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West End Stars Endorse and Open New Performing Arts School in Birmingham

Kieran Brown
Kieran Brown

West End star Kieran Brown (Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Les Miserables) will be at The MAC on Sunday 13th September to officially open the Birmingham Institute of Theatre Arts (BITA). Kieran is now a patron of BITA and said: “Having trained in Scotland, it’s great to see that Birmingham now has a quality and exciting new theatre training opportunity. London and the West End is world class but people often forget about their local theatre and the fantastic opportunities provided by groups like BITA. I am delighted to be a patron of this group and look forward to their students joining me on the West End stage very soon!

Fellow West End Stars Lauren Samuels (Bend It Like Beckham, Grease) Liam Doyle (Wicked, Ghost) and Siobhan Dillion (Miss Saigon, Ghost) join Kieran in being patrons of BITA and will provide workshops and support to the students throughout the academic year.

This brand new theatre training school runs Sundays during term time from 4pm – 7pm at The MAC. The gala opening will feature an exclusive performance by the alternate Phantom who will announce the summer 2016 production of Jason Robert Brown’s hit teen musical ’13’.

The cost per week is just £11 for three hours and beats all local competition on price. The first session is free!

4Stage Arts Ltd is a local not-for-profit arts group that exists to give young people opportunities in the arts otherwise unavailable to them. BITA is their first project and is already making waves in their new way of preparing young people for the world of theatre and performing.

CEO of 4Stage and Artistic Director of BITA Chris Passey said: “Setting up BITA is the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication to provide the young people of Birmingham and the Midlands with an actual training platform for their passion and art. Many similar schools in the area are production based, that is to say they produce high quality performances very regularly and this is great. But for us at BITA the focus is training and discipline. All of our teachers work professionally with West End/No.1 Touring credits to their name. We have been heavily inspired by Annemarie Lewis Thomas and her school The MTA in London, whose ethos and passion for young people has lead to some of the brightest young stars entering the world of theatre fully prepared.

But it’s not all about training, BITA will perform Jason Robert Brown’s hit teen musical ’13’ next summer and is seeking new students to join its growing cast. The BITA team consists of local renowned talent Artistic Director Chris Passey (Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat) who is an award-winning composer and sought-after vocal coach. Co-Artistic Director and choreographer Attiye Partridge who is one of the Midlands best choreographers and producer and designer Amy Passey whose designs in California and New York have lead her to recently work with Birmingham REP and the RSC.

With one million visitors every year, Mac Birmingham has served as one of the country’s foremost arts centres for over 50 years. With artists and audiences at its heart we provide opportunities for people from all backgrounds to see, hear and, most importantly, make art. mac is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, also funded by Birmingham City Council and partners.


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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