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Introducing The Brighton Academy...


A new way to train...

The Brighton Academy opened its doors to its first class of Full-Time Performing Arts students in September 2011. With four successful West End performers at its head, a new level of Performing Arts training is now available in southern England - completely professional and completely affordable.

The Brighton Principals say: “Instead of handing out free training to a select handful of students every year we have decided to make our tuition fees affordable for every student that wants to train with us. In fact, we believe that it is entirely possible for a student with no financial support to be able to train during the day at The Academy and still make enough money of an evening to put themselves through college. Such is the extent of the difference we charge in our fees compared to other institutions.”

In association with acclaimed directors and choreographers: Stephen Mear and Matthew Bourne, alongside star of stage, screen and music: David Essex and current West End leading man: Killian Donnelly, The Brighton Academy offer you the very best start towards a successful Performing Arts career.

"I am honoured to be a patron of The Academy. Brighton thrives on the Arts industry, the location is wonderfully diverse and feeds the Arts community between there and London. It seems only fitting that Brighton itself be given its own Academy which will be populated with four well-respected, hard-working Principals along with some tremendously talented teachers. The Academy’s philosophy of making the fees more affordable makes it possible for all students interested in Performing Arts to have a better chance of fulfilling their dreams."

- Stephen Mear (TBA Patron)

Stephen Mear - Patron

Olivier Award Winner:

Hello Dolly (Regents Park)

Mary Poppins (West End)

Olivier Award Nominee:
Sweet Charity (West End)

Sinatra (West End)
Singing in the Rain (WYP)
Soul Train (West End/UK Tour)

Tony Award Nominee:
Mary Poppins (Broadway)

What’s On Stage Awards Nominee:
Shoes (West End)


"The only attributes a new performer should need are potential and a willingness to learn. Their financial background should not be a consideration. This is why I believe The Brighton Academy is the most important new college in the country.”

- Killian Donnelly (TBA Patron)


Killian Donnelly - Patron

Theatre credits include: Deco in The Commitments (Palace); Tony in Billy Elliot the Musical (Victoria Palace); Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty's); Enjolras in Les Misérables (Queen's), before which he understudied and played the roles of Jean Valjean and Javert; Collins in Michael Collins (Cork Opera House); Sweeney Todd (Gate Theatre, Dublin); Ethan Girard in The Full Monty (Olympia Theatre); Tony in West Side Story (The Solstice); Declan in The Wireman (Gaiety Theatre) and Rod in Singin' in the Rain (Olympia Theatre). Workshops include: The Walland The Commitments
Concerts include: West End Musicals (Halle Orchestra); The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary (Royal Albert Hall); Courfeyrac in Les Misérables 25th Anniversary (O2 Arena); You Should Be Dancing (National Concert Hall, Dublin) and Les Misérables (Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra). 
Television credits include: Showbands (BBC); The Last Furlong (RTE); Batchelors Walk (RTE); The Tudors (BBC); The Late Late Show (RTE) and Open House (RTE). Film credits include: Combeferre in Les Misérables (Working Title Films). Other credits include: Les Misérables Chorus in The 85th Academy Awards (Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles). Most recently: Huey Calhoun in Memphis (Shaftesbury), for which he received a 2015 Olivier Award Nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.

"People have to be individuals now in show business. There's no chorus anymore. There's no singers and dancers and actors. You have to be a triple threat. What I love about this school is you are treated like an individual. I really like the approach here and there is a great programme going on that I am really keen to support"

- Bill Deamer (TBA Patron)

Bill Deamer - Patron

Bill Deamer is one of Britain's leading choreographers for theatre, film and television. He won the Olivier Award for Best Choreographer in 2013 for Top Hat, which also won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 2013. He is the first-choice go-to choreographer for period choreography, with expertise ranging from and including Edwardian, the '20s,right through to the '60s,‘70s and ‘80s.
Bill's extensive training is grounded in ballet, jazz and tap and he then went on to receive a degree from the Guildford School of Acting where he trained as an actor, singer and continued to develop his advanced dance skills. He performed in West End in shows such as The BoyFriend for Cameron Mackintosh, a show he would later choreograph himself at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, earning him his very first Olivier nomination.
He started his choreography career when, employed as lead dancer in a production of Cabaret in the West End Choreographed and Directed by his mentor Dame Gillian Lynne OBE, he was offered an opportunity to choreograph his own version of the very same show (Cabaret) at the Salisbury Playhouse. From there, he has never looked back. He is the main choreographer for Bill Kenwright Ltd, recent shows include the UK 50th Anniversary Tour of Sound of Music, Evita at the Dominion Theatre and Save the Last Dance for Me.
He was reunited with Gillian Lynne when he was invited by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Trevor Nunn to create the new tap choreography for the critically-acclaimed production of CATS at The London Palladium in 2014, which now has productions opening in Paris, Blackpool, Australia, New Zealand as well as returning for a second run at the Palladium in October 2015. Top Hat continues its journey, with a tour in 2014-15 and is set to open in Japan in Autumn 2015.
Bill is also a very successful choreographer for film & television, putting his previous acting training to work. His keen eye for the camera has served him well as the choreographer most notably for So You Think You Can Dance and the hit BBC Strictly Come Dancing series where he continues to contribute featured group professional routines and Charlestons.
Throughout his career, Bill has also become an expert on Fred Astaire, one of his dance idols. He directed and choreographed the first-ever tribute to Fred at the London Palladium, and has recently appeared in ITV Perspectives programme For the Love of Fred Astaire. He was a featured speaker at the V&A Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers exhibition in September 2015.

Photograph: © Darren Bell

"It's quite unusual to find a small college and this is the important thing, and here the joy of it is that everybody is known personally, catered to personally and the programme is evolved around them. I just think it's so unusual. Apart from the quality of the work and the teaching, the attitude that you will only take the people that you feel you can give the time to is an invaluable asset ."

- Carole Todd (TBA Patron)


Carole Todd - Patron

Work as Director/Choreographer in the West End, includes: Gyles Brandreth’s Zipp! (Duchess); Girls Night Out (Victoria Palace); Elvis the Musical (Astoria, Prince of Wales and Piccadilly); Return to the Forbidden Planet (Cambridge); Ferry ‘Cross the Mersey (Lyric); Lily Savage in Snow White (Victoria Palace); Tribute to the Blues Brothers (Whitehall); Jack to a King (Ambassadors); The Pocket Dream (Albery); James and the Giant Peach (Sadler’s Wells); The Rivals (Boulevard); Wild Oats (National); La Cenerentola (Royal Opera House); various Gilbert and Sullivan operas (Sadler’s Wells and Savoy) and as Resident Director: Hello, Dolly! (Drury Lane); Peggy Sue Got Married (Shaftesbury); plus many galas and concerts at the Palladium, Prince Edward, Strand, Savoy and Drury Lane including: Jerry Herman’s Broadway, with Angela Lansbury at the Palladium last year and the staging for Bill Kenwright’s Any Dream Will Do concert, with eight Josephs, also at the Palladium.

Worldwide includes: The Mikado in Brisbane, Sydney and LA; Elvis the Musical in Vancouver and Sydney; Starlight Express in Japan and Australia plus countless trade shows from Iceland to the Bahamas. She has directed/choreographed many different productions in UK, ranging from Peter Terson’s Strippers to Agatha Christie’s only comedy, Afternoon at the Seaside, and has worked on many Kenwright productions, the latest being Can’t Smile Without You – the UK tour based on Barry Manilow’s music.

Television/film work includes: Stravinsky’s Renard the Fox, Lenny Beige, Morecambe and Wise and Prick Up Your Ears.

Dancing in the Streets, the Motown revue, is another favourite and Carole has been happy to be part of the several tours and three West End runs so far!

She also writes and devises shows and has just completed one incorporating the music of Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond and a second show for Katy Setterfield, who won TV’s The One and Only as Dusty Springfield.

Professional Training

The Brighton Academy is structured so students can complete a course of study tailor-made to their needs. Students can audition to enter a course at the level most suitable to them.

Our professional courses have been designed after thorough consultation with many leading theatre practitioners from the UK and the US. Faculty members and graduates from some of the world’s finest Performing Arts institutions including The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Bird College, Laine Theatre Arts, Mountview Academy, The Royal Academy of Music, Arts Educational and New York University have helped us create some truly exceptional Musical Theatre courses.

Training young people to be successful professional performers in the entertainment industry is our main objective. We believe that with hard work, determination, the outstanding training at The Brighton Academy and its subsequent support network, people graduating from our courses can go on and sustain fulfilling careers.

Details of each course are posted below. If you are unsure about which course is most suitable please contact the Academy to discuss your application.

  • Musical Theatre Course (HND)

  • Acting Course

  • DDI / DDE Teacher Training in Modern, Tap and Ballet (Open to students and non-students alike)

If you want to take advantage of top-quality training but live in other parts of the UK or abroad, no problem – Brighton is a great place to live!

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