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    SUMMER SCHOOL 2019 Where do the all the children go during the Summer holidays? Some go away, some stay at home, some play in the streets and parks, some dedicate an entire week…
    EASTER PRODUCTION "Step In Time"  Performances 18th - 20th April 2019 PRE-AUDITIONS - 11th & 12th Jan AUDITIONS - 13th Jan 2019 Theatre Studio’s Easter Production is back once again after their sell-out performance of…
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    Our Easter production is 'Sister Act' which is taking place at the Cheltenham Playhouse from the 5th - 7th April 2018 Theatre Studio’s Easter Production is back once again, this…

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John Shirley

Son of a playwright, John has been passionately interested in drama all his life. A graduate of the University of Wales, he has been teaching drama for over forty years.

John began his teaching career in Surrey, directing a number of school productions before moving to Gloucestershire in the seventies as Head of English and Drama. Teaching at Churchdown, he quickly acquired the three qualifications provided by the prestigious Drama Board and set out to establish drama as a vital and popular subject in the curriculum. The examination successes at GCSE and A level in drama were the best in the county with A to C passes close to 100%. Ofsted inspectors praised the high quality of his teaching and in 2003 Ofsted recognised John's work as a teacher by presenting him with a Lifetime Achievement award. The school productions of West Side Story, Oh What A Lovely War, Fidler on the Roof, Cabaret, Guys and Dolls, Our Town, The Venetian Twins, Zigger Zagger, The Crucible, Bugsy Malone , Cider with Rosie and others were widely admired. A number of his former students have pursued successful careers in the professional theatre.

When he arrived in Cheltenham, the Playhouse swiftly became his second home, initially as an actor in a number of productions including, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? His first experience of directing was Pinter's The Caretaker in 1978 and he has subsequently directed many plays including The Birthday Party, All My Sons, Equus, Piaf, Shadowlands, Brighton Beach Memoirs, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, The Government Inspector and Frozen. His most recent was Death Of A Salesman which played to full houses and was described by various audience members as "stunning" and "brilliant". In a letter to the Echo one theatregoer described it as "the finest amateur production staged in Cheltenham".

In the 1980's John was successful in becoming a member of the Guild of Drama Adjudicators. He subsequently adjudicated drama festivals throughout Britain and abroad. This experience has assisted him greatly in developing the strengths of his students in their drama work. John is also an award winning playwright and his production of Sea Change which he wrote and directed and staged with Theatre Studio students won the award for best production at the Cheltenham Performing Arts Festival.


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