

I think he might become a household name in the future but you know, who cares? What all these people have in common is their amazing commitment to what they do. That’s what matters to them, that’s what marks them out and that is why I am proud of them. 

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.

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