Yup, stage school works!
Another year and another surge of nascent stars of the stage and screen graduate from Tring Park School for the Performing Arts. Want to meet them?
It’s a kind of sport, seeing where recent graduates of Tring Park School, the region’s London-rivalling performing arts school, end up. Because what’s not to love about seeing former school kids, who no doubt traipsed the streets of Tring eating chips, plying their wares on Poldark or electrifying audiences in Hamilton?
Tring Park, set in a former Rothschild mansion, can claim to have set Julie Andrews on her path to glory, no less, along with Sarah Brightman, Caroline Quentin and Jessica Findlay-Brown (yes her off Downton). The glorious Lily James is also one of their more recent superstars but there are plenty more in the pipeline.
Take 25-year-old Sofia Oxenham. You might know her better as the troublesome Tess Tregidden who spent the last series of Poldark making life difficult for Demelza. She’s also appeared on an episode of Granchester this year too and is currently filming the Dracula mini-series, written by Doctor Who legends Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.
And then there’s, Bart Edwards, who played Jonathan Kay in the Netflix Norwegian period drama Lykkeland, which has won a handful of awards in its homeland. He’s also chalked up to appear in a clutch of TV series in the coming year, all in post-production so watch this space.
But if talking more recent alumni, we should really mention Joe Griffiths-Brown, who having graduated from Tring Park last year, has since been cast in the role of swing in Hamilton meaning he spends his evenings covering several roles in the production. The sheer effort in remembering all those lines and dance moves is enough to put your daily sudoku to shame.
Even kids still at the school are working! Six students between the ages of 15 and 18 have been picked to perform in the world premier tour of Sir Matthew Bourne’s Romeo + Juliet. Bryony Wood is one of the lucky few, and will play Juliet on certain dates of the tour. And then presumably go back to studying for exams before the applause has yet faded from her ears.
More? You want more? Well, we should mention Ella Henderson – the X Factor favourite from 2012, she was rudely dropped from Simon Cowell’s label earlier this year only to be picked up straight away by label Major Toms Music, founded by dance legends Rudimental and imprint of Asylum Records. She’s been touring with the band this year, culminating in two sold-out gigs in Alexandra Palace.
So there you have it. No slouches in the success department, these guys. So if you have a burgeoning musician, dancer or actor under your roof, there’s no need to throw them headfirst into the Sylvia Young school with the gimlet-eyed competition – Tring Park School does just as well with countryside thrown in for free. Read our review of the school here (the A-level results are insanely good) and in the meantime, keep your eyes locked on the TV schedules and theatre notices to watch the school’s alumni slowly take over the world.
Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, Tring, Hertfordshire, HP23 5LX. tringpark.com