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Enter stage left – the Junior Drama and Film Company

And... action! Get to it and book this brand new Easter drama and film course for kids, offering everything from animation and circus skills to drama and screen make up.

Has the TV and film awards season got your kids thinking about a career in the movies? Or maybe they’ve watched a fair bit of lockdown Netflix (hey, we won’t judge), and think they can do better? 

If you’re raising the next aspiring Emma Corrin or Rége-Jean Page or just have a child who wants to be creative and have fun, we’ve got the win-win for you – there’s a new film and drama holiday course that kids and parents will be equally enthused about.

Launched by drama teacher and actor James Fowler, the Junior Drama and Film Company already operates in Oxfordshire and London but starting in the Easter holidays is offering one-to-five day courses in Buckinghamshire for kids 5-18 years (split into separate age groups) out of its HQ in Ballinger, near Great Missenden. Unlike so many stage schools, which focus mostly on frightening amounts of jazz-handing and jostling for position on stage, your child doesn’t have to be a diva to enrol – the courses cover every aspect of film making from acting to make-up, visual effects, costume design and editing. 

Fowler has taught drama all over the world and teaches the LAMDA syllabus and method, and the over-arching aim is to give kids confidence and teach them about collaboration. Circus skills is proving a popular course judging by the bookings – pros bring real circus gear and teach juggling, diabolo, stilt-walking, uni-cycling and tightwire walking. But other course include animation thatstarts with flipbooks but builds up to stop motion and visual effects. The course leaders are all teachers or professionals in the sector so there’s no leaving your kids with a wannabe teen drama student and the days are planned carefully and action packed. 

Liking the sound of it, Mrs Worthington? There are three venues in close proximity in Ballinger so siblings can do different courses on the same dates without logistical headaches, and you can negotiate a sibling discount (always handy). There are also plans to offer parties once lockdown eases – all tailored to the age and size of the group with themes such as Popstar, Stage Makeup, Film Maker and Game Animation, and hosted in Ballinger Village Hall so you don’t have to scrape dropped birthday cake off your floors. 

Courses are currently scheduled for the Easter holidays and summer half-term, and cost from £95 for one day to £575 for five and vary according to the theme. Before and after care costs extra but extends the day from 8am to 6.15pm – yes folks, that’s childcare that lasts a full working day. Kids on the film and animation courses get to take home a copy of the film they worked on and because all the filming and editing is mostly done on iPhones (supplied by James), they’ll have the skills at the end of it to produce their own slick videos on Insta. Finally, something on their social media you’ll actually want to see.

Find more ideas here

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