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Star Turn

Tring Park School, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, no less.

Let’s show some serious jazz hands for Tring Park School for Performing Arts . Since we visited for our review, they’ve announced new impressive A Level results with 58.9% of students garnering A*/A/B grades, showing that academic prowess and a penchant for performance aren’t mutually exclusive. Bravo, darlings, bravo! If you have a budding dancer, singer, musician, director, choreographer or thesp on your hands, it’s great to know that you don’t have to trek into London to seek out a serious stage school.

Quiz time! How many supertalented alumni does Tring Park have (clue: loads). Is this Tring’s amazing alumni roll call or the guestlist for a Vanity Fair Oscar party? First up, Drew McOnie has just landed a major gig as director King Kong musical on Broadway.

From left: Drew McOnie; dancer Nafisah Baba and Tring Park 16 in full song

Then there’s Nafisah Baba, who won the BBC Young Dancer of the Year award at Sadler’s Wells for her contemporary dance, no less. And did you catch BBC singing talent show Pitch Battle this summer? You might remember finalists Tring Park 16, a super-soulful chamber choir who had judge Gareth Malone leaping to his feet in excitement. Check ’em out here.

Want to hear it for the girls?

Talent will out: Ella Henderson; Daisy Ridley; and Lily James

Well it’s all Brit Award nominations and platinum debut albums around Ella Henderson’s house. Nice one Ella! Then there’s  Daisy Ridley, aka Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, who’s entering intergalactic territory by tackling Ophelia, in a major new Hollywood reimagining of Hamlet, told from the tragic heroine’s perspective.

And finally, there’s the ridiculously talented and beautiful Lily James, star of War and Peace, Downton Abbey and Cinderella. She’s just been cast as the young Donna in the hotly-anticipated sequel to Mamma Mia.

It’s also worth noting that while Tring Park is a fee-paying school, it welcomes young people with talent and a passion for the performing arts regardless of means, thanks to its generous bursaries and scholarships and the support of the Government’s Music and Dance Scheme. Where there’s a will there’s a way!

Interested to hear more? Enter stage right at the next open days on 6, 12 and 13 October.

Permission to slide down those magnificent bannisters, Miss?

Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, Tring, Hertfordshire, HP23 5LX

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